How to Build a Swim Pond | Ask the experts
Swim ponds have seen a real boom in popularity over the past few years, with many opting for a natural swimming area over a standard pool or pond. These natural pools can be any custom size, shape or style so they are an incredibly versatile option for your clients. To get a better understanding of how these ponds are constructed, José Lopez, Director at Poseidon Solutions Ltd, has kindly answered a few questions for us, about his own experience with building these natural spaces...
What is the rough build time of a swim pond?
On average, the construction phase takes 8-10 weeks from start to finish for a natural swimming pond of around 100-150m2 surface area.
Can you still have fish stock in a swim pond?
We avoid fish in our swimming ponds, due to the nutrients they add from their waste. However, it is possible for waterfowl to introduce small species such as stickleback. The fish eggs stick to the birds and are relocated in this way. This usually only happens when a swimming pond is located very near rivers and lakes but even then, it is rare.
Do you need to use different products when building a swim pond compared to a regular pond?
Products are similar however they are used in a slightly different way. For instance, we tend to use 12V pumps over mains pumps, though if mains are used it needs to be sited at least 2m away from any body of water.
Can swim ponds be treated with treatments such as cloverleaf?
There are many different flocculants on the market, however using them very rarely fixes the issue. In our experience, if used, you must remove the sediment created by the use of a flocculent to stop it from decomposing and causing a nutrient spike which restarts the issue. The simple answer is yes; however, you have to ask why you are having to use this in the first place.
What is the rough size to cost ratio on a swim pond?
A basic swimming pond excavated to profile and at a size between 100-150m2 would be approximately about 70k - 80k. This would be subject to additional features such as waterfalls, decking, diving platforms etc. However, more formal designs can cost a bit more due to materials and installation time.
What are the most common questions you get from a customer when quoting?
There are quite a few, but I suppose the top two are:
Q: Can you have heating?
A: Yes, you can have heating, however this generally works with a more formal design and should always include a pool cover as around 80% of heat loss is through the surface of the water. Heating can be tricky though and should never really exceed temperatures of 25°C unnaturally. Organisms in living water are affected/killed as they pass through any type of heat exchanger opening the door to unwelcome bacteria. So, it is important to get it right.
Q: Do I have to go swimming with the frogs?
A: Not if you don't want to. In a formal design, the filtration system and the swimming area can be separated. Frogs, newts and invertebrates like the cover of the Aquatic plants within the filtration zones and generally stay out of the swimming areas. And if a cover is installed, this will significantly reduce the chances of having to swim with frogs.
What is the rough size of regeneration zones, compared to an actual swim pond area?
In most cases, it is a 50/50 split. However, it is possible to have the regeneration/filtration zone designed in a way to reduce it to around 25%, providing a 25/75 split.
Thank you to José for taking the time to answer these questions for us!
Do you have any other swim pond questions that you want answered? At Landscapeplus, we can help you specify and talk you through any products that you may need for an upcoming build. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch and we will be happy to talk through any future projects with you.
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