Controlling natural swimming pool temperature can be a delicate process to maintain natural, living water. It is important to understand that the microbiological activity in an NSP is most efficient in a temperature range between 50ºF-90ºF for both BioSwimPonds and BioPools. Heating the water in the spring and fall to extend the swimming season can be done efficiently, as we’ll explain in a bit.
Heating Up and Cooling Off
BioNova® BioSwimPonds tend to be warmer than checimcally-treated pools. This is due to the water’s shallowness in the regeneration zone relative to the rest of the pool; it acts as a passive heat sink from solar energy. The shallow, slowly moving water makes it easier to heat up. As an example, think about how long it takes to boil water. The more water you have, the more energy is needed. As long as the NSP water is not adjusted beyond the seasonal norms of naturally occurring bodies of water in your climate zone, no problems should occur.
Additionally, the aquatic plants in regeneration zones may be adversely affected by heat above 90ºF. Although warmer water generally aids in aquatic plant growth, sharp fluctuations in temperature can shock the plant.
Heating water beyond seasonal norms doesn’t affect the beneficial bacteria so much as it encourages the growth of potentially harmful pathogenic microbes, which can affect a swimmer’s health. Biological filtration used in an NSP should not be used in a hot tub, where temperatures are typically maintained in excess of 100ºF.
Colder water will also affect an NSP’s microbial community. Most biological activity is suspended below 50ºF water, as it becomes inefficient for the microbes to spend energy. Since beneficial bacteria will go dormant in colder conditions, algae blooms are unlikely to form. As the temperature climbs above 50ºF, the microbial community will “wake up” to consume the excess nutrients stockpiled during dormancy.
Solar Solutions: Controlling Natural Swimming Pool Temperature
Two methods to consider for natural swimming pool temperature control both utilize solar panels. Direct temperature control uses adaptions of solar heating panels to pipe the pool water across solar collectors continuously as the sun heats the panels. The daytime solar cycle heats the water, and the nighttime lunar cycle can cool it. Even though the pump must continually run for the pool’s volume to be heated or cooled, modern systems by FAFCO® have remarkable efficiency and reliability. These systems create enough power to operate your NSP off the electrical grid.
Closed-system temperature control uses heat exchangers to adjust pool water. A solar-powered boiler or water heater circulates independently from the swimming zone. The pool water is drawn across the exchange, absorbs the heat from the exchanger’s conductive materials then returned to the pool.
If you want to add a heating and cooling option to regulate your natural swimming pool temperature, talk to a BioNova® dealer and discuss your options for keeping the water refreshing every time you jump into the water.