Written by Jaymi Naciri

RIP, pool. It was nice stepping off your slick decking into your chlorinated waters. If you need us, we’ll be over here in the backyard pond.

“Nature lovers and chlorine haters, rejoice. There’s a new pool in town. And by pool, we mean pond,” said Business Insider. “These eco-system swimming creations are environmentally-friendly and will protect you from #DroughtShaming.

Drought shaming, you say? That’s the hashtag that has popped up to call out those who are ignoring or inflaming drought conditions in California and other stricken areas.

But that’s just one reason to forgo the traditional pool for a pond.

“If you care about the Earth, or if you hate the way your skin smells and feels after swimming in a chlorinated pool, consider going au natural,” they said.

Have questions? We have answers.

1. What is a swimming pond

A swimming pond is a natural type of pool that is generally split between a swimming area and vegetation.

The vegetation is critical because it “acts as a biological filter,” said Good Housekeeping.

“Plants like flag irises and water lilies keep phosphate levels in check while getting rid of nitrates so there’s no algae,” added Business Insider. “Gravel also plays a role in filtering the pond. To keep the water moving, go the scenic route with a waterfall or install a small pump—this will also help keep the pond clean.”

2. Does it use chemicals?

One of the great benefits of a swimming pond is that it is chemical free. “When managed properly, natural swimming pools have crystal-clear water and require no chemicals to maintain because they are self-cleaning mini-ecosystems,” said Good Housekeeping.

3. Are they hard to build?

No. Some people even do it themselves.

4. Does a swimming pond cost more than a pool?

“Natural pools cost about the same as traditional swimming pools—construction costs start at about $50 per sq. ft.,” said houselogic. “However, because there are no chemicals to add, yearly maintenance costs are hundreds of dollars less.”

5. What else is needed for maintenance?

“You’re building a natural ecosystem that basically takes care of itself. Monitor chlorine? Nope. Balance the pH? Relax. The most you’ll have to do is skim fallen leaves off the surface,” said houselogic. “There aren’t any filters to monitor, either, so you don’t have change out anything. Bonus: No electricity needed to run the filter system.”

Sold yet? Check out a few of these backyard swimming ponds.

The Owner Builder Network

Good Housekeeping

Ferncreek Design