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Thread: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    A public pool in Minneapolis, here an older thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/post456401.html#p456401
    Master plan http://www.minneapolisparks.org/docu...aster_plan.pdf

    Well I decided to build one in central FL, I begin construction in few weeks.

    The recharge area will be a pond adjacent to the pool with water moving between the pool & pond 24/7.

    A 25' 4" diameter slotted drain hose (with mesh sock) will be coiled 10" below the pebble bottom of the pond and water will be drawn from that at a prescribed rate discharging thru a water fall or river type return to the pool.

    The pool is 10x20 and the pond 8x11, it will be 18" deep with plants no fish what so ever.

    The system will have a UV sized to eliminate the bacteria & protozoa ( still working on that unit)

    Let me know if you have interest in this build,

    I don't wish to debate the merits of a "natural" system vs. a properly sanitized pool.

    I obviously believe it can work as does Minneapolis parks.

    So I wanted to show & discuss the build, it is easily added to any existing pool.

    .

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    continued from other thread.....natural-swimming-pools-nsps-t50778.html


    It's a diy, but I'm meeting my architect to draw it all up in conjunction with other work like expanding the lanai and the addition of 7 fafco pool panels, pond, 4 glass spa hot water panels and the spa.

    All requiring building permits, cost less to get it all approved at one time.
    I'll get a part of scanned when ready

    Budget for the pond addition I can get a rough idea,

    Liner $150-175
    Gravel bottom of pond $100
    4" drain hose 25' $25
    Labor to dig pond (not doing that myself) $100+-
    Pump $175 this is a key element, this will draw the water thu the plants roots and gravel creating the eco system.
    UV sterilizer $3-500 not yet done researching that.
    A controller http://www.mydtcstore.com/ I'm getting 8 output to use on several spa and pool bells & whistles $159, but the $69 or $89 unit can do it, in fact it may not be needed at all except I like toys.
    Plants pots etc $150

    I'm still cramming more info, mostly from Europe Australia where they have been using these designs for a number of years.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    180

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    Are you sure on your costs?You may want to quadruple that number.I looked into building a pond similar in size (500ft.sq.surface)and it was going to run me about$4000 and that was with me doing all the labor.Good luck with your project hope it turns out well for you.
    Rob

    Cozumel AGP 24' 14,700 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5 hp pump
    Sta-rite Cristol-Flo II 2.3sq.ft. sand filter
    SWCG,Uni-bead liner
    Borates
    TF-100 Testkit....$68,cheap insurance for a trouble free pool season

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    you can build a pond for that estimate I'm sure, you also can make it more elaborate for more money.

    How did you break down the $4000?

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    180

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    Off the top of my head I can't remember the complete break down.
    1wk Bobcat rental $700 plus fuel
    15 tons sand $600
    Liner $300
    Permits $150 included drainage analysis
    Electrical $500
    Plants ? can't remember
    Pump?
    Waterfall $100 plus $200 for rock and adhesive
    Thats about all I can remember off the top of my head.The $ in the details.It's the small stuff that gets you.
    Rob

    Cozumel AGP 24' 14,700 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5 hp pump
    Sta-rite Cristol-Flo II 2.3sq.ft. sand filter
    SWCG,Uni-bead liner
    Borates
    TF-100 Testkit....$68,cheap insurance for a trouble free pool season

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    Quote Originally Posted by CB
    Off the top of my head I can't remember the complete break down.
    1wk Bobcat rental $700 plus fuel
    15 tons sand $600
    Liner $300
    Permits $150 included drainage analysis
    Electrical $500
    Plants ? can't remember
    Pump?
    Waterfall $100 plus $200 for rock and adhesive
    Not sure how large a pond you were planing but I'm talking about a 18-24" deep pond, no bobcat, dug by hand in few hours.
    Not sure why you need sad let alone that much
    Elec is one gfi 110v outlet, depending on distance $100-$150
    there is no drainage it''s self contained

    In any event what I'm looking at is much under $1,000

    .

