Natural Swimming Pools LLC: Arizona's 1st Natural Pool Company

Zach Balbnini - Owner Natural Swimming Pools LLCHello, my name is Zach Balbini, owner of Natural Swimming Pools LLC. I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and the backyard swimming pool was where I spent most of my summer days growing up. However, I also had asthma, allergies, ear, nose, and throat issues, dry eyes, and more that did not seem to mix well with long-term exposure to harsh pool chemicals and improper water balance.

Today, I am a father and an environmentalist who wants to naturally purify our water and reduce our chemical dependence in the pools that we build. We are Arizona’s 1st natural pool company and we provide a chemical-free solution to pool building.

I have been in the swimming pool industry for over 15 years and have seen every type of pool imaginable. As Regional Manager of a swim school for many years, I not only worked in the water, but I also worked constantly on improving the equipment and technology of our chemically treated pools. I saw the large volume of chemicals we used on a daily basis and I did everything I could to reduce the amount of chlorine our swim schools needed to keep the water clear. Over $100,000 was spent on state-of-the-art technologies such as UV, ozone, oxygen, and all kinds of automation systems and sensors to reduce chlorine and chemicals. The equipment worked well, but the thousands of dollars of on-going maintenance costs didn't justify the small amount we saved on chemicals.

After the birth of my son, I started searching more into natural pool filtration for my home pool (knowing commercial facilities will always require free chlorine in the water as the primary sanitation method). In early 2019, I discovered BioNova Natural Pools and their new BioPool that does not require a large plant regeneration zone. This makes it possible for smaller backyards to have a natural pool and a lower budget! By the end of 2019, I started my company and began the franchise agreement process with BioNova Natural Pools.

After converting my existing home pool and building a new natural swimming pool, in 4 years they have had no problem taking on the extreme summer heat in Arizona with crystal clear water. Yes, there is some algae struggling to survive that likes to cling to the walls, but the entire pool remains clear because it has no nutrients for any algae to bloom or harmful pathogenic organisms to grow. Similarly to chlorine, the biofilter suppresses algae and harmful microbial growth, but it does not completely remove them from the water. Why do you think a pool goes green so quickly after it runs out of chlorine? Because the algae is always present in the water waiting for an opportunity to grow. In a natural swimming pool, the biofilter actually consumes the nutrients in the water leaving virtually none left for any algae to fog up the water.

In 2024, after 4 years of building half a dozen natural pools and maintaining them year-round, we are beyond confident in their long-term success here in the Arizona desert. The BioFilters not only act as your pools stomach, consuming all the nutrients in the water, but they also trap (sequester) other elements they don't consume. Phosphorous and calcium hardness is a great example. The BioFilter does not consume phosphorous and calcium, but it uses it to build its biofilm and traps it within the filter which eventually gets backwashed out. This means that your calcium hardness and phosphorous does not indefinitely continue to rise like in a traditional, chemical or salt pool. Our hard tap water in Arizona is notorious for building up in swimming pools. The only way to remove calcium is to drain and refill or use a Reverse Osmosis system to filter out the high calcium hardness. Not in a natural pool! The calcium hardness remains at the same level it comes out of the tap water around 150-180ppm in Phoenix. Phosphorous is also notorious for being algae food and does not get treated by chlorine. Phosphorous removers such as lanthanum are added to the water to clump up the phosphorous to be large enough to filter through the pool equipment and filter. Surprisingly, the biofilters do an exceptional job at also sequestering phosphorous!

In those 4 year, I have swam with my 5 year old son countless times and had numerous parties with dozens of people and we had zero issues with anyone getting sick. No different if we had his party at the lake or on the beach. Teaching my son to swim in our backyard has been such a great experience in our natural pool. After spending so many years teaching swim lessons and managing swim schools, it is such a relief to not have to worry about the water clarity or check for chemicals.

Chemical Free Swimming Pools

Natural Swimming Pools LLC (NSP) offers a sustainable solution for chemical-free swimming in every environment from the frozen lakes of Minnesota to the sunny Arizona desert. Families who suffer from harsh chemicals and high monthly pool maintenance bills can now choose an organic pool filtration option that naturally purifies water.
Our first natural pool in Arizona was completed in late 2020 and it thrived in our desert climate in its first year! The water is crystal clear year-round with no algae in the pool.

Chlorine Free Pool

Pools In The Desert

NSP can design and build a custom, luxury natural swimming pool or convert your existing pool with the addition of a BioNova BF4 biofilm filter. Natural Swimming Pools LLC chose to kick-start our project in 2020 in one of the hottest environments known to bio pools Phoenix, Arizona.
The American Southwest has some of the world’s harshest deserts. Arizona is the only place that has all four North American deserts in one state. If a natural swimming pool can survive here, it can survive anywhere.
That is why we have chosen to start our project in the heart of Arizona to provide an environmentally friendly swimming pool for every family in America. We have built a showcase pool in Phoenix, AZ that is available for tours and swimming in the west valley near the I-17 and Northern. Contact us today for a showing!

