Our Natural Swimming Pond Build: In The Beginning…

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From this …


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To this …


So, what possesses a woman with a three, four and six year old to decide to build a natural swimming pond? Well believe it or not, it was a picture on The Owner Builder Network Facebook page that started the ball rolling.

Two of our children have disabilities and “swimming” a.k.a. playing with water, is about the only activity that all three girls love.  When they were little, we had the clam shell plastic pool and sand pit combo. Then we upgraded to the blow up wading pool.  Then we tried a larger inflatable plastic above ground pool – which was disastrous and a topic best left untouched.

We had previously priced traditional above ground and in-ground pools. They were either beyond our budget or unsuitable for our environment, so we put the whole idea into the ‘too hard basket’ and headed to the nearest beach (a two hour round trip).

And then came “that image” on Facebook.  I called hubby over to the computer and said something like “I want one of those”. He said how nice it looked (aesthetics are critical when it comes to my husband) and told me to investigate.

Well, that was the first challenge.  There are pictures available; there are even explanations of how to do it; but when it comes down to the nitty gritty details we wanted, they were few and far between.

To say we had people around us who were sceptical that it would work is an understatement! But, being stubborn by nature, they only made me more determined to make it happen.

I want to make a few things clear from the outset.  We live in a sub-tropical regional/rural area of Australia. Even in the dead of winter, our evening temperatures rarely fall below 0 degrees C, and until this year (when we have had record temperatures), our hottest summer days rarely went over 40 degrees C.  If you live in a similar climate, then the information I provide will give you a great swimming pond.  However, it is far more likely that the information I provide will act as a guide only.  You’ll need to do some research on your local environment to tweak your pond to suit your conditions.

The second thing I probably need to say, is that I’m very honest.  If you choose to follow our journey (and I hope you will), there are nearly as many “how not to” points as there are “how to” points.  There are plenty of tears, tantrums and laughs in our lives, and “The Swimming Pond Project” is no different.

In my next post I’ll cover the old refrain of ‘location, location, location’.  I hope you’ll join me.  In the meantime, tell me whether you have considered building a natural swimming pond.  Did you even know such a thing was possible?

Part 2:   Location, Location, Location…


This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Wow! I would love to do this! Own a small business, which includes a B&B on Mid North Coast of NSW (similar climate to what you describe) on a rural property. Check out Artisans on the hill on Google! Will follow your journey and instructions closely!

  2. Avatar
    Cathy Rouse

    I have been gazing longingly at photos of swimming ponds for a few years now. I love to swim, but I but hate chlorinated pools. I live in Decatur GA, USA- an hour away from the nearest lake or river, and a minimum of five hours from the ocean. Our small house sits on a spacious half-acre lot and I would love to put in a pond someday. Your photos and blog are very encouraging- I can’t wait to read the next installment!

  3. Avatar

    Thanks Cathy. 🙂

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    Jody Drummond

    I don’t swim but I’d still love to have something like this in my backyard! It would be a beautiful place just to hang around and dip my toes in on a hot summer day!

  5. Avatar

    Thanks Christine. 🙂

  6. Avatar

    I don’t swim unless it is really hot either Jody, but just having water close by is lovely.

  7. Avatar
    nasa piri

    And from Rhodes, Greece I should admit that I admired your determination. Knowing about these pools for quite sometime it never crossed my mind that a woman somewhere would dare to DIY! THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION!

  8. Avatar
    Peter and Claire Wilkings

    Living in the land of chlorinated mosaic pools (Andalusia, Spain), I’d love to do something like this however our temps go from a possible -10 in the winter (nighttime) to up to 50 in the summer with lots of heavy rain, so lots of research required I think. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs. Claire.

  9. Avatar

    Thanks Claire. That is a big temperature range, but keep reading as I hope I can at least save you some of the generic research we had to do. 🙂

  10. Avatar

    Oh yes. I dared to DIY and I’m glad I did. 🙂

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