Email tony@tglw.com.au
19 Orange Road
Darlington WA 6070

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Services - Consultation & Design  | Recreation Ponds | Plunge Ponds | Ecosystem Fish Ponds | Lakes & Dams | Streams & Waterfalls

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Recreation Swimming Ponds

Fed up with the red eyes and itchy skin that chlorine can cause? You’re not alone. So many people are now seeking chemical free alternatives. Swim ponds or natural pools, as some refer to them are a chemical free alternative delivering exceptional water quality as mother nature intended. Bathing in a natural swim pond can leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated, ready to take on your next venture. Swim ponds can be attributed to the likes of swimming in a creek or waterhole with plants and fish, all creating a natural balanced ecosystem.

How does a swim pond function?

Swim Ponds or Natural Pools mimic nature and utilise plants, rocks and gravel to biologically filter your water. Water is pumped up through a wetland filter and normally returned to the main pond usually by means of a waterfall, which creates oxygenation of the water. Plants in the system take up nutrient and help deliver vital oxygen to the environment where as rock and gravel create an immense surface area for good microscopic beneficial bacteria to colonise and break down waste nutrients into less harmful substances.

How much does a recreation swimming pond cost?

A good guide to starting budget for a recreation swimming pond is about $50K (+ fencing) for a 7 x 5m x 1.8 m deep pond fully installed including council permits. We use around 30 ton of rocks/boulders in a swimming pond this size.

We can build these in ANY size or shape though and every project is individually planned and quoted.

Can I convert my existing conventional pool to a natural pool?

In short, yes. There are a few options and a few ways to approach it.

With either a fibreglass or concrete pool shell we can build an upflow wetland filter pond outside the pool shell to return water to the pool by a stream or waterfall. In this setup your pool shell would generally remain unchanged. The wetland filter pond area m2 would be sized at 50% of your swim area m2. A wetland filter pond smaller than 30m2 generally costs around $1500 per m2 to build. So if your pool is 40m2 then a 20m2 wetland filter is required at a total cost of around $30k including the wetland filter pond itself, additional piping, new VSD energy efficient pool pumps etc.

In a concrete pool an internal conversion, where the wetland filter area is installed inside the existing pool shell is also possible. A separation wall would be built within the pool. The rule of 50% wetland filter area vs swimming area still applies. So the total area of the pool would be split 2/3 swimming area and 1/3 filter area. The m2 costs would be similar to the above for the wetland component plus the cost to build the internal dividing wall plus whatever pool surfacing treatments (tile, plaster etc). This is often a good approach in large concrete shell pools where you can afford to give up part of the existing swimming area in exchange for needing a smaller filter area.

Do swim ponds or natural pools need more maintenance than traditional pools?

No, natural pools or swim ponds generally require less maintenance than a traditional pool. There are still routine chores such as emptying the skimmer basket and just like a garden it will require periodical weeding. Regular removal of dead and decaying plant matter is an excellent way of exporting nutrient from the pond. Wetland filters do require an annual deep clean and it is advised to vacuum the gravel on the bottom annually as well. Our team can provide training on how to carry out this work or do it for you on an routine schedule.

Our projects are built using a combination of a small in-house construction  team with regular specialist subcontractors helping us out. All work, plans and permits are arranged and managed by Think Green Landscapes and Waterscapes.
A full range of complementary landscape design and construction services are also available to complete the garden around your pond project.


Diving down into the depths Darlington Recreation Pond


Lotus flower in Darlington natural swimming pond and
aviary mesh pool fence with Jarrah gate


The shallow 'beach' shelf and entry steps in Darlington swimpond
 

Long exposure waterfall photo


Top of constructed wetland filter on the slope above the swim pond

Constructed Wetland filtration diagram


Wetland under construction photo with
centipede and layer of Aquablox installed

The completed recreation swimming pond in Far North Queensland
We assisted with building this, learning so much from the
very experienced Waterscapes Australia team

Recreation swimming pond
under construction in
Far North Queensland

Slinging boulders for placement
in the recreation pond in Far North Queensland

Copyright Tony Green 2008