Practical Pool Design and Construction
Locate the pool for visibility from the home, and primary entertainment areas.
Swimming holes are a landscape amenity feature, so you should maximize the visibility of a pool and waterfall.
Natural Design Swimming Holes are more than just an entertainment unit and should be enjoyed as a visual compliment to your landscape year-round. You should enjoy the ambiance of your pool in January almost as much as in July. You can enjoy the area with a cup of coffee or tea or watch the waterfall and lighting, even though you might not be swimming in the winter.
Swimming pools and adjacent entertainment space should be located taking the sun into consideration. You want the pool to warm up as much as you can from the sun’s rays, but it is also very important to have shaded entertainment space nearby to best enjoy the pool area.
Swimming Holes also need greenery of some kind, because they are designed to look like a naturally occurring body of water, so it is best to separate some patio areas from the edge of the pool, thereby providing green belt areas for plants between the patio areas and the edge of the pool.
Traditional perimeter decking does not work well with the swimming hole design. It is better to concentrate patios into areas away from the water’s edge and to use steppingstones between these patio areas to allow for greenery near the water.
Natural Design Swimming Holes are by nature very efficient at collecting solar energy to help warm the water. The darker sides of the pool below water are natural solar collectors. In addition, the shallow beach areas accelerate warming the water from the sun. The waterfall, if exposed to the sun, will heat the rocks in the afternoon. They are a great heat collector if exposed in this way. This can be used to advantage if the waterfall runs slowly over these hot rocks in the afternoon. Sculpted rocks in the waterfall will absorb the sun’s energy. When the water trickles over the rocks in the afternoon, it will help to warm the pool.
In addition to being a very efficient solar heat collector to help heat the pool, the shallow end in a swimming pool is where 85% of activity takes place. The deep end is only better for jumping and diving. It is not any better for swimming than shallow water.
The shallow area beach entry is the most efficient for solar heating, so it should be a sizeable area, to take advantage of this.
Additionally, it is great entertainment space because it serves as a wet patio. Just as you would sit in a lawn chair possibly on a lake or the ocean on vacation, people will gather in the shallow beach in lawn chairs to enjoy the sun and water. If an island rock with an umbrella is included, it becomes a great place for conversation or to read a book as you would on vacation.
You will also want to keep in mind that a pool surrounded by trees and/or shadow-casting buildings will not receive as much sunlight as a pool that is in an open area with direct sun exposure.
The key to heating any pool without a heater and by solar means is sunlight, – as much sunlight as possible.
The location of your pool affects the temperature of the water. If the pool is shaded or consistently exposed to high winds, the water will be colder, more expensive to heat, and less likely to retain heat. This could shorten your swim season.
If you are in the early stages of planning your pool addition, think carefully about the location you choose to build the pool.