Harnessing the natural cleaning powers of aquatic plants to filter and purify the water, along with special water balancing equipment and hydraulics, natural pools have come a long way in recent years. Now widely accepted as a commercial alternative to conventional pools, there is an international industry standard for water quality and hygiene – the German FLL, which sets the benchmark high with quality assurance for pool users and owners.
UK-based natural pool company Ensata was recognised at the 2016 UK Pool & Spa Awards for an outstanding natural pool installation in Newark. “Our client had a previous conventional pool for 40 years at her old house and wanted another pool but was tired of the work and chemicals involved in looking after a conventional pool. She asked us to create a natural pool, with chemical-free naturally filtered pure water,” explains Sarah Murch of Ensata. The site has a high water table and is prone to flooding, so the Ensata team constructed a raised pool with reinforced concrete base and appropriate drainage. Water circulates through the plant filter and back into the pool via the millstone and jets on the beach and wooden steps lead from the larch deck into the deep end.
SLOPING BEACH : Dry stone terraces around the pool planted with colourful perennials and grasses soften the raised edges and integrate the pool into the client’s garden. The result is a serene natural pool with a 12m x 4m swimming area that includes a paved shallow end and sloping beach. Says Sarah: “This pool really warms up quickly thanks to the shallow beach and plant filter – regularly reaching 26C° in the summer. “We planted the Regeneration Zone with some of our client’s own water lilies which have been in her family for 100 years. They are simply stunning.” In terms of upkeep, the pool requires low level maintenance during the swimming season- usually around an hour every three to four weeks to vacuum the floor of the swimming area and brush down the sides of the pool. The pool is professionally serviced by the Ensata team once a year and every five years the pool is given a full service two-day service. This involves lowering the water in the Regeneration Zones and the anaerobic layer that has built up is sluiced away. The pool is also thoroughly vacuumed, cleaned and then refilled.
PROFESSIONALLY SERVICED : “Our client enjoys this pool every day since the day it was completed,” says Sarah. “She swims for seven months of the year – the pool heats naturally by the sun, and requires minimal maintenance during the swimming season. For the rest of the year she enjoys spending time in and around the pool and has recently installed a pool cabin for herself and her guests to sit in and enjoy the water in winter.”