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Thread: Natural Swimming Pool Photo Gallery

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    Default Natural Swimming Pool Photo Gallery

    I'm getting tired of all the "natural" pool stuff that we end up answering questions about.

    So I thought I'd create this thread to show folks that there ARE such things as real natural pools, but that they don't involve devices from "EcoSmarte" or "Eco-matic" or "Caribbean Clearwater", or chemicals from "ChlorFree" or "PristineBlue". (Somebody needs to give those guys a lesson in basic chemistry: ozone, electrolytically generated copper and silver ions, copper sulfate blends, and SWCGs are ALL non-natural technology driven -- even bad technology is STILL not Mother Nature -- chemicals or chemical producers!)

    And -- for the record -- I have always thought, and said, that copper/silver ionization seemed to make sense to me, for recirculating bodies of water, like fountains, that didn't have people and people goo in them, but did need to stay algae and bacteria free.

    But, none of those devices, chemicals, technologies, or what-not are part of true natural pools. So I thought I'd create a thread, and ultimately some web pages to show you what a true natural pool is.

    The genuine 'natural' pools are NOT sanitized or disinfected, but are heavily filtered and mostly clean, in the same way that a beaver-free mountain stream is mostly clean. Some, but not all, do use UV lamps on water returning to the swimming area. Many, but not all, involve a sort of a swamp on one side of the pool, that cleans up pool water the same way real swamps clean up river water. I think all involve some sort of bio-reactor where 'good' bacteria are encouraged to grow, and digest various pool and people 'goo', and get rid of 'bad' bacteria.

    There was a pretty good article in the NY Times a few years ago, on this topic. It's still available here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/05/ga...pagewanted=all

    And, the wikipedia article is not bad:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_pool

    The two most interesting sites I found, for natural pool vendors were these:
    http://www.clear-water-revival.com/, in England
    http://www.biotop-natural-pool.com based in Germany, but with a US distributor. The first three pictures below are all from their site.

    I snarfed pictures from their websites, to use in this thread. I don't have permission, but I'm guessing they won't mind, since I'm 'promoting' their products. Both companies seem to have produced some amazingly beautiful pools.

    But . . . natural pools are a different beast. Beautiful or not, they tend to be green, rather high maintenance, and VERY expensive. For a variety of reasons, they are not for everyone. And, I'd be VERY reluctant to get into a public natural pool, if anyone else was there. Apparently, there are some in Germany. But I haven't seen any research that looks at whether they offer a safe way to swim, when the guy next to me may be a carrier for something I really, really don't want. It might only be a norovirus (makes you leak at both ends), but some forms of hepatitis and worse can be transmitted via water . . . and I want some good old chlorine, and plenty of it, between me and the next guy, when I'm in a public pool!

    Still, if I had an unlimited budget, and could afford a good pool man -- who was NOT me -- I'd definitely look closely at one of these pools for my personal use! My wife and younger son thought so, too. But when he saw the third picture below, my son noted that it looked like it was in an area where, like Vermont, the seasons are winter, July, and August. Maybe there's staff at that house or castle, that would serve me morning coffee by the pool. I think I'd enjoy that. I might even be able to afford Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, if I owned that h-astle and pool. Sitting by a pool like that at 7am, with a cup and a small pot of Blue Mountain coffee . . . and a book NOT about pools -- I think I'd enjoy that!

    I did have to laugh at an headline I found in a Hanley Woods homebuilder's trade rag (http://www.customhomeonline.com/gree...next-wave.aspx). Here's the quote that cracked me up: "The newest pools are awash in bacteria-eating microbes, not chlorine." Put into a little more clearly, that sentence reads, "The newest pools are awash in bacteria-eating bacteria, not chlorine.".

    Yep, folks, we're getting rid of all the bacteria, by adding bazillions more bacteria! Of course the added bacteria, are better than the other bacteria. I mean, the bacteria added by people are better than the . . . Wait, I mean the bacteria added by the pool builder people are better than the bacteria added by the swimming in the water people.

    Uhm, really.

    Anyhow, here are some very cool pics from Bio-Top:







    More later . . .
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 04-27-2014 at 09:05 PM. Reason: fix title

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    Default Re: Natural Pools Gallery

    my biggest concern with a "natural pool" would be the "brain eating amoeba", Naegleria fowleri, that exists in warm bodies of water such are found in Florida, Texas, and other subtroipcal to tropical areas. It has also been found in unchlorinated swimming pools!

