A natural pool with crystal clear water right by the house? With swimming ponds, this dream can also be realized in small gardens. The advantage: it is less complex to maintain than a classic pool. Everything you need to know about swimming pond construction.
A pool inspires on hot summer days, well-designed swimming ponds all year round. As a natural alternative, swimming ponds combine the look of a garden pond with the refreshing coolness of the swimming pool. And that without any chemicals and without loud pumping noises. Instead, swimming ponds blend harmoniously into the environment throughout the seasons, enrich the garden with its water surface and supplement it with aquatic plants. Proximity to nature and practical use are therefore perfectly combined with swimming ponds.
Garden pond for swimming – nature as a role model
If you create a swimming pond in your own garden, you can bring home a real lake with a small ecosystem. As with the great role model, nature also cleans the water here. For this purpose, swimming ponds are divided into two zones. One area is intended solely for bathing, the other is the clarification zone – or more precisely, the regeneration zone in the form of a bank area. Here the water is shallower and the various aquatic plants such as reeds, cattails and water lilies can absorb undisturbed excess nutrients, grow and clean the water naturally. Useful microbes help, while chlorine, ozone and other chemical additives stay outside. The water of a swimming pond does not burn your eyes and is pleasantly soft.
Swimming pond: planning and construction
The following applies when creating a swimming pond: At least 50 to 60 square meters of free garden space should be available for functioning swimming ponds. Larger ponds with 100 or even 300 square meters are of course also possible. Larger variants have proven to be more stable in swimming pond construction and in practice – after all, the water is only cleaned by the self-regulating ecosystem with its aquatic plants. Larger and often deeper ponds stay cooler in summer and do not heat up as quickly. Disturbing algae therefore hardly form. Whether small or large – every pond should have a minimum depth of 2 meters – sediments from the bottom are then not whirled up so easily when swimming.
A natural pool requires less space. It also works without chlorine and chemical additives. Instead of plants, special filters with pumps take care of cleaning – this saves space. Disadvantage: Care and maintenance of the technology significantly exceed the effort and running costs of an intact swimming pond.
Location and design of a swimming pond
In addition to the size, the location of swimming ponds is also important. If the swimming pond were in the blazing sun all day, algae could multiply explosively in the heated water. A place directly at the house makes more sense, as the pond is at least partially in the shade in the hot midday hours. However, trees should not be by the pond. Their leaves would fall into the lake in the fall and contaminate it. Particularly nice when building a swimming pond: erect the terrace as a bathing jetty directly at the swimming pond or create the swimming pond so that it is always in view from the living room or dining area. If you have a clear pool with a geometric floor plan in mind, you can use ready-made swimming ponds in a set or use natural stones or masonry as a pond edging. A natural appearance is created by the curved course of the riparian zone. The plants in the regeneration zone create a smooth transition between the pond and the garden. For such an organic shape, a flexible pond liner is often used instead of solid building materials. Pond sheeting can be easily attached in strips above the bottom of the excavated lake and is then welded to one another so that it is waterproof. Dark pond liners are particularly suitable as pond fixings. They give the impression of deep water, so that even shallow swimming ponds have the character of a large body of water.
Maintenance of swimming ponds
The water should be kept as low in nutrients as possible, since only water that is low in nutrients remains clear. The pond needs maintenance, especially in autumn. Falling leaves and dead parts of aquatic plants can inadvertently fertilize the water or remove oxygen during rotting, which in turn damages the important microorganisms. For example, the regeneration zone should be regularly cleared of dead aquatic plants and parts of plants. Nets have proven to be a useful aid against falling leaves. They are simply stretched across the water surface in autumn.
Planning and creating swimming ponds – in a nutshell
1. Space requirement: at least 50-60 sqm
2. Bathing zone and regeneration area in a ratio of 50:50
3. Depth: at least 2 meters
4. Keep water low in nutrients – remove leaves and plant residues. 5. 5. No fish!
6. At noon the swimming pond should be in the shade
7. Cost: $ 10,000 minimum
8. Only hire experienced companies to invest: Costs can be reduced through personal contribution.
9. Create the ideal time for a swimming pond: autumn. The garden will then not be blocked in the most beautiful months of the year and the pond system can work in until the next summer.
10. Building permit: Different requirements depending on the state and pond size. Ask the responsible municipality.
Fish in the swimming pond?
Fish do not belong in a swimming pond – even if the idea may seem attractive at first. A koi pond and a swimming pond are simply not compatible. The food of the fish and their excretions would fertilize the water too much and would quickly tip the small ecosystem. Once this happens, costs for the necessary renovation arise.
Swimming pond: construction costs
A swimming pond is definitely one of the larger projects that can be realized in the home garden. Usually, depending on the size, 150 to 600 dollars per square meter are expected – larger swimming ponds are cheaper in the square meter price, but cost more in total. Several tens of thousands of euros can quickly come together.
A tip: A good part of the construction sum can be saved if you take over the excavation of the pond yourself. The subsequent lining with pond liner, however, belongs in professional hands, since any mistakes can lead to high follow-up costs. For this reason, it is advisable to hire a garden and landscape architect who is familiar with the creation of swimming ponds right from the start. Alternatively, a horticultural company experienced with swimming ponds would be a good partner on site.