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Snakes / Critters in natural pools

 
Ivan Mayes
Posts: 13
Location: Fayetteville, AR
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Hey David!

I've been very interested in building a natural pool since I saw some of the first permies videos showing some of the examples. However, I live in Arkansas and we of course have alot of potentially dangerous water loving snakes and other things that like water habitats. Have you had any experience with this issue and what kind of mentality do you have about balancing natural ecosystems with the danger of some species in your swimming area? And are there any methods to take to dissuade snakes from setting up camp in/around my natural pool?

Thanks!
 
David Pagan Butler
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Hi Ivan,
A Natural Swimming Pool can be constructed with two separate pools, one for the plants and animals, and one for swimming. Their only interconnection would be via pipework. The swimming area could look similar to a conventional pool. So the issue is really, if is safe to swim in a conventional chlorinated outdoor pool swimming in your area then a Natural Swimming Pool should be just as safe.
 
Adam Gulliford
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Hello,

Speaking of critters, is there any reason to worry about Naelgeria fowelri with a natural pool?
 
David Pagan Butler
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Has there been an example of this occurring in a Natural Swimming Pool? Many thousands of Natural Swimming Pools have been created and there have been no reported health issues.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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im not personally familiar with reptiles of the south but i know that in some of the places ive lived (nearly everywhere ive lived has had rattlers about) that california king snakes were one of our favorite pets because they eat rattlers
ive also heard that jumping spiders eat and chase away brown recluse
so perhaps there are other snakes in the area that will not only eat or scare away the dangerous ones but also fill its niche in the ecosystem, the idea being that if a safe snake eats everything that a dangerous snake may eat than there is no more food left for the dangerous snake and it will go elsewhere...
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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i have had deer give birth in the more natural shallower end of my pond and I get bear in there from time to time (they do mess up the plants)
 
Sandy Sibert
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I so want to do this, the hole is dug and been dry for 2 years due to drought as it is filled only by rain fall. We had 6 inches of rain last week and its 1/4 full. I wish I had seen this sooner but since I live in south Texas it will be dry again. What is the average cost? And what do you do about cotton mouth snakes, they are very aggressive when in their territory, and they come uninvited.
 
David Pagan Butler
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Hi Sandy,
the most costly item for a self built Natural Swimming Pool is the pool liner. You need to measure it up and get a quote. (here in the UK it's around £5 per square meter so I'm guessing around $1 per square foot).
I can't really advise on the snake issue. A conventional chlorinated outdoor pool will carry a similar risk so talk to a local pool installer to see how they deal with snakes. Better still get advice from a local ecologist. It maybe the case that any pool, Natural Swimming Pool or conventional pool, may not be appropriate to your area.
 
Ivan Mayes
Posts: 13
Location: Fayetteville, AR
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David Pagan Butler wrote:I can't really advise on the snake issue. A conventional chlorinated outdoor pool will carry a similar risk so talk to a local pool installer to see how they deal with snakes. Better still get advice from a local ecologist. It maybe the case that any pool, Natural Swimming Pool or conventional pool, may not be appropriate to your area.


I think the difference between a conventional pool looks, from the examples i've seen, to be that there is a plant ecosystem in the pool that provides habitat for snakes, and also makes it more difficult to see one should it be there. In our climate we see very little issue with snakes in conventional pools (unless they get trapped there) simply because there is nothing for them there, aside from perhaps a sunny open area to sunbathe. Also, its very easy to see them in the pool or surrounding area typically because conventional pools don't typically have any place to hide around them.

Not trying to knock natural pools, in fact I am curious about other peoples experience with these issues so that I can make sure that the pool I build is safe for my niece to use. I don't think many people would be comfortable with their kids running and jumping into a pool that might have an aggressive or territorial snake that is setting up home and not easily detectable though. Anyways, I am determined to build one, so I will perhaps resurrect this thread next year and report my findings / potential solutions for snakes.
 
David Pagan Butler
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Hi Ivan,
your thoughts are very welcome and informative and tie in with the option I gave a the beginning. Building two separate pools, one for plants to condition the water and one for swimming. They are interconnected only through "snakeproof" pipework.
 
Ivan Mayes
Posts: 13
Location: Fayetteville, AR
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Ah i'm sorry I didn't realize there would only be plants in the second pool to filter the water. What you said makes alot more sense now, thanks David!
 
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