What Are Natural Swimming Pools: How To Make A Natural Swimming Pool

Rocked Wall Swimming Pool
natural pool
(Image credit: hdoggrafix)

Ever dream of having your own swimming hole? You can make a natural swimming pool in your landscape and enjoy cool, refreshing water any time you want. What are natural swimming pools? They can be developed by a landscape designer or simply a hand-dug excavation. There are a few rules when building natural swimming pool sites, and these tips will keep your soil from eroding and keep your water clean.

What are Natural Swimming Pools?

When summer's heat is at its worst, a natural dipping pool seems like the perfect thing. Natural swimming pool design should be integrated into the landscape, but it can be any style you wish. Natural pools are less expensive than conventional designs and require no chemicals. They are a sustainable take on traditional swimming pools.

Natural swimming pools mimic a wild pond. They are designed in two zones of approximately equal size. One side is a water garden where plants keep the water clean and the other is the swimming area. In order to effectively clean the water, experts recommend a space of 322 square feet (30 square meters). The materials used are natural stone or clay and the swimming end may be lined with rubber or reinforced polyethylene.

Once you have a basic design, you can add features like a wading area, waterfall, and select your plants.

Building Natural Swimming Pool Designs

If you are choosing not to line the pool, build a dish-shaped hole to prevent excessive soil erosion and line the edges with rocks. The ratio is one-foot (30.5 cm.) vertical drop for every three horizontal feet (91.5 cm.), or a lined rectangular shape is easiest, cheapest, and can rely upon a liner or sheeting to retain soil.

If you want to make a natural swimming pool with the two zones, line the base of the plant side with gravel and situate plants one foot (30.5 cm.) away from the edge. This way the water can flow to the edge and through plant roots, cleaning the water as it heads over to the swimming side.

Plants for a Natural Swimming Pool

Take inspiration from nature. Find the plants that grow wild around ponds and rivers. These will be adapted to your zone and require little special care. If you want an Asian-inspired pool, plant azaleas and maples outside the pond and use sedges and water lilies in the water zone.

Other aquatic plants to consider are:

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.