If you’re a Plant Life Balance buff, then you already know that plants are terrific at filtering out nasties from the air around us (you can read all about The Science here). Well, plants are pretty fantastic water cleaners too! A growing number of Australians are now using plants to filter their swimming pools – creating wild swimming oases in their own backyards.
Natural swimming pools, planted with reeds, water lilies and other aquatic plants, mimic nature to clean the water – no chemicals necessary.
According to a recent report by Choice, while chlorine sanitises conventional pools by killing literally everything (except swimmers), natural pools are often described as ‘alive’ since they’re literally teeming with life. Besides plants, the water is full of friendly bacteria and microscopic creatures called zooplankton. These all work to purify the water and keep algae at bay.
Natural pools don’t just look great; enthusiasts say the water feels incredible too.
Everyone who swims in a natural pool says, ‘Wow, what beautiful water,’
says Ralf Schmiel, co-founder of the International Organisation for Natural Bathing Waters.
Even though natural pools require more upfront cash for your splash than conventional chlorine above-ground or in-ground pools, according to Choice, their running costs tend to be lower. This is down to the absence of chemicals, and natural pools use smaller, more energy-efficient pumps than traditional pools.
But what about the mozzies? In a natural pool, the pump works 24/7 to circulate the water through the plants, and the constantly moving water is unsuitable for mosquito breeding. Insects living among the plants also clean up mosquitoes and their larvae.