Gardening in the soil is therapeutic and can make your yard look incredible. But have you ever considered taking your gardening skills from the land to the water? “Natural pools,” also known as “swimming ponds,” are growing in popularity.


What is a Natural Pool?

For years, natural pools have been common in Europe, but they are recently gaining more attention in the United States and other countries. A natural swimming pool filters water via plants instead of manufactured materials and chemicals. These plants include cattails, water lilies, hornwort, waterweed, sedges and duckweed, which remove bacteria and other contaminants.

Most natural swimming pools feature two connected pools, but there are variations to this design. Typically, one section is for swimming and the other holds aquatic plants. The two-pool design ensures you’re not swimming with plants, leaves and mud. You can make your pool as shallow or deep as you want. Most people use concrete, gravel, stone bentonite clay or a traditional liner to line the pool. Sterilized soil is good for the bottom of the plant pond.

To avoid the bacteria that comes with stagnant water, you’ll need to install a simple water pump to keep the water flowing so the plants can clean it naturally. Adding a bubbler will introduce oxygen to the pool’s plants, which can be beneficial to your pool. Dragonflies and frogs will be naturally drawn to your pool, ridding the area of mosquitos and other pests.


Benefits of a Natural Pool

These benefits could crush any myths about natural swimming pools that are holding you back.

  1. Cost Savings. The construction of a natural pool costs about the same as a traditional swimming pool – about $50 per square foot. If you do all the work yourself, it could cost as little as $2,000 for the whole project. Yearly maintenance is hundreds of dollars less than a traditional chlorine pool because there are no chemicals to add. Additionally, the filter system is cheaper to install and run.
  2. Aesthetics. A natural pool can add life to your yard, supplementing the look of a garden or well-kept lawn. You can have the peaceful look of a pond in your own backyard, and actually enjoy swimming in it. If you’re looking for a more traditional pool look, you can design your natural pool so it looks just like any other pool. They’re so versatile that there’s a design for everyone.
  3. Easy Maintenance. With natural pools, gone are the days of daily tests and adding chemicals to your pool. You’ll occasionally have to skim leaves off the top, and remove loose sediment with a pool vacuum cleaner once a month. The work you put into your pool’s plants at the beginning makes maintenance easy. Another perk is that you don’t have to drain natural pools in the winter. Like a pond, they will freeze over until spring when the plant cycle begins again. Pipes underground circulate water to protect the pool from freezing solid.


Natural swimming pools are popular for all the right reasons. If you’re interested in a private pool, you should definitely consider making it a natural one.