    Most of the cases in the US reported to the CDC have occurred in southern states like Florida, Texas and Louisiana and most have occurred by people swimming in lakes but there is a case in Orlando where a young man died after contracting it at a Water Park Orlando Watersports Complex)!

    Natural pools depend on the same types of bacterial and plant based biopurification processes that lakes do so I would be very cautious about their REAL safety!
    Retired pool store and commercial pool maintenance guy.

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    Default Re: Natural Pools Gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear View Post
    my biggest concern with a "natural pool" would be the "brain eating amoeba", Naegleria fowleri, that exists in warm bodies of water such are found in Florida, Texas, and other subtroipcal to tropical areas. It has also been found in unchlorinated swimming pools!

    Most of the cases in the US reported to the CDC have occurred in southern states like Florida, Texas and Louisiana and most have occurred by people swimming in lakes but there is a case in Orlando where a young man died after contracting it at a Water Park Orlando Watersports Complex)!

    Natural pools depend on the same types of bacterial and plant based biopurification processes that lakes do so I would be very cautious about their REAL safety!

    The Wikipedia article pooldoc linked discussed the importance of keeping a natural pool temp below 82f in order for the good bacteria to stay on top of the bad ones. I bet in FL, it's pretty hard to keep a natural pool below 82f in summer. I know my chlorine pool gets into the 90's on it's own... Heck, I saw 78f (water temp) last week and it's still February!

    I'm guessing that's part of the reason they are so much more popular in EU.
    rectangle 11.5K gal IG concrete pool;; 125sf cartridge filter; 2hp 1 speed pump; K-2006, k-1766; PF:10

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    Default Re: Natural Swimming Pool Photo Gallery

    I think the risk of the natural pools would be very close to the risk of high quality natural waters in that climate. And, the risk of those waters is not zero. Obviously, these pools are NOT sanitized.

    But, a much greater risk than Naegleria would be person to person transmission of things like various viral infections, including hepatitis. Actually, in collecting research articles for SwimmingPoolResearch.com, I have discovered that spa or pool transmission of hepatitis, herpes and HIV have apparently never been ruled out. So, in using a natural pool, my biggest concern would be the health of those I was swimming with.

    It makes me wonder how natural public pools could be justified, for high density bather loads. I have NOT seen any research on pathogens present in such pools, which does NOT reassure me.

    Kelemvor, the pools I found seemed to be mostly in the UK or northern Europe, so they aren't dealing with South Beach or Louisiana-like climates. Before I'd put one in Florida, I'd want to see a few OTHER PEOPLE'S natural pools that had been operated successfully for 5+ years.

    But . . . those those pools, and some others I'm going to post, are really beautiful. So . . . if it was just me and my wife, we'd love them!
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 03-08-2012 at 09:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Natural Pools Gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolDoc View Post
    But . . . those those pools, and some others I'm going to post, are really beautiful. So . . . if it was just me and my wife, we'd love them!
    The ones you've posted so far are absolutely stunning! Type of thing I'd expect to see on "lifestyles of the rich and famous".
    rectangle 11.5K gal IG concrete pool;; 125sf cartridge filter; 2hp 1 speed pump; K-2006, k-1766; PF:10

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    Default Re: Natural Swimming Pool Photo Gallery

    Here are a few more, all from Bio-Top ( http://www.biotop-natural-pool.com ) I think. Kelemvor, notice the evergreens in the backgrounds of several -- it's not Miami, for sure!







    Last edited by PoolDoc; 03-08-2012 at 09:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Natural Swimming Pool Gallery

    And, just for comparison, here's Susan's and my preferred local natural pool:



    But, since it takes a boat, followed by a 1 mile hike up a very rocky stream bed to reach, it's a little less convenient than the others. But, Kelemvor, this particular pool does have the benefit of being available to those who are neither famous nor rich, like Susan and I!
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 03-07-2012 at 06:46 AM. Reason: fix title

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    Default Re: Natural Pools Gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by Watermom View Post
    You forgot the part about ......... along the trails where the snakes and spiders are and other critters are!
    Watermom, you know me better than that: for me, those things are FEATURES, not problems. Even Susan finds them interesting, as long as they aren't venomous snakes, and as long as the spiders aren't ON her. (She'll even make an exception to that, if the spiders are jumping spiders!)

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    Default Re: Natural Pools Gallery

    I dunno--some of the pics you've posted are absolutely beautiful--but if they were down here they'd also be full of snakes and bullfrogs.....I have a pool in order to NOT have to guess what I'm swimming with!!

    Jan

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