Spring Fed Swimming Pool Please Help

Philfree73

New member
Apr 29, 2017
4
Asheville North Carolina
Hi TFP,

This is my first post and I'm hoping some of you awesome people can help me out. We are moving into our new home that has a in-ground vinyl swimming pool. Due to some of us having skin issues I'm concerned with using chlorine. The home has an artesian well from 250' below. The well feeds the house and a pond. There is also another spring that feeds the pond as well. My question is can I use my well to dump water into the pool constantly? Maybe install a pipe towards the top part of the pool wall close to the coping/liner trim? It can be placed on the opposite side from where the water is entering. This way the overflow can exit the pool and flow back down to where the pond is. Also, I could put a solar pump inside the pool to help circulate the water 24/7. The pool is 35'x15' and 8' deep. Is this possible to do so that our skin doesn't breakout? Is something like this even possible?

Thanks!
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,122
Franklin, NC
Welcome to TFP!!:handwave:

What you are talking about is a "natural swimming pool" and to be honest we don't think much of them. Without some method to be assured that all pathogens are killed it is really unsafe. But, with that being said there is a small community out there who support them - just not us.

Now, does your skin break out when you use a normal shower with chlorinated water? Every year we have folks show up who swear they are allergic to chlorine and in several years I think only one of them actually was. The action of chlorine breaking down organics in water is actually a process and during that process chlorine byproducts can be produced that many people do find they are sensative to. From our Pool School:
CC - Combined Chlorine

Combined chlorine is an intermediate breakdown product created in the process of sanitizing the pool. CC causes the "chlorine" smell many people associate with chlorine pools. If CC is above 0.5, you should SLAM your pool. CC indicates that there is something in the water that the FC is in the process of breaking down. In an outdoor pool, CC will normally stay at or near zero as long as you maintain an appropriate FC level and the pool gets some direct sunlight.
Many times adding a few tablespoons of bleach to a tub of water will create the environment we generally keep our pools at and it allows you to see if it is actually a chlorine allergy.
 

n240sxguy

Well-known member
May 17, 2014
1,802
Benton, KY
I was in the same boat as you with the natural pool idea a few years ago before I bought my house and pool. I had had a little blue intex pool several years prior, and it was always a headache and a green mess. I was in a cycle of using worthless test strips, spending too much money on chemicals, and then draining and scrubbing it just to start the cycle all over again. After that pool was long gone, my wife and I, who try to be as natural and chemical free as possible in all areas of our lives, started researching natural pools. I saw some that had a regular pool with a smaller pool next to it used as a biological filter. We thought that was a perfect solution. The problem is, it's not what it seems. It's not truly sanitized, so there can be bacteria and other nasties growing in it and you wouldn't know it. When we sealed the deal on our house I started scouring the internet for pool management advice because I knew there had to be something better than just dumping chemicals for no reason like the pool store had told me. After I found this site, I was truly in the pool promised land. I've never had an issue with my water being unbalanced, dirty, or green. I swim all summer with my eyes open underwater without goggles, and it doesn't bother me. Like Tim said, combined chloramines are what usually bother people, and our pools just don't have that because we take care to keep the water perfect. It takes dedication to learn all you can, but it doesn't take a lot of effort once you learn your pool.


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Philfree73

New member
Apr 29, 2017
4
Asheville North Carolina
Thanks for the welcoming!

I thought natural pools consist of vegetation to help with filtration/purifying of the water. We had the water tested just a few days ago and it came back great. The people at the water company spoke highly of artesian wells and how clean the water is. When I used to live in the city my skin gave me lots of problems when showering. Chlorinated water drys my skin out. When that happens I break out. I figured having a constant supply of fresh water pumped into the pool would be great. Maybe all the natural minerals would help our skin if anything. I've never tried that tub trick you speak of. It sounds interesting but could land me in a bad place.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,347
NW Ohio
Unless there is constant flow of this artesian water 24/7 you will have algae and potentially microbes growing in your pool. I would say if you are not having 100% turnover of the water in the pool every day then you are not maintaining a sanitary pool. As such you can forget about trying to heat it because the water you are heating is just being drained. Tens of thousands of gallons a day. And maybe I'm misreading, but how do you plan to drain the excess water? You can't just let the pool constantly overflow if that is what you were thinking.

Most importantly though this is a forum dedicated to maintaining a safe, sanitary, and comfortable swimming experience. That involves using an approved sanitizer. If you don't plan to do that then this really isn't the place for advice. You are quite welcome here, please don't think otherwise, but I don't want you to expect something from us that we won't be providing.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
You are correct that there are "natural" pools out there that use natural processes to maintain clean water. They do this by having a filter area of selected vegetation that the water flows through to cleanse itself. That area is usually large because those process take time and require a constant flow. While that can work (and apparently does work for some) it requires monitoring and maintenance to keep balanced. I believe there are some forums on natural pools but as has been mentioned its not something most here know much about.

