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natural swimming pond


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By 'swimming pond' I mean an arrangement where the swimming area is bordered by a shallower area which is filled with plants. A circulatiing pump creates a flow through the plants into the swimming area. In this way, it is claimed, the water is filtered/purified naturally without using any chemicals.

Does anyone have experience of creating or mantaining such a pool in SW France? The websites I've looked at seem to be US orientated. Where might I find answers to the following sorts of question?

How to adjust the design of the pond the climate of the region (ratio of planted area to swimming area etc.)?

What variety and combination of plants to use?

What is the correct recirculation flow rate?

The swimming pond concept seems very attractive but, without guidance, I imagine it could take years of trial and error to get it right. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help.

 

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Where are you exactly, because the mason who rebuilt our wall (he is German) also instals natural pools, and obtains all of the plants, well everything which is needed actually! from Germany.   I am in 87 (Haute Vienne)

Please let me know if you want his details.

PS:    He is nothing to do with me other than the fact that he did a good job for us, and we also looked into natural pools, but decided in the end that we actually wanted a 'conventional' pool.    Decision against the natural pool had many factors, one of the main ones being that we already had planning permission for a standard pool and the natural pools (as I understand it) do need to be considerably larger in order to obtain the same swimming space (if that makes any sense at all!)

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Dear Londoneye,

Thanks very much for your reply.

I haven't bought a place yet but am looking in Dep. 64. I'd be much obliged if you could give me the German guy's email. He probably doesn't operate in my area but I'm sure he could pass me on to someone who does.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi

I have also beeen looking at natural swimming ponds for a long time, I left a post on the forum months ago without sucsess,I would also like the name of the gentelman from .Germany, we are in department 12 and are in the process of installing a natural pond. We obtained a English book on the subject that is very informative, giving details of plants etc. I will mail you the details if you give me your mail address.

beris

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  • 3 years later...
I found these websites to be useful..

http://www.swimpondcentre.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=3

and

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/2002-08-01/Natural-Swimming-Pool.aspx

we're considering something similar in 47.

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Natural swimming ponds require a much larger total area than a swimming pool as there needs to be a regeneration area where plants etc can filter and do their water thing. You better have large pockets as they are not cheap, for example the Biotop skimmer costs a €1000. They treat the water with a chemical (sorry) that removes some of the nitrates to try and slow down the algae growth. One of the other companies Clear water revival also use chemical to remove the phosphates to do the same thing. Unfortunately Algae have been around a lot longer than these companies and have evolved to be able to live with their own on board source of either.

I would like to know how you get on as I am always interested in alternatives and your opinion on sharing your pool with frogs, newts, toads, grass snakes, and very worring water rats that may carry weils disease 

When a pond is looking after itself it produces oxygen via plants and algae can lower nitrates etc. This self managing ability gets thrown completely out of kilter when a bacteria laden urea sweaty body with possibly the odd coliform from a bottom burp enters the pond.

Without something to actually sanitise the water that body of water will pretty soon become very nasty and that is before you consider the odd bird taking a bath and a toilet break and possibly a rat or two carrying weils disease.

So after your swim you feel a little ache possible a mild fever a bit like flu, ignore this and 48 hours later your family are arranging a funeral. 

I have posted this after reading that 20 ducks in one of our local pond have died and a post mortem was carried out what killed them?
Botulism

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Just seen this - they looked so beautiful and enticing - but then it seems they can be hugely expensive and turn out to be a total disaster. I person would not like to have a pool with chemicals, the smell is awful and it burns your eyes. I'd rather not have one at all - but very lucky to have fabulous public pools and lakes near here. If I built a pool now I'd go for one of the following options UV, salt or ozone? What would be the relative costs and difficulties of those 3 systems + the environmental impact, please?

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[quote user="5-element"]

"Envoyé spécial" tonight http://envoye-special.france2.fr/index-fr.php?page=reportage&id_rubrique=1670

just showed a feature on swimming pools, including "natural swimming pools" and possible pitfalls.

[/quote]

"France is the most equipped country in the world behind America"........Rolling laughter animated emoticon

Except on knowledge of pool chemistry and testing where it is very apparent that the chronic lack of knowledge is legendary.

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Just don't know how to say this -as it might well upset some - but the British are famous for having very poor pool hygiene = using lots of suntan lotion, sweat out in the sun then wash it all out by jumping in- whereas in most northern European countries, showering properly before swimming in a pool is normal pool netiquette, as well as not wearing the same long bermuda style short used for the walk, cycle or day before a swim. Sorry, but it is the sad truth.

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[quote user="Swissie"]Just seen this - they looked so beautiful and enticing - but then it seems they can be hugely expensive and turn out to be a total disaster. I person would not like to have a pool with chemicals, the smell is awful and it burns your eyes. Chlorine when used correctly does not smell strongly or burn eyes and all pools are chemical based it just depends which chemicals. The strong chlorine smell is caused bychlorine by products, All swimming pools using chlorine will produce byproducts, chloramines, trihalomethanes, cyanogen chloride etc. There are three things to consider heare,
1 low bather load domestic pools, the levels will be really low compared to a high user commercial pool.
2 If the active chlorine level is actually too low then these byproducts will not be oxidised out of the water. (remember the strong chlorine smell, thats the byproducts) increasing the chlorine slightly will oxidise them out of the water.
3 Using UV as well as chlorine, that is for indoors pools without natural sunlight. Out door pools will also have the chlorine byproducts burnt off by the sun's UV.

