Chlorine? That’s so passé. America is waking up to the concept of plant-based pools, an idea that started in Europe more than 30 years ago. Cue BIOTOP and their all natural pools, cleaned by plants instead of chemicals. Their sustainable pools feature “living water” boasting aquatic plants that invite wildlife and other creatures to create their habitat in your very own backyard. BIOTOP’s goal, since their foundation more than three decades ago, has been “the perfect symbiosis of natural pool and traditional swimming pool […] without any chemicals at all, but with an abundance of flora and fauna.”
The pools, being living environs, of course, do not feature that ubiquitous and beloved David Hockney aqua color we associate with swimming. Instead, you get a bit murky, greenish hue, reminiscent of gorgeous natural lakes. And that’s a good thing. But aside from the fact that you’ll be frolicking in chlorine- and chemical-free waters and might like the natural aesthetic, eco ponds have an environmental advantage. According to Bloomberg Business, “natural swimming ponds are not heated, saving on energy costs. Lower temperatures reduce evaporation and thus, water use. Owners can also bank the average $350 to $500 that most Americans spend on chlorine and pool chemicals each year.”
How does it all work? BIOTOP pools feature a wall that shields the pool from the so-called “regeneration zone, where impurities and excess nutrients are decomposed by plants and microorganisms.” A submerged pump house flows the water into the pool. The self-cleaning curved sieve skimmer catches mucilaginous algae and the tiniest impurities but releases their nutrients back into the pool. The Phosphorus Filter PhosTec Ultra starves the algae out by binding the algae-producing phosphorous that is dissolved in the water.
BIOTOP’s range of natural and living pools and ponds is stunning. Don’t expect overgrown crunchy, hippie gardens, although you can have that, too! Check out their modern take in image number two above; © www.swimming-teich.com / Daniela Toman), made with the help of water experts to create the illusion of a reflecting pool. A swimming pond in Israel (image four: © www.swimming-teich.com / Hedva Shefaram) is an infinity pool with an incredible view, featuring a regeneration area with white sea roses. From Italy to Israel, Yorkshire (image above this paragraph; © www.swimming-teich.com / Jeremy Murch) to the Austrian Alps, variations are highly individualistic and seemingly limitless. Visit the BIOTOP website to get inspired and learn more.