Pond and Landscapers based on Salt Spring Island, servicing Victoria, Saanich, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island, BC, CanadaTelephone Lewis Landscapes

A Naturally Filtered Swimpond - START


Swimponds are a relatively new idea in Canada, so we welcomed the opportunity to build one on Salt Spring Island.

A swimpond is similar a swimming pool, except that it relies on a bio-filtration system to keep the water clean and pure, whereas the traditional Mediterranean style swimming pool uses chemicals to maintain water quality and appearance. The water in a swimpond is oxygenated and mineralized naturally in a plant and gravel filter bed, resulting in a more beneficial swimming experience. A natural pond is kind to the environment and, in the long run, cheaper to run.

People imagine a swimpond is simply a large natural pond shared with plants and wildlife.  While it is true, a swimpond has planted areas which can provide a refuge for wildlife, the swimming area is separate and much like a traditional swimming pool.  In fact, as this first batch of pictures show, the swimming area is a self-contained shell built like a traditional pool and deep enough for diving.  This particular pond is designed for a natural look and to encourage wild-life.  It is not essential to have a natural looking pond with this kind of system.  The system would work equally as well with a formal style suitable for a town garden.
  • natural_swimming_pool004Work begins by removing the sod and soil...
  • natural_swimming_pool005A culvert is installed to by-pass surface drainage from the higher ground...
  • natural_swimming_pool008The first level of the pool area is now worked to create a level bench...
  • natural_swimming_pool009As we get deeper, we are hampered by water breaking in from a spring...
  • natural_swimming_pool010Excavation continues but we need to install a drain to take the water away as soon as possible...
  • natural_swimming_pool011The excavator works out to a corner where we will install the drainage outlet...
  • natural_swimming_pool012The site begins to look fairly dramatic...
  • natural_swimming_pool014Work starts on installing the drain to remove the water from the pond structure...
  • natural_swimming_pool015The drain daylights about 300 feet away...
  • natural_swimming_pool016With the external drain is in place, we connect it to a perforated drain around the bed of swim pond area...
  • natural_swimming_pool017The 4inch perforated pipe is set in a 4inch layer of clear crush drain rock...
  • natural_swimming_pool018The drain rock is compacted...
  • natural_swimming_pool019After the drainage base, there is another layer of fabric and a layer of protective sand prior to the EPDM waterproofing membrane...
  • natural_swimming_pool020Here, a sheet of 40ml EPDM pond liner, 100 feet long and 50 feet wide is ready to be unfolded into the pool area. The material is extremely heavy and was installed in one piece...
  • natural_swimming_pool021Another layer of fabric and sand cover the pond liner for added protection against abrasion or sunlight. Next, the sub-base for the walls and floor are loaded in...
  • natural_swimming_pool022Meanwhile,the forms are built for the seating area walls...
  • natural_swimming_pool023Another 4inches of crush gravel is laid and compacted...
  • natural_swimming_pool024We start the inner retaining wall with the 1st course of wall blocks. The blocks have 2 interlocking parts, a decorative facing block and a long anchor block. They have to be laid so that each pair of blocks is level. The final number will be 9 rows plus a capping for a 6 ft 5in wall...'
  • natural_swimming_pool026Progress speeds up with the 2nd course. The blocks are each filled and back-filled with drainage rock...
  • natural_swimming_pool028The swimming area is starting to take shape. The red tamper in the foreground is used to compact the gravel every row...
  • natural_swimming_pool029The 9th course is laid and awaiting the final load of gravel and capping. The last 2 courses have short anchor blocks. This is the deep pool! The far end is now being excavated for a shallow swimming area...
  • natural_swimming_pool030From the inside, it feels deep enough for a swim. There will not be plants growing in this pool because plants need shallow water and without plants, it will not attract wildlife...
 
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..we do it naturally!
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