In Southern California a dip in the pool is as natural as getting up and taking a shower in the morning. However, given the recent historic drought that has plagued the state, a home pool filled with water isn’t the refreshing part of Southern California culture it used to be. With the state’s reservoirs running dangerously low, home owners with full pools face not only fines if they go over their home’s allotted water use, but also shame for not adhering to conservation initiatives.
Luxury home owners that are committed to keeping a water feature on their property but are still wanting to keep in line with conservation mandates are now turning to a more natural option for their homes. Instead of the backyard pool, the latest trend has been to build a swimming pond which is equally as refreshing to jump into but minimizes environmental impact and is less costly to keep up with.
Heading up many of these projects throughout California is Eco Solutions, an eco swimming pond engineering company that has been innovating the business with its natural solutions. Many of Eco Solutions’ projects mimic water flow as it occurs in springs, brooks and ponds in nature. Instead of chlorine pellets, natural filtration is used to keep water clean and inviting.
“Think of the pleasure of swimming in natural areas vs. coming out of a chlorinated pool and having your skin get dry,” said Eco Solutions CEO Dave Whitney in an interview with Bloomberg Business. “In the heart of the Wine Country, you want something natural like this.”
Benefits of Natural Swimming Ponds
Outdoor swimming ponds take a considerable amount of planning but have quite an array of benefits for the environment and for home owners’ pocketbooks. Unlike pools that require a mechanical filtration system and chemicals to keep it clean, natural ponds rely on the natural filtration from plants such as flowering rushes, water lilies and flag irises.
Approximately half of the pool is made deeper, usually 6.5-feet to 8-feet deep, for swimming while the other half is cordoned off and kept shallower. This shallow area is reserved primarily to house the water plants that will siphon nitrates out of the water and reduce the phosphate level which helps to control algae and keep the water clean.
The ponds are not heated like traditional pools, which cuts down on evaporation and water use while also saving home owners money on energy. According to Bloomberg, the average pool-owning American spends an average of $350 to $500 every year on chlorine and pool chemicals. Most of this is saved with the installation of a natural pond.
While the cost of the installation of a natural pond is about the same as a traditional pool, the addition of the shallow area for plant growth can increase the pool’s footprint and initial cost.
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