Some people purchase UV sterilisors for their out door pools, bearing in mind the suns UV is millions of times stronger than the puny little lamps they purchased I would say they were well and trully suckered

 

I'd rather not have one at all - but very lucky to have fabulous public pools and lakes near here. If I built a pool now I'd go for one of the following options UV, salt or ozone? What would be the relative costs and difficulties of those 3 systems + the environmental impact, please? Salt pools are chlorine pools, the salt is slowly converted into chlorine by passing an electric current through titanium plates, in all other respects they mirror direct chlorine pools and can suffer the same maintenace problems. The plus is not having to directly handle chlorine or lug from the shops as you just have to top up the salt now and then. 

U.V. as mentioned above are useless outdoors as the sun takes care of the UV treatment required.

Ozone for commercial indoor pools as a suppliment to chlorine as it is more powerful than UV and so burns off the byproducts but you still need a sanitiser in the pool as Ozone will not exist in the bulk pool water for more than about 30 seconds. If used incorrectly it can be Lethal to humans especially your lungs. Just not necessary for domestic pools.

It only takes 1-1.5 parts of chlorine per 1000,000 of water to keep your pool nice and safe.


[/quote]

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Thanks Théière - very interesting. In your experience, what do you think is the approx proportion of pool owners who truly use chemicals properly and really know what they are doing? Mentioned those 3 methods as they were highlighted in the TV programme.

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As I am expecting to start up in business in France in the autumn, not that many in my area yet. The large pool companies are really where I aimed that comment. It annoys me that the really poor pool testers are generally on sale which in my mind is to keep the mystery of pool care a big secret so pool shops can get you to buy anything they choose. That is pretty much what I receive in PM's and postings on the forum. Poolguy does his best too and I do find it a little sad that some people snipe,  they don't say that about the pool shops they visit and purchase from even though they get sold products they don't need.

I purchase a number of products that I test thoroughly as so much of what you read on the Internet is from hearsay and not actually tested by the posters, sometimes it is a good purchase and sometimes not good so I have built a good knowledge of various types. looking after a small domestic pool if you stick to the basics is easy. Big commercial pools have different needs and criteria so they often do need high tech solutions but they almost always come down to chlorine, it is simply the best product for the job.

You are right Swissie, the British do slap factor 50 on so thick as the staining on my liner shows even if they did shower first they slap the cream back on and that really uses the chlorine up fast which is where a salt chlorinated pool falls down as they only trickle chlorine back into the pool whereas direct dosing can cope with much larger problems such as sun cream and children pee-ing in the pool.

Ozone could probably oxidise it up but sun cream never makes it through the ozone chamber as it is stuck to the liner same with UV and algae/bacteria, they don't float freely they attach themselves to the walls, floors and pipe work.

 

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As I am no chemist wizzard- I would certainly get advice from a professional should I ever choose to have a pool- the thought of bathing in bleach just does not appeal I have to say.

 I used to work very closely with a club with a private pool in the UK and it proved to be incredibly difficult to get members to shower properly (if at all) and not wear large bermudas (especially those which had been worn for other activities before using the pool).  This is also obvious in holiday resorts with a lot of British clients. Any idea why so many British people do not understand that suntanlotion + sweat should not mix with pool water?

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[quote user="Swissie"]As I am no chemist wizzard- I would certainly get advice from a professional should I ever choose to have a pool- the thought of bathing in bleach just does not appeal I have to say.  Sodium hypochlroite (javel bleach) is exactly what you have always swim in. The point as I made earlier is that it is highly diluted so doesn't present a real threat to our health. When people slosh a bit of bleach into a bucket or the sink that is often 500ppm or more and they don't think twice about it. I would have to dilute the sample by 500 times in order to be able to test it. Baring in mind that tap water usually contains around 1ppm.

 I used to work very closely with a club with a private pool in the UK and it proved to be incredibly difficult to get members to shower properly (if at all) and not wear large bermudas (especially those which had been worn for other activities before using the pool).  This is also obvious in holiday resorts with a lot of British clients. Any idea why so many British people do not understand that suntanlotion + sweat should not mix with pool water? I think it's because the TV constantly states chlidren should use factor 50 sun cream (wait till they invent factor 100) washing it off for even 15 minute will result in skin cancer for every one,
[/quote]
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theory around now that the factor 50 suncreams are the cause of the increase in rickets in children. I have never used any form of suncream. I spent 2 1/2 years in Malta from the age of 10 to 12 1/2 followed by another 2 1/2 years in Singapore in my 20s and a lot of time in the sun a for the rest of the time with no problems. What people need to remember about the sun is that you start off with a little and build up so that you don't burn. After that you will be OK.

Rant over. Sorry for the hi-jack.

We have had some problems with our semi auto system, but they are resolved and  we have a non smelly chlor sanitised pool. It is not only the best way to sanitise, but also the cheapest as far as I can see, after the initial outlay.

As far as salt pools are concerned then how come if they are so very good are they not allowed for a 'public' pool? As TP said, they trickle chlor, via the salt process, into the pool at whatever the rate set on the controller and that rate is constant whatever the bather load, unless it is physically changed that is. And as far as dripping drops into a little tube filled with pool water is concerned then with the best will in the world that is a guestimate and is dependant on how old the reagent drops are. Not just how long you have had them but add the time they have been sat on the pool shop shelf?

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