Does anyone have experience converting a pond into a natural swimming pool? I've got a small spring-fed pond (about 85 feet by 35 feet) that is lined with natural clay soil in the Northeastern US. It has a pretty consistent water level (though it goes down a bit at the end of a hot summer) and clean water based on testing. I'd planned to turn it into a natural pool by building a rectangular frame into the center of it for a swimming area, putting a layer of pea gravel down over the clay, and building up the soil and life/plants around the edges. Does anyone have experience making a natural pool like this from a pond instead of digging it and using a liner?
The primary purpose is to provide an inner wall that would allow me fill in more soil/gravel around the ponds edges to make them shallower. It gets deep fairly quickly at the edges of the pond and I think I'd have much better luck with plant/animal life if I could create a wider band around the pond's edge that is shallow. Some secondary reasons would be containing plant growth in the swimming area more easily and the ability to swim laps,.
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7B/8A
I really want to do this as well someday. I love being in water but didn't like the idea of having a traditional pool with all the maintenance and especially all the chemicals. YUCK! When I saw the natural swimming ponds/pools I loved the idea. You get to have a swimming pool and have it be helpful to nature and not harmful. I saw one where they used rock gabions along the side to form the sallow area for the plants that help to filter the water. I can't remember how they made them exactly. I don't think they used metal wire. Because it seems like the metal cage would rust in the water over time I think they used wood post with wood slats cut from trees on their property. to hold them in. I think they already had enough large rocks on their property to do this. But you could always buy them. I would NOT use pressure treated wood even though some suggest that. You are just putting toxic chemicals in the place you want to swim and have plants maybe even fish if you want them. I know they did put some kind of pumping system in to keep the water circulating. But if your is spring fed and is clean water maybe you wouldn't have to. Not sure about that. Have you checked out https://www.totalhabitat.com they have plans you can look at.
I hope you can get it done. Let us know how it goes.
I would use gabions made of erosion netting temporarily held in place by posts (after filled it doesn't matter if they rot). Very thick plastic, should last decades submerged. Anchor underground on real soil with a buried rock as a soil anchor.
Keep livestock off the gabions and they will last for an awful long time. Does require a bunch of rocks, and there will still be a sediment issue in the center.
Standing on the shoulders of giants. Giants with dirt under their nails