There’s nothing better on a hot summers day than a refreshing dip in a swimming pool to cool us off! Have you ever stopped to think, however, about the side effects of chlorine used to kill bacteria in the water? Please do… and remember the answer is an eco-friendly pool.
We all know that chlorine damages hair, but that’s only the start. This chemical can also cause problems with asthma and dyspnea (especially in children under 6 months of age). Furthermore, human secretions such as sweat react with chlorine to produce chloramines that can irriate the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory airways.
For this reason we’d like to highlight some natural pools where chlorine and other chemicals commonly used to maintain the pool are replaced with environmentally friendly solutions.
In reality, there are many ways to purify water. You can pass the water through a filter layered with titanium, copper and zinc ions or you can enrich the water with ozone, which reduces the need for chlorine by up to 90% (this is the method used in the swimming pool in the White House). One of the most effective and common alternative methods is to use small aquatic ecosystems that filter water bacteria and purify ‘naturally’, meaning the water remains clean and clear forever.
The appeal of natural pools is currently spreading in Europe and in the United States, because of their low maintenance costs, environmental benefits and improved hygeine. What’s more there are no additional costs when installing a natural pool when compared to the traditional version. The aquatic plants required are also easy to find.
When installing the pool, some doubts may arise here and there: in fact, an ecosystem takes time to stabilize and the presence of algae will cause the color of your natural pool to be rather dark at first. These algae are not harmful to your health, but aesthetically speaking, they are quite unpleasant to see! Don’t be alarmed, the plants will gradually adapt their filtering capacity and grow naturally causing the water to become clearer. Whilst some plants make water dark and muddy, in the controlled environment of the pool this will not occur. Thanks to the PVC walls of organic pools as well as a mechanical filter system, the plants will not get access to the nutrients, minerals and mud sediments that would cause this phenomenon to manifest itself.
The pool can be made in various shapes and sizes using materials like plastic and polyethylene. The swimming are must, of course be kept separate from the aquatic plants that filter and clarify the water. Finally, if you like you can also install a small waterfall, which will further help recycling of the water.
Some will argue that letting plants float freely in our pool will attract bacteria and pesky insects, including mosquitoes and flies. In reality, these insects are eliminated naturally by the movement of water on by the presence of other predators.
Americans seem more resistant than Europeans to the idea of a natural pools. On this side of the Atlantic there is more concern about bacteria and about possible contamination by water. Americans are more likely, therefore, to resor to the use of chemical substances to eliminated any bacteria and germs. For this reason, hybrid solutions are also being explored to get the benefits of both worlds.
There is no shortage of projects and ideas to develop pools based on mixed technology, combining chemical methods (to clean the water), and ecological processes (to eliminate moss and dirt from the surface) using aquatic plants (such as horsetail, palm, navel de Venus, water cress, water cane). An added benefit of the acquatic plants are the beautiful water gardens they produce! Dirt sediments which build up at the bottom of the pool are easy to filter off so there is no need to change the water as happens in conventional pools. Finally, to be sure that the germs are completely eliminated, you can also install a UV sterilization system.
In Europe, it is England, that has taken pole position for now as many natural pools have been created in the heart of London.
If you already have a traditional pool, you can convert it to natural pool by adding aquatic plants on the surface or by placing them in the middle of the pool, separated into two parts.
Plants purify the water and you do not have to think about bacteria or pollution. Do you need more reasons to consider a natural pool?