If you have a pool that uses chlorine or salt as a sanitiser you may be wondering if there is a more eco friendly alternative as you plug in your robotic pool cleaner and skim leaves from the top of the pool. There are several alternatives but are they really safe for humans to use? There are at least four alternatives for swimming pools, but you may not like all of them.
For instance, take what is touted as an all natural pool. This is made with clay and gravel and uses water plants to keep the water clean, so you won’t need an automatic pool cleaner. If you are designing your own garden, it is certainly good for the environment as the pure water offers insects and frogs a place to live. Frogs may be attractive and relatively harmless if their name is Kermit.
Otherwise they will croak all night and keep you awake. And they may well come and visit your house. Then there is the problem of snakes, who love to eat frogs and will chase them wherever they go; into the pool or towards your house. Don’t think snakes can’t swim because they are very good at it.
Another consideration for the all natural pool is that reeds and water lilies may look very pretty, but what happens if the children actually swim into them? Won’t underwater stems tangle around little legs and prevent the child from swimming out of the pool? And don’t say the kids won’t swim in that direction. Kids are curious and will want to know what it’s like over there.
That said, plants are never static and what’s to say they will stay at one end of the pool for long? ‘Over there’ may not exist once the plants start to invade your end of the pool. That means you have to get in amongst them to cull them out; all amongst the mud they grow in.
That brings us to the third point; mud. Mud is made from soil and water or clay and water. When you tread in it, it does not stay down on the bottom, but swirls up into the rest of the water. That doesn’t actually sound like pure water; it sounds more like muddy water. I’m sure the frogs will love it. The snakes will most likely be indifferent, but the humans that are in it may have a different opinion.
Do people who suggest these natural pools actually swim in them? Of course, the bottom is supposed to be of gravel so this should mean that the pool water stays clear – at least in theory. Even if it does, how long since you’ve walked on gravel? In bare feet? Yes, such a pool is good for the environment, but not for humans. At least, not to swim or play in.