Swim Post Facts
Here are some facts about swim ponds or (NSP’s) as they are called. Natural swim ponds do not rely on a wide range of chemicals.
They rely on a series of various microbes and unique vegetation to filter and keep the water treated.
One very important section of the pond is known as the regeneration zone. It will be constructed of many layers of gravel that also hides a network of plastic piping which contains the recycled pool water.
The body of gravel in itself is home to a thriving colony of microbes in this eco-system. There is also a string of algae which is evident and acceptable in this regeneration zone.
There are 3 main components or plant forms that regulate the natural cycle of swim ponds.
- Floating plants: water lilies and other floating plants provide shade and protect micro organisms from U.V. rays.
- Oxygenating plants: absorb phosphates and nitrates, submerged and free floating plants contribute to the important role in reducing the growth of algae.
- Biological filters: water passes through the fibrous root section of the plants, micro organisms concentrated on the root system act as natural filter, removing contaminants and excess nutrients from the water.
Since swim ponds are becoming more popular in North America, home and garden centers also stock aquatic plants to serve your needs. Your local nursery or contractor can assist you in which plants are best suited for your climate and your project.
Plant types for the pond perimeter to use would be, rushes (scirpus) and sedges (carex), both plants make great emergent vegetation. Also consider the use of lesser cattails (typha angustifolia), with aquatic irises. For shallow areas use water primroses (ludwigia) and arrowhead (sagittaria).
Plants to be used in submergent areas are hornwort (ceratophyllum) and water weed (elodea) as they create high oxygen output.
With water depths of 6 – 18 inches, plant a mixture of floating, submergent and emergent plants. Water lilies (nymphaea) will adapt to any depth, use them liberally. Floating plants like duckweed (lemna minor) and pondweeds (potamogeton) will drift freely on the surface and swiftly cover the plant zones surface.
EXPANDED LIST OF PLANTS FOR YOUR POND
- Axolla caroliniana
- Eichhornia crassipes
- Stratiotes aloides
- Pistia stratiots
- Utricularia vulgaris
- Ranunculus aquatilis
- Potamogeton crispus
- Myriophyllum spicatum
- Hottonia palustris
- Fontinalis antipyretica
- Elodea crispa
- Elodea Canadensis
- Ceratophyllum demersum
- Callitriche autumnalis
SUGGESTED MARGINAL PLANTS
- Zantedeschia aethiopica
- Veronica beccabunga
- Typha minima
- Schoenoplectus zebrinus
- Rumex sanguineus
- Pontederia cordata
- Myosotis mermaid
- Mentha aquatic
- Iris laevigata variegate
- Lythrum salicaria
- Calla palustris
- Butomus umbellatus
- Alisma plant ago-aquatica
- Acorus calamus variegatus
Several natural swim ponds will feature stunning waterfalls especially if the regeneration zone is constructed upstream.
After your swim pond is built you will attract lots of wildlife.
This water now leaves the regeneration zone and tumbles down to the main pool swim area, refreshing the supply of the pond and also adding a stunning visual to the overall design.
It is often advised to have a UV disinfection system installed. It may be necessary to operate for the entire season; however it does provide peace of mind that any harmful anaerobic pathogens will be kept under control, especially if waterfowl visit the pond.
The UV light system also ensures the water is safe around children that play and swim in the pond.
Once having a true swim pond built, no longer is your backyard just a place to cool off on a hot summer day. This natural swim pond becomes an educational experience!
A swim pond does not need to be drained on a seasonal basis; this keeps the sewer system free of chlorinated water. The cost to refill the pool every spring is now a thing of the past.
Accepting natures own cleaning agents also has benefits for swimmers. Pool chemicals can breakdown hair follicles, strip moisture from the skin and create eye irritations.
SOME QUICK STUDY NOTES ON NSP’s
- A natural swim pond can create an epicenter of activity to any backyard landscape
- Detailing the poolscape is usually done by hand
- Liner installation is a challenging job that requires several team members to perform
- Geotextile fabric is laid over top the liner to provide protection
- The piping route is placed into the regeneration zone prior to installing gravel layers
- Aeration systems also helps in the natural cleaning process
- A (UV) ultra violet disinfection system is recommended for any natural pond setting
FISH OR NO FISH
Adding fish to your pond can be a very enticing idea. It adds a new dimension to the eco-system. Just remember the fish excrement will lead to more growth of algae. You definitely want to install that (UV) ultra violet light system.
A truly functional swim pond will:
- Have excellent water quality
- Have chemical free water treatment
- Be a habitat for wildlife and flora
- Reduce costs over conventional pools
A swim pond can be built for any size yard and any budget. The only limit is your imagination!