01 Mar 2017

Why swimming pools are at the top of self-builders’ wishlists


Clear Water Revival explains the ins and outs of swimming ponds and swimming pools.

There are two different approaches to naturally-treated swimming pool water. A swimming pond is passively cleansed by a ‘regeneration zone’ of stunning natural plants, whereas a natural swimming pool has a technically-advanced filter, cleansing the water without the use of any chemicals. Both work by removing the nutrients needed for algal growth and when built correctly, lead to spectacular, crystal clear, chemical-free swimming.

If you want to heat and cover it, then you must build a natural swimming pool and Clear Water Revival can help with concept design and detailed design schematics as well as parts supply, allowing you to work on everything up to the point Clear Water Revival fit its proprietary ClearSpring system into your plant room.

If heating isn’t a factor and you like the idea of swimming with waterborn wildlife, then a swimming pond is perfect. The rules for constructing either are different and Clear Water Revival offers design, parts and installation packages for both to make it simpler, quicker and more rewarding for self-builders looking to dive into natural water projects.

A swimming pond is the less technically-complex of the two and the rules you must follow are:

•Plan and construct drainage underneath the shell. If you don’t, ground water can pop your shell out the ground. A ground condition survey will help ascertain what drainage is needed.

•Isolate the pond water with surrounding drains to stop nutrient-rich surface water affecting the pond’s water balance. If you’re adding nutrients, you’re adding algae.

•The planted area must equal the swim area. Clear Water Revival’s unique TriStrata planting system will promote plant growth and stop the plants adding organic nutrients into the water, but even using the older methods of planting means a 35m2 swim volume would need the equivalent planted volume.

•Depth is your friend. Clear Water Revival builds swimming ponds with concrete block to a minimum of 2.5m for 95% of the swim area. Depth ensures particulate matter is trapped away from swimmers’ feet in the colder water at the bottom. If you skimp on depth, you will end up with a cloudy water column.

•Make sure you get a structural engineer to check your plans if you are building concrete retaining walls because the loading on a 2.5m deep shell is high. Banking of the pond base at 45° will allow for shallower retaining walls and lower cost.

•Make sure the liner you pick is biocide-free and proven in either a pond or pool context. Substandard liners may leach and affect plant growth. In our experience, dark greys, greens and black are excellent colour choices for a natural look and feel.

•Fill water is your nemesis – Clear Water Revival’s pond packages include proprietary pre-filters that strip out the phosphoric acid dosed by water companies into tap water to stop old lead pipes leaching into the drinking water. Unfortunately for the self-builders out there, the acid turns into phosphate and becomes a food source for algae – so you must pay attention to fill water.

•You will need a skimmer to regulate surface slicks – this is run by a simple pump that comes on only once or twice a day and helps generate some circulation, although, less circulaton the better.



The homeowner’s guide to swimming pool ownership for all-year-round use

Pool ownership is on the rise, with an estimated 240,000 in-ground and (top end) above-ground residential pools in the UK and with swimming pool ownership ranking in the top 10 status symbols throughout Britain, pools have become one of the top ‘aspirational’ features for British homes and gardens.

Diving into the inviting waters of a swimming pool at home is one of life’s great pleasures. So how do prospective purchasers ensure they get a seamless integration of their dream pool into their homes and gardens, making sure they maximise the pool’s usage and sustainability?

When considering adding a swimming pool or spa to a home, there are an enormous number of products to choose from on the UK market. It makes sense to be able to use your pool whenever you want, day or night and whatever the weather, the perfect solution for this is a pool enclosure.

Covering a swimming pool has financial benefits too; reduced heating and chemical costs and substantial reduction in water loss through evaporation. Pool enclosures come in a wide variety of types – both fixed position or telescopic versions (which can be opened up or rolled back in fine weather). The different types of enclosures also include architect-designed buildings, glazed conservatories, log cabins and specialist aluminium/PVC and polycarbonate/glass enclosures specifically designed for the swimming pool environment. Enclosing a swimming pool not only enables it to be used for more of the year, but it also means that the pool can be used earlier and later in the day when the outside pool temperature is colder.

Added to the savings in heating and cleaning which a pool enclosure can bring, the prospect becomes very attractive. Deciding which type of enclosure is best will depend on the type of pool use, budget and how permanent the required structure is. Thousands of owners can attest to the benefits of enclosing their pools.



Look Book: Poolside Accessories

If you’ve dipped your toe into the world of swimming pools – inside or out – then here’s some inspiration to help enhance the functionality and aesthetics of this luxury space.

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