Using plants to filter your natural swimming pool

A natural swimming pool is a beautiful, minimum-maintenance alternative to the chlorine-infused pools that need constant cleaning and repair. Natural pools look like ponds or lakes and can be filtered using plants. However, considerations should be made to ensure that a natural pool is safe and clean.

Using plants to filter your natural swimming pool

1. Plants in the margins

Nature has expertly mastered water filtration through ecosystems with symbiotic elements; wetlands are a prime example. This example from Inspiration Green separates the plant filter from the rest of the pool via a wall and uses piping to circulate water that needs cleaning though the plant filter and back into the pool constantly.

The plants live in rocks that aid in filtration by trapping particles and give beneficial bacteria a home. Beneficial bacteria will aid in filtering the water, too.

2. Plants within the pool

However, it's not necessary to separate the plants from the pool; think lilies and lotus, sedges and grasses planted on the margins, with some rooted into the bottom of the pool as well. Try to use plants that are native to your area or at least your climate; they will thrive easily in your soil type while you prevent invasive species from proliferating.

This method needs a bank to hold the roots of the plants together and provide beneficial microorganisms with a place to live so that they, too, can assist in filtering the water. To understand more fully, just observe nature and see how the banks of natural ponds, lakes and rivers are constructed through layers of sediment and plant roots that keep everything together.

3. Skimmers

Forbes advises installing a skimmer to separate large and small debris particles, as well as other apparatus for ensuring a proper pH and nutrient balance is kept. This is, in essence, how nature does it; by maintaining a balance and distributing the work among many specialized organisms.

4. Winter maintenance

It's not necessary to drain the pool in winter if you have freezing weather, but you will want to "cut the plants back and drain and plug the mechanical equipment to prevent freeze damage," according to Forbes.

5. Designing for your needs

Whether your pool is small enough for a few kids to play in or large enough to swim laps in, you can design according to the layout of your property and your preferences. This is the creative part, and once you understand the basics, you can have fun with it.

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