David Pagan Butler has made films for the BBC on Natural Swimming Pools. Featured in the current (Winter 2010).
This pool is about 180m2 in total. The central swimming area is 4.5m x11.5m and 2.2m deep. It took me a couple of years of weekends and days off to complete and cost around 6000GBP.
Over the past five years, building my own pools and meeting experts on Natural Swimming Pools, I have re-thought the processes needed to create hygienic swimming water and I have come up with a system completely geared to fellow DIY pond builders. I try to minimize resources, incorporating reclaimed materials and I even make filters from reused household objects and domestic plumbing. In addition, my pools use a fraction of the electrical energy most Natural Swimming Pools require to maintain them. All of this is achieved without compromising healthy water. The water was recently tested and shown to be of drinking water quality. And of course, these pools have been designed to benefit wildlife - they are a nature reserve you can swim in! I hope by showing you how I've done it, you will be inspired to start digging for yourself.
|A concrete block wall defines the swimming area. The wall is 1.1m high and floor of the swimming zone is 2.3m below ground level. Around the swimming zone, the earth has been compacted and smoothed to form a basin shape. Thiswill become the planted zone.|
|The (white) fleece underliner protects the liner from small sharp stones. The liner has been unrolled ready to pull across the pool.|
|The liner is pulled roughly in place.|
|The liner is folded smooth in the swimming zone. Geotextile fleece is laid over the outer area and is retained by the start of the sandbag wall.|
|Sandy subsoil covers the overlining for the planted zone. (Actually I have skipped quite a lot of detail here. Drainage pipes have been laid within a layer of gravel under the sand layer.)|
|In the winter the pool fills up with rainwater.|
|An area of gravel creates a beach for access to the pool. A wooden jetty has been built for diving into the swimming zone and some steps for a gentle introduction to the shallows. Plants are flourishing and the water is clear.|