One thing you need to check is what is the condition of the water from the well? Is that sanitary to start with.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,569
Tallahassee, FL
I was in the same boat as you with the natural pool idea a few years ago before I bought my house and pool. I had had a little blue intex pool several years prior, and it was always a headache and a green mess. I was in a cycle of using worthless test strips, spending too much money on chemicals, and then draining and scrubbing it just to start the cycle all over again. After that pool was long gone, my wife and I, who try to be as natural and chemical free as possible in all areas of our lives, started researching natural pools. I saw some that had a regular pool with a smaller pool next to it used as a biological filter. We thought that was a perfect solution. The problem is, it's not what it seems. It's not truly sanitized, so there can be bacteria and other nasties growing in it and you wouldn't know it. When we sealed the deal on our house I started scouring the internet for pool management advice because I knew there had to be something better than just dumping chemicals for no reason like the pool store had told me. After I found this site, I was truly in the pool promised land. I've never had an issue with my water being unbalanced, dirty, or green. I swim all summer with my eyes open underwater without goggles, and it doesn't bother me. Like Tim said, combines chloramines are what usually bother people, and our pools just don't have that because we take care to keep the water perfect. It takes dedication to learn all you can, but it doesn't take a lot of effort once you learn your pool.


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Now this ^^^^^ is some good posting! Thanks!

kim:kim:
 

Philfree73

New member
Apr 29, 2017
4
Asheville North Carolina
Thanks for all of the replies! I wasn't sure if this forum would be able to help me with this situation but I figured why not try and ask for help. If I do decide to use chlorine maybe you all can help me get things going. It's been 12 years since I took care of a pool so any help would be great. Just to answer a few questions mentioned above. The water was tested and came back negative. This well has great water! To keep the pool from overflowing I was thinking a maybe adding a pipe to relieve it. Balmorhea State Park has a spring fed swimming pool and many other places around the world. People talk about how good their skin felt afterwards. They also mentioned how soft the water was. I don't want to create the Natural swimming pool with vegetation. I just wanted to make it a spring fed swimming pool. Based on your comments I now understand that you all don't really offer support for situations like the one I have but I do really appreciate you all still offering advice. Thank you so much!
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,122
Franklin, NC
Balmorhea State Park has a spring fed swimming pool and many other places around the world.
Yes it does, but acording to their web site "More than 15 million gallons of water flow through the pool each day" - that is a very high water flow. For yours you would need a well pump running constantly to keep the flow going.

Another option is a Salt Water Chlorine Pool. A common misconception is that a "salt" pool does not use chlorine, when in fact by a chemical process the salt in the water is converted to chlorine. Because of the constant low level chlorine additions we find that SWG pools need an even lower level of chlorine to maintain the same safe water. Mnay people also love the feel of the low level salt water (much lower levels than the ocean, you can't even taste it really).

Have you had a medical diagnosis of the actual allergy?
 

Philfree73

New member
Apr 29, 2017
4
Asheville North Carolina
Yes it does, but acording to their web site "More than 15 million gallons of water flow through the pool each day" - that is a very high water flow. For yours you would need a well pump running constantly to keep the flow going.

Another option is a Salt Water Chlorine Pool. A common misconception is that a "salt" pool does not use chlorine, when in fact by a chemical process the salt in the water is converted to chlorine. Because of the constant low level chlorine additions we find that SWG pools need an even lower level of chlorine to maintain the same safe water. Mnay people also love the feel of the low level salt water (much lower levels than the ocean, you can't even taste it really).

Have you had a medical diagnosis of the actual allergy?
Is it true you can't convert a vinyl swimming pool over to salt water? Artesian well don't use pumps due to their water pressure. As of now lots of the water from the well flows to the half acre pond. You are right... the water turnover at that park is massive! The spring might be able to turn over the pool 1 time in 24 hours. I'll have to do more testing with the flow rate and see.
 

n240sxguy

Well-known member
May 17, 2014
1,802
Benton, KY
No, that's not true. My vinyl pool is salt, as are many others. Salt water pools aren't like ocean level salty. They are around 3000-3500ppm vs 35,000ppm in the ocean. Not sure how much research you have done into them, but they are still chlorine pools. They have a chlorine generator that breaks the salt down to make chlorine. You just have to add a couple hundred pounds of salt and the generator, and you're good to go. Since they add chlorine more often, you can run them at a little lower chlorine level than a regularly dosed pool. The stabilizer you use actually buffers the chlorine in the water. My pool with 5-7 ppm chlorine is actually less harsh than my tap water that has 1ppm because of the stabilizer that binds the chlorine. It protects the chlorine from sunlight, and makes the water less harsh at the same time.


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