BioNova™ Natural Swimming Pools

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I build a Natural Swimming Pool on my own?

Building a Natural Swimming Pool is a very complex process that should be carried out by a trained builder. We have found that the difficulty of construction is often underestimated, especially when compared to conventional pools, and it is best left to the professionals. Misinformation about Natural Swimming Pools is widespread on the internet, which makes do-it-yourself projects risky ventures.

How is the water treated?

The water is treated biologically. There are no chemicals used, nor are there any devices used that would disinfect or sterilize the water. The movement of the water through the biological filter, the action of the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in the filter and regeneration zone, as well as the plants feeding hydroponically on the water is how the water is cleaned. This is pure Mother Nature cleaning and clarifying water. We are simply building an environment that allows her to do what is natural – and – enhancing that environment with design techniques and energy-efficient technology.

How big does the regeneration zone need to be?

There are technically 5 different “types” of NSPs and they differ depending on the exact design of the swimming zone and the regeneration zone, however a good rule of thumb is that the regeneration zone should be approximately equal in size to the swimming zone.

Can I heat the pool?

Yes – how much you can heat it, depends on your climate and on the time of the year. BioNova™ Natural Pools tend to be warmer than traditional pools, because the regeneration zone is relatively shallow and acts as a passive solar collector. Ask your BioNova™ Dealer for details on heating in your area.

What about mosquitoes?

Because a BioNova™ Natural Pool’s water is in motion, mosquitoes are not a problem as they do not breed in moving water.

Do these pools cost more than traditional pools?

In general, No. The cost per square foot of a Natural Swimming Pool is no different than the cost per square foot of a regular pool. Prior to the use of BioFilm reactor vessels, Natural Swimming pools did cost more because they required TWICE the area (Swm area + Planted Regeneration Zone) and on average these type of installations started at around $100,000. Now, with a biofilm reactor doing the biological purification, a typical 16’x32′ pool will average between $60,000 to $75,000. Once installed on-going operational costs are lower over the years as no chemicals are needed and energy consumption is much lower than for a chemical pool.

Can we have fish in the pool?

No, although fish would love to live there.  Fish consume beneficial microbes and put an undesirable biological load on the system and are not permitted in order to meet BioNova™ standards.

Will there be algae?

Yes, algae is a naturally occurring plant and an NSP will always have some algae in it.  Algae is not harmful, it is simply a single cell plant and a small amount of algae in the regeneration zone of the system is actually necessary. We control algae by using the correct aquatic plants for the climate to insure that these plants out compete with the algae for the available nutrients in the pool water. Algae is typically relegated to the regeneration zone and is vacuumed out of the swimming zone with a pool vacuum or automatic pool cleaning system.

What kind of maintenance is required?

Some maintenance is the same as for a traditional, chemical pool. We need to periodically empty and clean skimmer baskets, empty and clean pump baskets, vacuum the pool and clean the filter. Water garden maintenance is also necessary – removing unwanted plants, trimming and maintaining existing plants and cutting them back at the end of the season.

We have freezing weather in the winter, what about winterization?

In cold climates, the NSP needs to be treated just like any other pool, i.e., the plumbing lines need to be winterized, and the pump and filter drained. The swimming zone can be covered with a winter cover and the regeneration can be covered with a BioNova mesh to prevent leaves and other debris from entering the area.

What is the minimum size for an NSP?

We do not recommend NSPs smaller than 535 square feet in total.  Consult your BioNova™ Dealer for details on correctly sizing an NSP.

Who designs and builds my pool?

Your pool can be designed in a number of different ways including either with your BioNova™ Dealer or a trained landscape designer working closely with you and BioNova™ to meet your aesthetic criteria.

Can I build a Natural Swimming Pool on my own?

A Natural Swimming Pool is a balanced wetlands ecosystem based on the principles of limnology, hydraulics, hydroponics, and modern pool construction methods. Although you might be interested in building your own natural pond, for the end product to have the ecological stability to be a long term success, all of these principles must be carefully incorporated. It is therefore far more complex to design and build an NSP than it is to build a traditional, chemically-treated swimming pool. BioNova™ recommends working with experienced professionals to build an NSP that provides optimal water clarity, quality, and bather enjoyment.

BioNova™ Natural Pools – The Pool Reinvented – Plants Instead of Chemicals™

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