Best natural swimming pool designs

Ned Kampmann

Summer wouldn’t be summer without a swimming pool, but those chemicals that you used when building your pool could present a real threat. Nowadays, eco-conscious and design-savvy householders are increasingly often using non-standard means of filtering their swimming pool water: living plants. Water plants and natural microorganisms not only clean the water, but also contribute to the green, natural look of a cottage, garden or plot. Yes, natural swimming pools need more careful planning than their regular counterparts, but it is possible to build a self-sufficient pool or modify an existing pool to make it more environmentally friendly. Besides the fact that they are cheaper to maintain, natural pools have an extra advantage: they do not need to be shut down for the winter. In actual fact, if the temperature falls low enough, your natural pool can be used as a skating rink.

Naturalness and usability of organic swimming pools

With ornate tiles and with unnaturally blue water, an artificial pool may look attractive, but still contrasts sharply with a natural green background. In this water saturated with chlorine and filtered every second it is impossible to swim with your eyes open and what is more, it would be impossible to plant it with ornamental foliage.

Natural-looking pools completely eliminate the need to use chemicals, do not stand out from a natural background, and contain water purified only by natural processes. The last factor is very important especially for people with sensitive skin and children.

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Organic swimming pool design DIY

How does an organic swimming pool work?

The novelty became popular overnight, and now many contractors offer as a service natural swimming pool construction or modification of a regular one. How is it made and what are the features that allow you to get away from expensive and questionable chemicals? A small lake is in no way worse than having a regular pool and a chemical filter, and of course looks more natural among the trees and shrubs, and has its own ecosystem to cope with the cleaning.

The pool is divided into two zones:

  • the shallow area where the plants are located and where regeneration is carried out
  • the deep area for swimming

Shallow area

In the shallow area is the regenerative zone planted with aquatic vegetation, which is the basis of the ecological pool filter. This part provides the main esthetic quality. Thе structural part consists of waterproofing and geotextiles, preventing the water from entering the ground, on top of which is laid the ground for planting, usually stones or pebbles.

Thanks to this structure in an artificial pond, all the natural processes take place by which the balance is biological supported, that is, the principle is similar to that in lakes. In an organic pool the water circulates due to the temperature difference, which promotes the uniform passage of water through the biofilter. All water contaminants are absorbed by plants, and the water is enriched with nutrients.

Deep zone

The pool area itself is a standard pool bowl. If you have a pool filtered by chemicals, you can build this area just on the basis of its bowl. If not, you will have to build one. A standard and expensive procedure can be used, that is, concreting and tiling, or there is a cheaper option – insulating film.

Thus, it should not adhere to a strictly rectangular shape. You need to show imagination and dig a pit of such form and dimensions that first and foremost suit the owner. A natural color is certainly not blue, as in artificial pools, but a rich dark green, olive or sand, depending on the selected finishing material.

Find out how to build a natural pool DIY

Beautiful natural looking pools

Natural pool design

What differentiates a natural swimming pool from a traditional one? The main contrast lies in the artificial and natural methods of swimming pool filtration. This doesn’t mean swimming in a natural pool will leave you with a mouth full of seaweed. On the contrary, aqua plants and other biological agents support the natural water quality, resulting in the swimmer enjoying the absence of chlorine. What’s more, you will be located in the swimming area of the pool, while flora will be concentrated in the so-called regeneration area – near the swimming pool area or completely separate in another pool.

Traditional swimming pools


If you are not happy with the idea of mixing plants and a swimming pool, this modern version might be more to your liking. The swimming zone and the regeneration area are in different pools. The result is a suburban swimming pool, which at first glance has quite a traditional look.

An organic swimming pool in a rustic style

Natural looking pools in a rustic style

Full integration of this natural swimming pool with the surrounding field and a perfectly complementing rustic landscape gives it the look of a real village pond.

A natural swimming pool with traditional conversion

Pool that looks like a pond

Adding plants in the shallow water along the perimeter of the existing suburban pool makes it a more environmentally friendly and more attractive place. Having made these changes, these homeowners were able to eliminate a number of expenses from their holiday budget, including the electricity required for operating the filtration system. It is also a pool that looks like a pond.

A super simple organic swimming pool design

Despite its compact size, this natural pool is central to a well-planned yard and provides plenty of room for swimming, without overloading its manicured surroundings.

A sleek modern organic swimming pool design

Sleek and Modern natural pool designs

This natural pool is positively chic and modern. A separate regeneration zone is responsible for maintaining the water quality, resulting in a breathtaking swimming area with invitingly clean lines and stunning sculptural qualities.

Two pools in one

Two natural pools in one

When viewed from a distance, it is difficult to understand where the separation between the swimming pool and the regeneration area is in this natural pool. However, as you approach, concrete steps let you know and a few carefully placed pillows outside guide you right into the pool.

A big natural pond

Extensive landscaping completely masks the artificial roots of this natural swimming pool. Its rocky edges contribute to the movement of water, but at the same time require the experience of the swimmer. Building a pool of this scale is very expensive and it’s probably impossible to call it a suburban swimming pool. This work of art is for serious mansions.

Upward Lighting

The pool light going upward

Why not borrow what we suggested for designing traditional pools, namely underwater lights? In this natural pool is a row of lights creating a cozy glow and inviting their owners to take a swim in the pool after dark.

A swimming pool in a tropical paradise

Swimming pool in a tropical Paradise

Palm trees, palm huts, stone paths and bridge – indeed, with the right touches, you can fool yourself into thinking that you are in an exotic paradise every time you walk into your yard. Grab a Coke and immerse yourself in this beautiful pool!

How can you clean a natural pool?

A net and skimmer

Let’s start with the basics and a special net. It collects leaves and debris floating on the surface of the water. There is also a similar mechanical device called a skimmer. Located in the pool, a skimmer sucks garbage out of the water using a pump. The owners only have to dispose of it from the receiving basket.

Underwater vacuum cleaners

An automatic underwater vacuum cleaner works in almost exactly the same way and makes it easy to clean a plastic or concrete pool after the winter or at the end of the season. A cleaner weights about 40 lbs. and independently moves along the bottom of the pool. Special brushes raise accumulated dirt from the bottom, which is carried along with water and filtered through the net. Special nozzles clean the algae from the internal surfaces of the reservoir. Depending on the selected mode, the underwater cleaner operates from 2 to 6 hours.

A hand-operated underwater vacuum cleaner

Underwater hand vacuum cleaner

A pool near a house can be cleaned with a hand cleaner. It is moved along the bottom of the pool by means of a telescopic rod. Water with debris passes through the filter mounted on the side of the pool, and through the nozzle is then returned. An intermediate option between a scuba automatic and manual vacuum device is operation in semi-automatic mode.

Pool filters

Natural pool filter system

Owners often ask how to clean algal bloom from their pools. In addition to purely mechanical methods, there exist filter substances which are used for water disinfection. They are based on different principles.

In mechanical filters, water is passed through a container filled with a porous material (foam rubber, silica sand or gravel), which is placed in the reservoir. Mechanically cleaning the water in the pool is cheap and simple. The owners only have to extract the exhaust filter material from the container, and this can be washed and re-used.

Kids pool party

For artificial pools in suburban areas there are also chemical filters, which neutralize harmful bacteria living in the water.

The most modern methods of cleaning pool water use UV and biological filters. The first is able to kill harmful bacteria living in the water with ultraviolet radiation. The latter not only decomposes green and blue algae and other organic matter, but also purifies the water and saturates it with oxygen.

With specialized equipment and filters to care for your pool, you will always be able to keep it in perfect condition.

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