Natural swimming pool and Sustainable Development.

Tomorrow’s pool should be 100% environmentally friendly. Without the presence of chlorine and of any chemical product, this breakthrough is partly a reality. Few people, but also rare communities have already adopted this green technology. Thus, what are exactly the pros and cons of biological pools ? 

Clear_Water_Revival_Natural_Pool - copieCopyright: http://en.

  • The natural pool : an ecological and sustainable system.

Certainly, chlorine is the best solution to make pools accessible to the greatest number while respecting hygienic conditions, but chlorinated pools are not sustainable. A chlorinated pool can reject up to three times its water volume in the sewers annually. Dealing with water crisis, an more and more pressing issue, humanity must come to a snap decision whereas we are still using this priceless ressource for our non vital needs.

Yet some solutions exist, either to save water either to use it through sustainable means. Nowadays, swimmer can enjoy pools that recycle water naturally or others water complexes, and benefit from clear water, completely free of chlorine since this product has been replaced by plants. The chlorine removal allows the reconstruction of a natural environment and the settlement of a biological balance which will purify water as well. In addition, plants necessary to aquatic animals (various types of insects, frogs and water snails) are able to thrive and then to witness the good quality of the water.

This concept appeared in Austria and Germany in the 80’s. Fort fifteen years, the phenomenon have spread to the most developed states in the world. Therefore, a constant bigger amount of individuals build green pools in their gardens. Some municipalities are following this new trend, such as the one of London in the UK, where the first public natural pool on the British soil had opened just last year . At present, there are a dozen similar public swimming pools in France to a hundred in Germany and Austria. Some of them are now found in the USA and in the Nordic Central European countries but those generally open during the summer season (only between two and four months in the year).

  • Plants rather than chlorine to purify water .

Nearly 19 varieties of aquatic plants (including rushes, reeds and water lilies) are required to clean the water of this kind of pools. These plants use the principle of photosynthesis to clean bathing water. Microorganisms into water (like hair or dead leaves) feed them which enable the release of oxygen and therefore the destruction of bacteria causing habitually diseases.


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But how natural pools do operate precisely ? The overflowing water from the swimming pool is initially filtered in a first tank by means of a conventional system (o remove the largest impurities). In a second part, water is transferred to another filter basin where plants therein eliminate the remaining microorganisms. The finally purified water is then reject into the swimming pool through a pump. Ecological swimming pools are a closed circuit, where the need to change water daily doesn’t exist anymore.

  • Constraints that limit their development.

We must recognize however that green pools are not without constraints. They require constant attention and maintenance. Indeed, the filter basins are no more than wetlands. Safety depends on the stability of the natural environment (plants and animals) contained in the pool. The purity of the water must be check up every day through several samples analyzed in a laboratory. If something unusual is noticed, the pool shuts instantaneously. The number of swimmers allowed to enter must be limited to avoid any pollution risk. This daily numerus clausus makes this type of facility incompatible with the will to ensure a large entry capacity for the public. On top of that, the pool users must take a shower each time before a swim and sun cream should be used sparingly to maintain the clarity of the bathing water.

Do swimmers really feel a difference between a classical pool and an ecological one ? 
It seems that the absence of chlorine doesn’t irritate the swimmers’s eyes, which is particularly appreciated by children. Its typical smell has also disappeared. Pool users could almost have the impression to be in a pond instead of a real pool.

Despite this, ecological pools remain rare since their purchase price (between 30,000 and 100,000 depending on the size) is higher and that their upkeep is also way more fastidious than chlorinated pools. Yet, natural pools have many advantages that should enable them to quickly find their place on the sale market. However thanks to natural pools, water sport have henceforth enter in the era of sustainable development.

  • Sources:

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