You don't need chlorine to clean your pool if you surround it with beautiful plants that do double duty to filter the water. This small and simple pool in Valencia, Spain is a great example of how natural swimming pools work. Designed and built by Urbanarbolismo, this backyard pool is surrounded by a regeneration zone and a whole array of plants that you can actually eat!
Located in Moncada, this natural swimming pool is 130 sq meters, including the swimming area and the regeneration zone. In order to ditch the chlorine, the regeneration zone is used to filter and clean the water. It takes up about half the pool area, and consists of gravel, a kaldness filter and the plants. The water filters down through the gravel and plants and is then pumped back into the pool by the deck. The pool’s surface is made from a material that repels algae growth and is easy to clean.
Urbanarbolismo took into account the climate of the Valencia region and the necessary biological balance when selecting the plants. Many of them are actually edible, including Cress “Nasturtium officinale”, Celery “Apium nodiflorum”, Mint Pennyroyal “Mentha pulegium”, Aquatic Mint, Taro “Colocasia esculenta”, “Nuphar lutea”, and Eneas “Typha sp.” The plantings then look beautiful, work to clean the water and serve as a garden of sorts. A grass lawn adjacent to the pool soaks up water from the pool and does not need additional irrigation. Mowing the lawn also prevents the water from eutrophication, or over enrichment from the organic matter that could lead to algae blooms. Finally, to ensure that all solids are removed, the pool also features a species of native shrimp that eat mosquito larvae and keeps clean the gravel surface of the pool.