Presently in the planning phase for a monolithic pour, ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) natural swimming pool. I think the modular style insulated forms lend themselves well to building a swimming pool, as many have been done. Although I am not aware of any Natural ICF pools, I don't see why they would not work. The ICF also has the added benefit of being an insulator, so the pool will be protected from the heatsink of the Earth. ICF also has the advantage of the channel in between the two walls of the form that permit the introduction of PVC for the bubble lifts as well as any wiring or lighting one might wish to install.
I also intend to use fiberglass composite rebar in the structure so as to avoid any potential problems from rust causing the rebar to swell and crack the concrete. The interesting part about the monolithic pour is that the walls and floor of the pool are poured in one go, meaning that there is no cold-joint that might cause a leak in the future. I do not think I will be using a liner, but will opt for some sort of conventional black coating over the foam ICF walls.
David has been a great resource in this design quest. I hope I can succeed in taking this to the next level.
I'm planning on more of a small pond in my greenhouse,but the principle is the same. Water has more than double the thermal mass capacity of stone or soil, so I'll be utilizing my body of water to regulate the temperature of the greenhouse.
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Around here, many ponds are ephemeral. They persist during rainy weather, and dry up during dry weather. Many types of plants and animals are adapted to that kind of availability.
That would make a terrible swimming pool in our climate though. lol
David, in your last post you mentioned you would recommend insulating the lower portion of the pool wall to help maintain heat. what would you use or have used to insulate? Is it in contact with water or is it dry? Thanks.
I'm trying to decide between a natural pool and an aquaponics greenhouse system in the old pool in the backyard of where I've moved (Hillsborough NC). The thought was if i go with the natural pool to have fish, and a place where folks can swim - now I need more info on what that actually looks like.
How best can the water from a natural pool be used for drinking in emergency, or is it best to have separate systems in place?
Yeah, I'm putting my two cents in a few months late..
My opinion is that using run off would not be a problem in a natural swimming pond, as long as you take care of the extra nutrients and silt.
Direct any run off water into a natural filter before it enters the pond. Gravel and sand filters are good for this.
One way to make a natural swimming pond is to divide the entire pond into a swimming area , and a "nature area". There would be a wall under water up to
just below the surface.
The "nature" area would contain plants to clean out the extra nutrients, the wall would prevent the plants from taking over the swimming side.
Generally most native animals that find their way in to a Natural Swimming Pool are welcome. Frogs are fine, and the occasional turtle may dig around and stir up sediments but shouldn't be a problem.
So I run the picker program and it selected ten posts at random from this forum for this week. And the two best posts were from:
Oh good! Both are signed up for the daily-ish email!
Congratulations Randy and Brenda! You get a free DVD!
I will now email them both to get their snail mail addresses to pass on to the publisher. I will also ask them who referred them to permies.com - and the referrer gets a free DVD too (provided they are also in the daily-ish email)!
The picker very much wanted to pick Burra as a winner, but Burra and I (and David) are the only people excluded from winning.
my larger pool (20m x 15m total area with a 5m x 11m swimming zone) cost me around £6000. This doesn't include my labour of course. Probably a fair ratio would be around 50-60%
Yes they are certainly aesthetically more pleasing and far easier to maintain than a conventional outdoor pool.
Yes I agree.
Natural Swimming Pools, fit so neatly within permaculture principles and have the power to engage a wider audience, rekindling the notion a lot of us have forgotten through detachment, that being immersed in nature, is being healthy!
1) The entire volume of water should be circulated within 24 - 48 hours.
2) There is no disadvantage in introducing air. A waterfall is mainly for cosmetics but should not cause any problems.
3) Circulate the water in the swimming area vertically to disturb the water stratification (i.e. the cooler lower water churned up with the upper warmer water.)
4) There are calculation/approximation methods available, but even measuring all the parameters necessary (wind speed, vapour pressure, etc) is tricky and will only give you a snapshot of the evaporation rate. It is best to get information from a local pool supplier for the average water loss through evaporation.
5) I know of no issues myself. Natural Swimming Pools have been made in Australia and work fine. I found a paper on a Caribbean wild ponds and incredibly they contained no mosquitoes. Just like in Natural Swimming Pools, predators, like dragonfly larvae, control them.
And sadly, as far as this summer is concerned, the UK has has not warmed up that much since you've been away.
ducks are the angels of doom for a Natural Swimming Pool!...OK well I'm over dramatising.
Here are the reasons:
1) They pull up the plants in and round the pool. The plants are needed to condition the water in a Natural Swimming Pool.
2) They stir up sediments, introducing nutrients into the water. (nutrients leads to algae)
3) Their poo introduces lots more nutrients.
4) They are a health hazard albeit not a dangerous one. Swimmer's ich - cercarial dermatitis. Flatworm parasites that use both freshwater snails and waterfowl as hosts in their parasitic life cycles. On leaving the snail, they mistake swimmers for ducks and die as soon as they enter our skin. But it can cause an irritating itch.
A quack can send me into a Pavlovian response, I jump up, run out the door and shoo the wild ducks off the pools.
Many hundreds of Natural Swimming Pools have be made in Austria and Switzerland with synthetic liners. They endure pretty cold winters perfectly well.
No animals should be bought and introduced into a Natural Swimming Pool. The only animals in the pool are ones that have made there own way in there so they will be adapted to the pool conditions. The same rule of thumb should apply to the plants. Species native to the locality are going to be the best survivors and be most beneficial the local ecology.
There is no need to circulate the water during the winter in a Natural Swimming Pool. The native animals will look after themselves under the ice cap.
our first years of our pond the pond would go dry in the droughty summer, but we dug deeper and deeper. we had the worst drought ever this year and our pond did not go dry, we did get dry areas and lower edges, but the deep areas stayed fully wet
Hi Kim, no I haven't made a pool in a hot climate like Texas. I know they have been made in Australia with (probably) a similar climate so it should be possible. Unless the pool is really big, you may have issues with "dumping" the heat from the house into the pool water. If the pool gets too hot, that can lead to problems.