Saturday, August 8, 2009

Au naturel!

The natural swimming pool's popularity is sweeping across Europe. It began in Austria, spread to Germany and now has conquered much of Europe. It has become so accepted that in Germany alone there are now over 100 public natural swimming pools.

So what is a natural swimming pool? A natural swimming pool (NSP) is a concept that gets its inspiration from nature. Nature's ability to filter and clean a body of water is combined with man's inclination to swim in it. By incorporating nature into a man-made pool, the use of chemicals to clean the pool's water is rendered unnecessary. In fact, a pool is considered NSP only if it's 100% chemical free.

Why go chemical-free? For one, chlorine is toxic. Its ability to kill bacteria and germs in just a small amount is the reason why it's added to drinking water to remove pathogens. Put too much of it and it becomes harmful to human. In an enclosed system like swimming pools, chlorine must be continuously added to keep the water clean. And more often than not, too much of it gets added. As a result, it emits this distinctive 'swimming pool' smell that you don't even have to see the pool to know that it's there. You might have experienced itchy skin, red eyes, dry skin or chemical smell lingering several hours after swimming. That's the effect of chlorine on your skin. Not to mention are the damaging effects of chlorine to the respiratory system.

On the other hand, natural swimming pool is clean and chlorine free. Aquatic plants like water lilies, water lotus, irises, reeds, etc are employed to clean and filter the water. They derive the nutrients they need from the people who swim in it. In return, they keep the water clean. The pool is divided into two areas, the swimming and regenerating zones. Water from the swimming zone goes to the regenerating zone. The plants' root system and the natural bacteria that reside in them filter and break down the nutrient from the water, absorb them and the filtered water is then returned to the swimming area clean and free of pathogens.

This is an eco-friendly pool concept that is worth looking into. The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages... which by the way is almost none. Now, when dipping your body in a water purified by nature, doesn't that invite you to go au naturel?