My Way of Building a Natural Swimming Pool

Natural Swimming Pools (NSP’s) or Swim Ponds have become a phenomenon across much of Western Europe and Australia. Dozens of companies are actively promoting this hybrid form of a swimming pool and public enthusiasm for NSP’s is increasing every year.

In Europe, this technology has been proven and is in wide use, yet, in America, the popularity of these chemical free pools is just catching on. Our company; Expanding Horizons has developed a hybrid version of the Swim Pond that differs from the normal European model in various ways.

Firstly, in the European model, the pools are generally constructed 9′ or more deep so that the decomposing organic waste may settle in water too deep to stand in and eventually removed by a service (generally once every three years). Our pools have a more conventional looking swim zone anywhere between 4′ and 6′ deep depending on the needs of the client. We include a pool-sweep (or vacuum) to aide in the goal of having a pristine swimming experience. Generally, we separate the regeneration zone from the swim zone to help keep the swim zone clean.

This project is on a six acre horse ranch called  Sagewalk Ranch next to the White Mountains about 30 miles north of Bishop, CA. in a hmlet called Hammil Valley. Although not pictured, we also created a Labyrinth and installed a Yurt on this Ranch as well.

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After laying out the pool  with the owners by painting it on the ground, we excavate our own swimming pools in house.
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The rough pool has been excavated and next we will fine-grade it and remove all rock and debris.
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After the hole has been fine graded, depressions are added for piping and then the bottom is covered with a geo-textile fabric to protect the liner.
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The Liner is installed, plumbing added and then covered with poultry netting. Around the edges where we will be adding boulders, we cover the liner with another layer of the geo-textile membrane.
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This photo shows most of the perimeter rock installed with the Beach Entry in the foreground.
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Installing the Skimmer
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Beginning to pump the colored concrete that will be the finish of the interior of the Swim Zone.
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Smoothing out the Concrete.
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Plaster Trowels are used to smooth out and finish the concrete.
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After the concrete cures, I add highlights with other colors to create depth and interest in the finish. I do the painting and sealing of the interior barefoot, in the process they become well colored.
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Overview before we strip the plastic and add water.
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Just filled.
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Here we are building a long stream that connects the Regeneration Zone (seen in the background) with the Swim zone.
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The Stream is mostly completed and the regeneration zone has been filled with water, it is ready for plants.
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As we start planting it with Marginals collected from local streams and ponds, one of the Ranch dogs checks it out…
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More plants.
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The Natural Pool includes a spa with a small cascade down into the pool.
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Concrete between the house and the pool has been installed. Beach entry looks good!
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Finished pool
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View from the house with the Spa in the foreground.
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The Regeneration Zone is starting to grow in.
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Sierras in the background
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Stream with bridge and Regeneration Zone in the background.
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View of the Spa and stream into the pool.
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Aerial View of the Ranch today.

 

 

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