Natural pools not only look beautiful, but they also form oases of crystal-clear water kept clean by natural cleansing processes
A natural swimming pool, also known as an ecological pool, naturalised pool or bio-pool works thanks to biological purification. Water is purified by natural processes and remains crystal clear, clean, and healthy without chemical disinfectant treatments such as chlorine or clarifiers such as flocculants. Although the installation of a natural pool depends on several variables, there is no real price difference compared to conventional pools.
Natural pools are beautiful pockets of nature landscaped to recreate the self-cleaning mini ecosystems of wild ponds. After designing a natural environment comes the addition of a water filtration system which directs the water flow into small waterfalls and runs through the personally chosen vegetation so that beautifully clean water reaches the bathing area.
Their most obvious benefit is being able to enjoy healthy, chemical-free water to splash about and swim in without risking itchy skin or stinging eyes. However, naturalised pools are only for you if you value bathing in natural water, know how natural water regeneration works, and if familiar with the look and colour of natural water and like to be surrounded by nature.
Naturalised pools are based on the activation of the nitrogen cycle in which bacteria are encouraged to grow before the biological filter kicks in and transforms ammonia into nitrate, which is then absorbed by the plants. The plants oxygenate the water and remove the nutrients that can turn into algae and other microorganisms, such as mosquito larvae. In this way, a perfect ecological balance is created. The natural filtration system, or biofilter, is usually made up of a selection of gravel, volcanic rocks, plants and sand which the water flows through thanks to gravity or a pump system.
Like in lakes and rivers, the stones at the bottom of the pool develop a thin layer of biofilm composed of living organisms which feed on the naturally-occurring nutrients and oxygen. With the recirculation of the water, organic and inorganic elements are driven to the surface and led to the filtering zone (skimmer) to deter mosquitoes.
One of the typical characteristics of these pools is that the water is divided into two areas: one for bathing and swimming and the other for natural purification and filtration. This is the biofilter where selected substrates and aquatic plants are strategically placed. The proportion of surface area dedicated to purification ranges from 10% to 70% of the whole space, depending on whether you want a larger lake-like pool or river-like experience – usually 80% is dedicated to bathing and 20% to the purification filter area.