Welcome to the world of natural swimming ponds!

If you ask Wikipedia, “A natural swimming pool or natural swimming pond (NSP) is a system consisting of a constructed body of water, where the water is contained by an isolating membrane or membranes, in which no chemicals or devices that disinfect or sterilize water are used, and all clarifying and purifying of the water is achieved through biological filters and plants rooted hydroponically in the system.”

So much nicer than the traditional pool
So much nicer than the traditional pool

Clear as mud?  In more simple terms, it is a chemical free swimming area, that uses (generally) a reed bed system to filter and clean the swimming water.

You can build one from scratch using a pond liner, a fibreglass pool, a hole lined with concrete blocks, railway sleepers or just about anything else you can think of.  You can retrofit an existing conventional pool and if you have really clay soil, simply dig a hole.

They are low maintenance, actually work (we promise) and can be a natural feature in almost any backyard.

No, they are not mosquito havens* and yes, there’s a big chance you’ll get a few frogs moving in – along with lots of gorgeous birds who will help keep the area pest free. In nature, there’s a simple equation – water equals life.  Your natural swimming pond is a paradise for you and a lot of the native fauna you may have even thought no longer existed in your area.

* Mosquitoes and NSP’s
Mosquitoes do not breed in moving water.  That’s why traditional swimming pools are not full of mosquito larvae.  It has nothing to do with the chlorine (or salt).

The water in a properly designed and constructed natural swimming pond is also constantly moving.  A small, low voltage, low flow pump ensures the water is constantly moving as it is filtered through the gravel and reed bed.  Mosquitoes need still, preferably stagnant water to breed – the exact opposite to a NSP environment.

How effective is the filtration?
The most common concern amongst those considering building a NSP is whether they are going to be swimming in contaminated water. If you have a few minutes to follow the below link, you will see how 100% natural filtration, is able to take all of the waste from a university campus and return it to the environment as crystal clear water. In fact, it’s a closed loop where the water ends up being returned to the taps and toilets from which it started. Nature has been doing this for billions of years. There is nothing new in the natural swimming pond concept 🙂


You can also find some excellent reference books on natural swimming ponds here.

Have you every considered building a natural swimming pond?  Did you even know they exist?

If you find the idea of building your own natural swimming pond appealing, why not follow Rebecca’s adventure as she did exactly that…

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Kayce

    It’s beautiful. Is there more information on how to build this and how to keep it up? Thanks!

  2. Jim

    Hi there, I love your beautiful pond, and your blog so far. Being a Queenslander I can’t help thinking about the dreaded cane toads and the havoc they cause in natural waterways. Have you had any problems/solutions regarding them?

  3. Rebecca

    We live south of the border so thankfully don’t have to deal with those nasty things. Leave it with me and I’ll ask a few people.

  4. Tammy

    Thanks for tip on mosquitos didn’t know that they needed still water.
    Looking good if that is your new pond

  5. Rebecca

    Glad you got something out of the blog Tammy.

  6. Rebecca

    Hi Jim,

    I have spoken to a fellow Queenslander who said:

    “Cane toads are an inevitable problem. However, like mosquitoes, they won’t lay their eggs in running water. The other very interesting thing is that when they do successfully have young, when those young leave the pond, they have a strange habit of sitting on the edge of the pond while ants devour them.

    Since toads are attracted to any water, it’s a magical opportunity to spend five minutes a night (just after dark) walking the edge of the pond picking them up and disposing of them (freeze them and then into the garbage bin).”

    Hope that helps. 🙂

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