Our natural swimming pond at Casa Azul is a real ‘back to nature’ swimming experience. We do not add a single thing to the pure water, it is kept completely clean by the natural action of the plants. If you have problem skin that could be worsened by either chlorine or salt, you will find our soft, fresh water wonderful to immerse yourself in.
The pond is so natural that local wildlife regularly comes to visit. Strikingly colourful dragonflies swoop over the pond to find a safe place to lay their eggs and we have frogs, tadpoles and newts in the pond at various times of the year. These visitors mainly stay amongst the plants out of the swimming zone and of course are not at all dangerous! We are proud that the eco system of the pond works so well and we hope you will enjoy observing these creatures as much as we do.
Swimming ponds were first introduced to the UK at the Hampton Court Flower Show in 2001, where the exhibit won a Gold Medal. The designer of the exhibit and winner of the medal, Daniel Lloyd-Morgan, designed and oversaw the construction of our swimming pond here at Casa Azul.
Although a relatively new concept in the UK, swimming ponds are well established in mainland Europe, particularly in Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria and are regarded as an environmentally friendly alternative to a conventional chemically cleaned swimming pool.
So how does it all work?
In nature lakes and ponds are kept clean by a combination of plants and micro-organisms including beneficial bacteria. Organic waste matter is broken down by the action of these micro-organisms into substances that plants can absorb in the form of nutrients. It is this natural occurrence in nature that is fundamental to the swimming pond concept, where there are no chemicals used.
The swimming pond is essentially made up of two merging zones, which together, make up an ecologically balanced and self-cleaning pond. Each zone is roughly equal in size and referred to as the regeneration zone and swimming zone. The regeneration zone, which is separated from the swimming zone by an internal wall below the pond surface, is to utilize a wide range of aquatic plants as a living biological filtration system.
The plants are rooted into a gravel and filtration mediums of varying size that make up this biological filter. By planting the aquatic plants directly into the gravel (without additional soil) they must draw their nutrients directly from the water and it is this process that clears and purifies the water to maintain a natural, chemical free swimming environment.
There is free movement of water between the two zones and though the internal wall ensures the swimming area is kept free of vegetation, by its nature some plant matter will inevitably float over.
Despite the divide, one still feels surrounded and immersed in plants and nature.