Swimming ponds

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Principles of swimming ponds:

Swim ponds have been featured in many magazines because 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 the 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.
  • Bring the swimmer closer to nature.
  • Encourages many species of wildlife creatures to colonise this new garden habitat.
  • Monitor children near deep water as the young are instinctively drawn to water.
  • Enables supervised children to see nature close up
  • 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. Formal 'swimming pools'  look like a separate, functional part of the garden.
  • Can be a safety hazard for children.

Constructing a swimming pond:

  • Usually built by specialist swimming pond contractors.
  • Create a deep area for swimming (1.8m/6ft - 2.4m/8ft deep).
  • Create a separate area for the plants of a shallower depth - called a 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 gravel 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. Use submerged oxygenator plants, waterlilies, floating plants, shallow marginals, deep marginals, bog and waterside species.

  • Use both indigenous Native plants that grow vigorously and include Non-Native ornamental varieties.
  • Non-Natives will increase the range of colour and flower type and extend the season of interest.
  • They also lengthen the period of active nutrient usage in the planted regeneration zone.
  • Aim for 6-9 plants per m2 of shallow shelf planting area to start with.
  • Add 1 waterlily at a deeper depth of planting every 2m of shelf length. 
  • Have a mix of upright and rafting plants growing on the shelf area
  • Use more uprights than rafting plants as waterlilies will add to the rafting effect of foliage in the water.

The shelf upright plants favoured for a swimming pond are:

Plants to grow as horizontal spreaders:

We have created a Pond Planting Scheme for Swimming Ponds:

  • Containing a balanced selection of good filtration plants chosen by us for swimming ponds.
  • The scheme is based on a 10m2 planting area.
  • Please feel free to email or call us for a personalised quote.