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    180

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    Remember it was a pond not a pool.Where I live any pond like body of water in excess of 15000 needs to have a means of over flow,basically protects your neighbors and their property.Sand was mostly decorative.Good luck with your build.
    Rob

    Cozumel AGP 24' 14,700 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5 hp pump
    Sta-rite Cristol-Flo II 2.3sq.ft. sand filter
    SWCG,Uni-bead liner
    Borates
    TF-100 Testkit....$68,cheap insurance for a trouble free pool season

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Posts
    11

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    I am also in the planning phases of building a bio pool up and running by mid July. The plan is for a two pool system. This is mostly to protect the bees in our hive though I think a salt water system would be just as safe. The estimate I got, buying everything including the 24'x12' pool new, was about $5,000.-$6,000. I know we can do it for $1,500 but my goal is $1,000.

    I saw your list and the one thing you will really need to get the water right is a UV light, Don't skinp on this as a large one will really speed up the time it takes balance the water. I will come back to check your progress.
    Size: Doughboy 12'X24'X48" Flat bottom ~9,000 gallon
    Filter: type: Sand- but plan to built chemical free natural swim pond
    Heat: natural gas- but will installing an on roof solar heater in spring

    Project: the $1,000 pool

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Caney, TX 77357
    Posts
    184

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    I have no interest in an NSP for myself but interested in following your build just out of curiosity.
    20K gal, inground with attached spa, pebblefina plaster (bella blue), flagstone coping, moss rock waterfall, Sundek - Indian wheat, (2) Jandy PHPM2.0 (filter pump and waterfall), Jandy DEV60 DE filter, Polaris 280 pool cleaner, Polaris Halcyon PB4-60Q booster pump, Polaris 1.5 HP Air Blower, (2) Jandy WaterColors LED lights, Jandy LXI400P Heater, Jandy AquaPure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy AquaLink RS PureLink Controller and PDA.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    I will be following this as well. I had a lot of experience with natural fish tanks; live plants, special gravel, exotic lighting, custom blend fertilizers. I've also built a small pond outside.

    Given the diseases I saw in my fish, I find great comfort in my chlorinated pool, but that is a personal preference I know.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    with all those fish systems did you use UV or ozone?

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    The outdoor pond had UV lights built into the filer. I do not know for sure when they burnt out but before long I found the UV light flooded. Terribly expensive to replace so I let it be. Those fish suffered from anchor worms that came from some plants I pulled from a local ditch. Did not know to sterilize the plants before adding to the pond. Very expensive to treat 300 gallons for anchor worm. And, of course, an outdoor pond has natural UV from the sun. Texas has a lot of sun. UV does nothing against anchor worm (harpoon headed worms that look like large splinters sticking out of the fish).

    While I had purchased a UV system for the main discus tank, I never hooked it up. The discus suffered from internal parasites and UV simply won't do anything for that. That requires medicines and I did not keep up the required schedules.

    On another topic, how do you deal with live things like snakes and frogs in the NSP? And dead things -- I once found vultures sitting at my hot tub, having washed their nasty heads in the pool apparently, leaving bits of tissue behind.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    Well the pool is inside a screened room or as they call it a Lanai.

    the pond is outside the screen lanai.

    A small pump will draw water from the pool under the gravel in the pond there will be a 4" drain hose the water will migrate up thru the gravel and plant roots etc exiting in a spillway (or river run) back to pool.

    But to keep the critters out that spillway will go thru a few screens then right thru the lanai screen into the pool, that is the recirc system.

    The pool filter a cartridge type will run the way a standard pool system would be plumbed except a large UV filter will be added to crunch the bacteria and protoza etc. ( still getting data on that but the UV manufacturer's so far have been very helpful sizing this unit.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    I am having a hard time with the concept of a natural pool being able to keep up with any significant bather load.

