Natural Swimming Pool Design

So, you want to know a little more about natural pool design, but you have no idea where to start! No problem. We are here to help!
Natural Swimming Pools LLC is the best in the business and we would love to help you get started with your pool design. So, without further ado, let's dive into (pun intended) what natural swimming pools are and how you can design yours today!

Natural Swimming Pool Design

What Is a Natural Swimming Pool?

A natural swimming pool is purified by a biological filter system that does not use chlorine (like conventional pools), salt-chlorine, or any chemicals at all! They require less maintenance costs than a chlorinated pool, providing excellent water quality and a healthy swimming experience.

This Is NOT a Salt Water Pool

Salt pools are incorrectly marketed and often misunderstood as chlorine-free, they still use chlorinated water and are considered chemical pools. The sodium chloride (salt) is used to create chlorine in the water and other harmful chemicals like muriatic acid and cyanic acid are still manually added to salt pools.
For more information on how natural filters and pools work, check out our natural pool filter page!

Designing Natural Swimming Pools and Ponds

A Natural Swimming Pools LLC design specialist will assist you during every phase of your planning. We will spend our initial conversations discussing your ideas and design goals:
  • Pool Design With DeckAesthetic expectations of the pool and surrounding landscape (incorporating aquatic life and plants, sandy soil, and natural environment decor)
  • Pool depth and shape (Do you want a deeper pool that transitions into shallow areas)
  • Pool activities (volleyball, lap swimming)
  • Diving board options
  • Sun-bathing space or in-pool chaise lounges
  • Whether the project will be a part of a long term, multi-phase plan
  • Hardscape entertainment builds for the swimming area (a firepit, a decorative retaining wall, an outdoor kitchen)
  • Water features like streams, waterfalls, grottos, or even a lazy river
Getting to know the project better plays an important role in designing a natural body of water. The more we know, the more we can anticipate and incorporate your wants and needs into the best swimming pool designs.

Natural Pool Construction Methods

In the most fundamental sense, an NSP is a swimming pool. Therefore, designs and construction follow common build guidelines. The shape of the swimming zone and the regeneration zone is a design consideration, as is the elevation of both relative to each other. The shape and elevation will impact the hydraulic design, which guides our design professionals to a solution that fits your unique landscape.
There is no fixed way to construct an NSP, but there are design and construction methods that can enhance the look and maintenance of the finished vessel like the ones listed below.

Natural Pool Construction

Modular Panel Construction

This construction method uses prefabricated wall panels to form the perimeter to define the pool’s shape. The panels are assembled on-site and braced on the foundation to provide stability. Once braced and leveled, a concrete collar is poured around them to solidify the structure. Two types of modular panels are used for this: powder-coated steel or composite (epoxy/resin and fiberglass). Both have the flexibility to form classic rectangular or free-form shapes for the perimeter of the pool. Both methods require a waterproofing membrane or lining to be installed or applied to the interior of the pool.
The materials used for the pool floor are contingent on the type of waterproof membrane selected. For steel wall construction, a mixture of vermiculite and cement is used to create a firm, smooth floor with a vinyl or PoolHide® PVC membrane on top to make the pool water-tight. For a composite wall construction, waterproofing follows the same process as powder-coated steel, or a reinforced concrete bottom with epoxy paint or thermal resin can be applied.
The workable designs, construction speed, numerous color options, and modest cost make modular panel construction a popular choice. Additionally, non-porous waterproofing also makes these pools easy to clean and the non-abrasive surface interiors are easy on the feet.

Gunite – Shotcrete construction

Concrete swimming pools are the oldest and most versatile construction method. Shotcrete comes pre-mixed in a cement truck to the site, while gunite is a dry mix that combines with water at the nozzle when dispersed. Concrete curing takes time and, generally speaking, is the costliest construction method. The concrete structure is not a waterproof vessel by itself. The typical waterproofing choice is to apply plaster (in varying textures and colors) but the porous nature of a cement interior makes this method sub-optimal for an NSP. A more suitable approach for an NSP is to use thermal resin or epoxy paint. This provides a more comfortable and easier to clean, non-porous, surface.
The biggest advantage of concrete is the vast design options for size, shape, and the ability to create uniquely sculpted features in and around the pool. In many cases, the structural durability of a reinforced concrete pool may be the only viable construction alternative regarding site foundation properties.

One-Piece Fiberglass Construction

This construction method is generally the fastest to install. The one-piece shell is delivered to the project site ready to be placed in the excavated area. The biggest drawbacks to one-piece fiberglass are size and shape limitations. The size of the pool is limited to a maximum width of 16’, pursuant to USDOT towing safety laws.
The non-porous surface of fiberglass makes cleaning a breeze, and several choices of interior color are available. The most practical application for a fiberglass pool would be as a BioPool with a BF4 biofilm filter installed adjacent to the vessel.

Planning for Your New NSP

Your Vision - What scene do you see in your backyard? Do you want to incorporate your existing landscape in some way? Which water purification method would you like to use?
Your Space - You should start by surveying your property. The minimum pool size recommendations range anywhere from 30-50 square meters, but we have also built smaller pools than that!
Your Budget - Waterscape can be very thrilling! Each build comes with its own set of challenges though, and we’d like to work with you to determine a suitable design and acceptable budget for your natural pond.
Natural Pool Design Drawing

Contact Us for Natural Pool Design Today

Natural Swimming Pools LLC is Arizona’s first contractor when it comes to natural pool design. NSPs are capable of maintaining crystal clear water without any chlorine, chemicals, or the traditionally high costs and maintenance associated with pool ownership.

Our Process for Getting Started

We use our PreConstruction Planning Agreement (PCPA) to start the planning process for your NSP. Whether you have had a landscape architect master plan, advice from in-laws, sketches on the back-of-the-napkin, or no design at all, we take it all into account with our PCPA.
Don't hesitate to check out our natural pool blog for more information on healthy pool construction or get started with a natural pool design today by calling us at (602) 565-6313!