Contacts
 




Keyword Site Search







The Hybrid Option
By David Aquilina, Strategic Storyteller





This hybrid pool in Princeton, N.J., combines features of a conventional and a natural swimming pool. It includes a stream flowing over rocks, two waterfalls, a spa, a Grand Effects gas fire pit, an ipe wood deck, Lightstreams glass tiles, a zero depth beach entry, and a sun shelf. A BioLab UV sterilizer and a Del Ozone commercial-size ozone generator supplement the natural bio-filtration of the plant beds. A Paramount PC2000 in-floor automatic cleaning system uses pop-up jet nozzles to sweep and remove dirt and debris.


A natural swimming pool achieves and maintains water purity and clarity by natural biological filtration in a section with aquatic plants and rocks - no chlorine or other chemicals. NSPs are ideal for people allergic to chemicals, homeowners who are ecologically minded, and clients who envision an aquascape that offers the experience of swimming in a naturalistic setting while ensuring that the water is clean and safe.

An NSP works by establishing a balanced wetlands ecosystem. Thus, NSP water is pond water. Some algae and biofilm forms on the rocks, walls and bottom of the swimming zone.

So, what if the client is not quite ready to go all-natural? That was the challenge faced by James Robyn of Rin Robyn Pools(R), Bernardsville, N.J., when he crafted a unique pool for a family in Princeton, N.J. Robyn is also president and chief executive officer of BioNova(R) Natural Pools North America, the master licensor for patented NSP technology that has been used in Europe for more than 30 years.

Since these homeowners wanted natural features, but not as natural as a real pond, the solution was a hybrid swimming pool with a UV-light sterilizer and ozone generator to supplement the natural bio-filtration of the plant beds. In addition, an in-floor automatic system cleans the floor of the swimming area.

The pool, including the stone deck surrounding it, measures approximately 30 feet wide at the deep end and 60 feet long from end to end. The total surface area of the water, including the spa, is 2,200 square feet. It holds 80,000 gallons. Water appears to enter the pool via a spring that bubbles over a cluster of rocks and down a stream that flows into the spa and into the pool over two small waterfalls. The source stream is the key naturalistic element of the pool. A rock-circle next to the spa is surrounded with seating boulders. In the center of the circle, a fire pit with ceramic logs was created with a Grand Effects electronic-ignition gas system.




This hybrid pool in Princeton, N.J., combines features of a conventional and a natural swimming pool. It includes a stream flowing over rocks, two waterfalls, a spa, a Grand Effects gas fire pit, an ipe wood deck, Lightstreams glass tiles, a zero depth beach entry, and a sun shelf. A BioLab UV sterilizer and a Del Ozone commercial-size ozone generator supplement the natural bio-filtration of the plant beds. A Paramount PC2000 in-floor automatic cleaning system uses pop-up jet nozzles to sweep and remove dirt and debris.





This hybrid pool in Princeton, N.J., combines features of a conventional and a natural swimming pool. It includes a stream flowing over rocks, two waterfalls, a spa, a Grand Effects gas fire pit, an ipe wood deck, Lightstreams glass tiles, a zero depth beach entry, and a sun shelf. A BioLab UV sterilizer and a Del Ozone commercial-size ozone generator supplement the natural bio-filtration of the plant beds. A Paramount PC2000 in-floor automatic cleaning system uses pop-up jet nozzles to sweep and remove dirt and debris.


Adjacent to the spa, a 500-square-foot wood deck made of ipe provides the perfect spot for enjoying the sight and sound of water dancing down the stream. The aquatic plants included for natural bio-filtration are positioned around the deck, which enhances the natural feeling of this section.

Just below the deck, a ten-foot-wide, zero depth beach entry is accented by large, locally sourced natural stones. The beach entry was constructed with PebbleTec plaster finish.

A curved 250-square-foot, six-inch-deep sun shelf includes sockets with PVC anchors for umbrellas and offers another special spot for relaxation. Two steps provide easy access to the swimming area from the sun shelf.The main swimming zone is in the center of the pool. Colored stones embedded in the plaster finish at the bottom of the pool define a 60-foot-long, eight-foot-wide lap lane, wide enough for two swimmers. The deep end is ten feet deep and has a diving board. Benches installed on both sides of the board allow for easy exit from the deep end.

Across the pool from the deck, another planted zone adds to the natural feeling. The curved edge of the pool on that side offers a two-foot-wide, 20-foot-long seating shelf.

A landscaped area extends and blends the pool into its setting, with views to surrounding wooded areas and a wildflower meadow. The overall result is an inviting, tranquil outdoor retreat.




The 500-square-foot wood deck is situated adjacent to the spa and one of the pool's planted zones. Setting the deck amidst the rocks and aquatic plants contributes to the natural design of the project. Planted next to the deck are taro, dwarf cattail, and pickerel weed.





PebbleTec plaster finish was used on the zero depth beach entry. The stone deck is a natural stone quarried nearby in Pennsylvania. Large, locally sourced natural stones are strategically placed. Aquatic plants include taro, dwarf cattail, pickerel weed, water lilies and lotus.





Across from the beach entry is a two-foot-wide, 20-foot-long seating shelf with a landscaped area behind it. Biodiversity is vital to establish and maintain a well-functioning, sustainable ecosystem. Landscape contractors often include a dozen different species.





The plant beds are integrated into the pool itself, making it look like a real pond. In keeping with BioNova(R) design principles, unobtrusive walls separate the planted zones from the swimming area. A wide variety of aquatic plants are used in NSPs. Plants visible here include Erebus tropical canna.


According to Robyn, the market for NSPs is well established in Europe but only began to develop in the U.S. and Canada over the past five years. The hybrid pool alternative could be an option that accelerates the growth of the North American market. Landscape contractors can promote natural swimming pools and hybrids to high-end residential clients as a new option for creating a distinctive pool unlike any in their neighborhoods. The hospitality industry represents another target of opportunity. For hotels and resorts touting their LEED-certified facilities and sustainability practices to consumers who seek out eco-friendly travel experiences, an NSP could be a signature green element that sets them apart.

Since aquascaping to create ecosystems and landscaping to enhance the areas around swimming pools are essential for successful NSP projects, landscape contractors have the capabilities to add NSPs and hybrids to their offerings. Learning about the technology and working with project partners who have NSP expertise and experience will prepare contractors for these installations. And, as in any project, educating the client and setting their expectations will go a long way to ensuring success.








HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Related Stories




October 17, 2019, 9:09 am PDT

Website problems, report a bug.
Copyright © 2019 Landscape Communications Inc.
Privacy Policy