Swimming ponds

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Principles of swimming ponds

These have been featured in magazines recently baecause of the Kings Cross swimming pond development.

Swimming ponds in a garden setting:

  • Use plants to keep the water clear
  • Have at least 50% of your total water area as a planted zone
  • Create bacterial conditions in the planting area among the plant roots to help cleanse the water.
  • Encourage micro organisms like water fleas to thrive.
  • Do not use chemicals or chlorine
  • Brings the swimmer closer to nature
  • Encourages many species of wildlife creature to colonise this new garden habitat.
  • Exclude fish and ducks from your swimming pond. Both create high levels of nutrient and bring a risk of unhealthy impurities
  • Allow 'swimming ponds' to fit into the garden rather than looking like a separate, functional item in the garden
  • Can be a safety hazard for children. Monitor children near deep water as this is hazardous for the young who are instinctively drawn to water.
  • enables supervised children to see nature close up.

Constructing a swimming pond:

  • Usually built by specialist swimming pond contractors.
  • Create a deep area for swimming (at least 2.4m = 8ft deep) with one liner
  • Create a separate area for the plants of a shallower depth that has its own liner - called regeneration zone.
  • Separate the 2 areas by a barrier that allows the water to flow across the top of the barrier between the 2 areas. This barrier should not allow materials like soil to spill from the planting zone into the swimming zone.
  • Install a circulatory pump system to keep the water moving.
  • Include a biological filter unit.

Planting swimming ponds:

Densely plant with a range of aquatic plants - submerged oxygenators, waterlilies, floating plants, shallow marginals, deep marginals, bog and waterside species.

  • Use indigenous Native plants that grow vigorously and also include Non-Native ornamental varieties.
  • Non-Natives will increase the range of colour and flower type and extend the season of interest and the period of active nutrient usage in the regeneration zone.
  • Aim for at least 9 plants per m2 of planting area.

The shelf plants favoured for a swimming pond are:

British Native structural plants we suggest:

Non-Native structural plants:

Rafting plants: