It's funny how motivation makes things seem more doable. I've thought about natural swimming pool conversions before - I even blogged about it a long while back. The idea recurred to me during the native garden tour on the 12th June, at the Eurs garden - Mr Eurs sank an old hot tub, filled it, planted it, and just has a simple circulation pump to keep the water moving (that just looks like a leaky faucet!) and it's a lovely restful spot to sit and enjoy being.
Then yesterday, I was at a pool supply store to get the swimming pool water tested. The water chemistry is so far out of whack the people in the store just shook their heads at me, sadly and a little reproachfully.
I paid them nearly $300 for a supply of chlorine tablets, and a lot of sodium hydrogen carbonate to raise the alkalinity of the water, I went home to dump it into our pool and turn on the filtering system for several hours, with a joyless goal: dead, inert water. And at what cost to the environment?
We spend so much time vacuuming and brushing and chlorinating the pool - albeit ineffectively - and we actually have not been IN it at all this year.
But it could be so much more fun than this. It could be a natural pool, with a swimming zone down the middle and a shallow filtration area round the edge, full of interesting water plants, little fishes and other pond life of interest. Or we could construct additional pools for the filtering plants. We COULD do this all ourselves. And the water - they say - is clear and living and healthy.
I really love the idea of learning more about native California wetland and pond plants, and getting into the whole ecology of a natural pool.
It's a European trend that is catching on over here - you can Google to see quite a lot of hits.
Check out this short British video to see how lovely this could be:
I'm going to have to do some serious research on all this!