    We contracted for the mechanical work for a Bass Pro Shop aquarium that held 30k gallons. The circulation equipment exceeded that required for a junior olympic commercial pool. They had 4 36inch sand filters with 4 3hp pumps on 8 inch manifolds to minimize velocity for the main recirculating system. There was a 3hp continuos use airblower, a massive chiller on the roof coupled to a huge exchanger to keep the water at 60 degrees. The make up water went thru a 24 inch sand filter filled with activated carbon to kill any chlorine. There was also a backup pump/filter/blower generator operated system in the one hp range in case of power failures. There were 3 water features above the aquarium and one included a 36 inch tube filled with plastic balls that bacteria grew on. Most of the water was pumped back to the aquarium through a 12 inch gravel base in the bottom.

    The equipment room was 4 times the size of the aquarium and had room for two quarantine tanks they used when new fish were brought in.

    With that experience in mind, its hard for me to understand how a natural pool with minimum flows could possibly keep up with the contamination generated by big human bodies in such a small volume of water at tempuratures in the 80s.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    what the difference there may be - and likely is, is the bio load of live fishes food and waste.
    I don't believe that can compare with the bio load a few people swimming.

    Be mindful this is not only being done in the MN pool here, but for many years in Europe.

    These systems can not support fish that was very clear in all that I researched.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    I recall from several fish forum members from Europe that high nitrate levels were quite common in their tap water. Nitrate levels were approximately what the planted tank groups were trying to maintain in some cases. I was amused to notice that they were using weekly partial water changes to accomplish what we were adding via weekly chemical additions.

    For a fish tank or pond in such conditions, using a plant filter was a great idea in that you are attempting to force the nitrate consumption into the plant filter hoping to reduce the algae growth in the main water body.

    Some forum members from the midwest reported high nitrates in tap water, particularly those on wells in farming areas. It's been too long so I cannot recall whether Minnesota or Wisconson were included. In any case, the nitrate levels in the US were still far below what is allowed in Europe.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    As I described in Natural Swimming Pools (NSPs), the phosphate levels are kept very low at <= 0.01 mg/L P or roughly <= 31 ppb phosphate as the primary way to prevent algae growth.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    But phosphates are necessary to help the desired plants grow in the plant filtration section. I cannot recall what we dosed phosphates to for our custom blended fertilizers to get the planted tanks to grow.

    I guess that I don't understand what it is that the planted area is supposed to do. I can see that it could remove nitrates, given enough phosphates to allow for plant growth. And given sufficient sand/gravel base, it is a slow moving sand filter. But then the plants are useless and make the sand less effective. But if you have to subtract the phosphates chemically to prevent algae growth, then you are also preventing most other plant growth as well. And adding chemicals after claiming that you were trying to be chemical free.

    Maybe I've just lost the thread here..... Off to worry about bicarbonate vs acid startups in a high TA fill water environment, assuming a pool company will even do it......
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    A few notes

    Fish - Excrement increases nutrients into the system which can lead to excesive
    algae growth.

    Nutrients - significance of N and P
    N - key growth agent - Nitrate < 50.0mg/l
    P - the limiting factor on the growth of algae. We need some, but a small
    amount. Total P <0.01 mg/l P
    The more we starve the pool of P, the clearer it will be. < .01 mg/l = 10ppb

    Hygiene
    Pool introduction/guest
    w/out sunscreen - 0.6mgP/C
    w/ sunscreen - 45.6mgP/G
    Bacteria introduction/guest
    w/out a shower 1.2*10^5 E. coli
    w/ a show 2*10^2 E.Coli

    For ecologic/self-purifying ponds, de-nutrified soil needs to be taken for the plants to prevent the possible growth of algae.
    Coconut fibre growing medium is best used to prevent soil from being spread around and to sometimes to let the plants root in.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Natural Swimming Pool (NSPs) build

    There will not be any fish in the pond only plants,

    Pool being delivered in 7-10 days, the project is moving ahead.

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