Mastered by Nature

Natural swimming pools use a biofilm filter to control algae and clean the water. Called a BioPool® or a LivingPool™, the design has the look and feel of a traditional swimming pool. There are no chemicals or other devices, such as UV, ozone generators, ionizers, or salt systems, used to disinfect or sterilize the pool water.
  • All clarifying and purifying of the pool water is performed entirely by natural biological processes.
  • The NSP is designed, engineered, permitted, and constructed in conformance with applicable guidelines for a swimming pool.
  • NSPs are capable of maintaining crystal clear water without any chlorine, chemicals, or the traditionally high costs and maintenance associated with pool ownership.

Bio Filter Pool

Then Why Aren’t NSPs More Popular?

Well, they ARE popular… in Europe. Here in the United States, our pool water education is focused on chemicals used to exterminate contaminants and microscopic organisms in an “unnatural” pool environment.
However, even in inorganic chemically-treated pools, bacteria and algae still exist in the water. NSPs use those “contaminants” instead as nutrients in a more complex ecosystem that naturally purifies the water making it safe and healthy for our bodies.

BioNova® History 101: The Complete Story

BioNova® North America owes its start to Gerhard Brandlmeier, an Austrian landscape contractor who started building swimming ponds in 1985. Brandlmeier began using the name BioNova® for his swimming ponds and grew his business building scores of residential NSPs. His greatest work was building the first world’s first public natural swimming pool in Herzogsdorf, Austria, in 1990.

Moving Forward

The BioNova® name was carried on by Brandlmeier's pupil, Rainer Grafinger, who continued building with great success in southern Germany. The first public NSP in Germany was built near Munich. Fast forward to 2010, and Grafinger designed and installed his 100th NSP in Germany!
Let's rewind a bit to the early 2000s in the USA. James and Hae-Sun Robyn, pool company owners in New Jersey, had clients with a growing interest in natural-looking swimming pools that didn't require chemicals. This interest led them to investigate the amazing builds the Austrians and Germans had been using for almost 20 years. This newly discovered knowledge, coupled with James and Hae-Sun's German-based education and upbringing, respectively led them to Germany to learn more about what made NSPs so successful abroad.

Introducing the Future of NSPs to the States

As a result of that meeting, James and HaeSun formed Robyn's Natural Pools Inc., and the BioNova® name was purchased for use in the USA and Canada. The NSP business in North America was born!
Since then, the Robyns and other members of the BioNova® team have made dozens of trips across Europe to review and analyze the major firms' best technologies. At home in North America, BioNova® has adopted, refined, and improved European technologies to offer the latest, state-of-the-art NSP systems. In 2010, the first residential NSPs in North America were implemented, and business has been growing ever since.

BioNova® Leading America’s Change to Sustainable Swimming Pools!

We Love the Phrase 'First One Into the Pool'! BioNova® North America Has Many Firsts:
  • BioNova® is the first company to build an NSP in the USA and Canada.
  • BioNova® is the first to have NSP dealers in North America (since 2007) and continues to have more dealers than all other NSP companies combined.
  • BioNova® is the leading NSP company in North America and the first to have successful NSP installations in climates from California to Connecticut and Toronto to Texas.

BioNova® Also Leads the NSP Industry in Other Ways:

  • BioNova® is the largest/oldest Natural Swimming Pool (NSP) and swim pond provider in North America.
  • BioNova® is wholly American-owned and operated.
  • BioNova® has completed more NSP installations in North America than all other NSP companies combined.
  • BioNova® expertise was used for the design and installation of the first Public NSP in North America at Webber Park in Minneapolis, MN.
  • BioNova® is the only NSP company to exhibit at the American Society of Landscape Architects, American Institute of Architects, and International Pool Spa and Patio annual trade shows. BioNova® came to prominence in 2015 with the formation of the US-based Association for Swimming Ponds and Swimming Pools (the ASPNSP).
  • The ASPNSP was admitted the following year as a member of the International Organization for Natural Bathing Water (IOB). In 2017, James Robyn-CEO of BioNova® North America-was elected to the Board of Directors of the IOB.
  • In 2018, BioNova® North America added Allen Schnaak as its Vice President of Business Development supporting sales, marketing, new dealer acquisition and fosters great relationships with his insights and attitude!
  • Since 2008, BioNova® has been adding dealers in the USA and Canada. BioNova® dealers are all trained in the USA and all North American installations are certified by the HQ in New Jersey to be in conformance with our quality process.

Get Started With a Natural Pool Company Today

Well, there you have it. Look no further, because your search for "the best pool remodeling companies" is now over! You now know where to find the best swimming pool renovation company for your project, no matter how big or small.
Our natural swimming pool designers are here to help! Customized moving water features, total habitat design with aquatic plants, solar heating; all is possible and you don't have to use chemicals at all! We are also environmentally friendly, paying special attention to local wildlife when building a custom plant regeneration zone.
Download our free e-book or reach out to us and we will start planning a customized swimming area within your budget!

Our Onboarding Process

We use our PreConstruction Planning Agreement (PCPA) to start the planning process for your NSP. The PCPA will provide construction details and everything else needed to finalize the plans on the NSP. After that, pool building permits are finished we can mobilize our team to start construction.
Contact our natural pool company today for a definitive guide with more information on natural pool building or request a PCPA today by calling us at (602) 565-6313!


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