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Natural Pools are a Clear Choice for Chlorine Free Swimming

published on April 20, 2012

Swimming pools can be the glistening focal point of an Austin luxury home’s backyard, but the upkeep of a traditional turquoise pool can wreak havoc on homeowners’ patience and possibly their health after prolonged exposure to chlorine and chemicals. Popular in Austria for the past 20 years, natural swimming pools are starting to make a splash in the US as eco-friendly living gains more footing. Natural pools use no chemicals as water is purified the same way that nature does it, with plants, movement, and beneficial bacteria. Natural biological filtration makes an Earth-friendly pool, has a low carbon footprint, is environmentally sustainable, and consumes very little energy, both from a power grid and a homeowner. A natural pool would blend seamlessly into the landscape of homes located along green belts, like those in Steiner Ranch, Rob Roy, or Eanes ISD.

Natural pools are self-cleaning and combine swimming areas and water gardens. Materials and designs vary, but all rely on “regeneration” zones, areas given over to aquatic plants that act as organic cleansers. The pools have devices that circulate the water through the regeneration zone and draw it across a wall of rocks, loose gravel or tiles, to which friendly bacteria attach, serving as an additional biological filter. Unlike artificial ponds, which tend to be stagnant and murky with runoff and sediment, a natural pool has clear water.

Three of the major companies installing natural pools around the world include Total Habitat, BioNova® and Biotop Natural Pools. Natural pools can be designed to look like traditional swimming pools or natural ponds. Old swimming pools can be converted to function like a natural pool, but the true beauty of a natural pool is one in an organic shape with a lush water garden that filters bacteria. The pond-like pools do not require any chemicals or devices to disinfect or sterilize the water. The movement of the water through the biological filter, the action of the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in the filter and regeneration zone, as well as the plants feeding hydroponically on the water is how the water is cleaned.

Mosquitos are prevented from nesting in natural pools because of the constant movement of the water. Algae, though, is a natural occurrence, that can be scooped out of the swimming portion of the pool, and will grow less as the water plants in the regeneration zone become more established and consume the water’s nutrients, effectively starving algae. Fish are not permitted in natural pools, because although they could live there, they would disrupt the sanitation balance of the pool. 

If you’re looking for a home that has a prime place for a natural pool in the backyard, or a home with a pool that could later be converted to a natural pool, contact an Austin realtor who can find a house with ideal landscaping for your needs.

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