Have you thought about a Natural Swimming Pool/ Swiming Pond for your Greater Boston | MetroWest Massachusetts Backyard?
The idea might sounds strange to some but having a natural swimming pool or swimming pond installed in a backyard for recreational use is not a new concept. In Europe more natural swimming pools/ponds are installed than traditional swimming pools.
They have many names such as Natural Pools, Recreational Ponds, Natural Swimming Pools, and Natural Swimming Ponds. No matter what you call it they are all essentially the exact same thing. Instead of building a swimming pool out of fiberglass, gunite, concrete, vinyl liner, or even above ground this approach mimics mother nature to create a natural looking swimming pool that is not only very low maintenance, it doesn't require all of the harsh chemicals or salt systems to keep the water clean and clear!
These natural swimming ponds harness the power of mother nature and use plants and gravel to create a complete ecosystem that naturally and healthily cleans and maintains itself.
Environmentally friendly & chemical-free, natural swimming pools have a very low ongoing maintenance cost and are healthy alternatives to conventional swimming pools.
Is it more Expensive to build a Natural Swimming Pool?
Every project is unique and like traditional swimming pools there are options you can chose that will influence the price tag. The only fair answer is in some cases it can cost the same and in some it can cost more.
However the real savings is on maintenance. Not only do you cut out the cost of hash chemicals but you get to trade in the large unsightly filtration units for beautiful flowering aquatic plants and a natural waterfall. The natural part of the pool is not just the aesthetics, the entire filtration system relies heavily on mother nature and less on you or the "pool boy".
The short term investment may be more but the long term savings due to reduced maintenance costs is unmatched.
How much work is involved in owning one of these?
Great question! Well, for starters with a natural swimming pond you don't have to add any chlorine or salt. You don't have to shock the pool, check PH levels, or vacuum the bottom. You typically don't have skimmer baskets to check and empty...
So whats left? Once a week you need to add a small cup of beneficial bacteria to the water to keep mother nature doing her thing at the most optimal level and if you have a-lot of leaves or debris that have floated into the pool you just scoop them out in the collection cove which is also referred to as an intake bay.
Mostly you just have to enjoy it and deal with the sad feeling on Monday mornings when your staycation has ended and you need to go back to work.
How do these natural swimming pools get filtered?
This is what makes a natural swimming pool natural. The unique filtration process is designed by no other than mother nature herself. We mimic how a wetland filters water in nature. These parts of the pond are sometimes referred to regeneration zones, or bogs, but we call them constructed wetlands. The way it works is the water in the pool is in constant circulation and is drawn into one end of the feature into what is called an intake bay or collection cove. Here the water is then pumped up into our constructed wetlands where it slowly rises bottom to top through multiple layers of different sized gravel until it reaches the top and pours back into the pond. These constructed wetlands are heavily planted with a variety of aquatic plants who also tremendously aid in the filtration process.
This may sound far too simple and may leave you wondering "how on earth can that keep a large body of water clean and clear?". The magic happens on a microscopic level. Coating all those different levels of gravel are living, healthy, beneficial bacteria. These bacteria and micro organisms break down excess nutrients and help balance your ecosystem. The roots of all the different aquatic plants that are strategically placed throughout the gravel also helps absorb and break down waste and balance everything out. We could get super complex and bore you but well save that for a future blog post.
I really love the idea of this but I don't want to feel like I am swimming in a pond with rocks and plants, can this be added to a more formal or traditional design?
Absolutely! We LOVE the rocks and gravel and feeling like we are swimming in a mountain top pond somewhere, but we understand that is not for everyone. If you are the type of person who loves the look and feel of a traditional in-ground pool but wants to ditch the harsh chemical and high maintenance cost then we can absolutely incorporate or retrofit a constructed wetland filtration system into your swimming pool.
However we are not a swimming pool company and do not install formal or traditional swimming pools so we would have to work in conjunction with the pool company you hire to install our filtration onto the pool they design and install.
Teamwork makes the dream work!
Does this mean the bottom of the pond is mud and the water will be dirty?
No, the bottom is not muddy. The bottom can be made of different things but is normally smooth river rock or large flat stones. We never leave the bottom bare liner and we don't let mud and gunk accumulate at the bottom.
The water will be clean and clear but normally there will be fine particulates in the water. This is a natural ecosystem pool and the water is very healthy and clean but it is not a sterilized bottle of water. The water is just like if you were swimming in a natural mountain stream somewhere in New Hampshire or Maine except its in your own backyard!
Is the water stagnant, will there be mosquitos?
No, the water is always flowing and although it looks like a pond it really is a recreated stream system. The water gently flows from one end to the other all the while being filtered.
Mosquitos need stagnant water to lay their eggs and typically are not attracted to moving water. If they do come around you will have plenty of dragonflies, birds, and other critters who will eat them for lunch.
Do I need to have fish in the pool?
No, you do not NEED to have koi or other pond fish in your natural swimming pool but you certainly can if you wanted to. We personally love having them in ours because we enjoy snorkeling around the pond and exploring the underwater world they call home. It's a very unique experience that you and your loved ones can share in your very own backyard whenever you want.
Do you have to drain the natural swimming pool in the Winter?
No, you do not drain the feature in the Winter. Some people even use their natural swimming pool for ice skating in the Winter!
The only time you would need to drain the feature is every few years you may want to have the pool completely drained and cleaned in the Spring if you had any debris or settlement building up on the bottom. It normally isn't needed very often but each feature is unique and from time to time it is a good idea to do a little house keeping and do some maintenance on the entire system.
We offer cleaning and maintenance services so don't think this is something you have to tackle yourself or even find someone knowledgable and credible to do. We've got you covered. However if you are a hands on type of person and want to tackle the challenge yourself we can guide you through the process.
Natural Swimming Pools & Swimming Ponds service areas Including but not limited to:
New England Aquatic Landscaping is a Massachusetts based pond contractor. We primarily service the Greater Boston & MetroWest Areas.
Weston (MA), Dover (MA), Carlisle (MA), Sherborn (MA), Sudbury (MA), Wellesley (MA), Winchester (MA), Manchester-by-the-Sea (MA), Lexington (MA), Boxford (MA), Wayland (MA), Concord (MA), Brookline (MA), Newton (MA), Needham (MA), Westwood (MA), Southborough (MA)...