Technology

Seeing Green: First Public Natural Swimming Pool Opens!

 

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The first of its kind in the USA: Webber Natural Swimming Pool. (Image Credit: minneapolisparks.org)

By Kristen E. Strubberg Editor-in-Chief

Green water in a swimming pool usually means someone hasn’t been keeping up with the complicated chemical balance that keeps the water clean.  Not so in Minneapolis, Minnesota where they just opened the first PUBLIC swimming pool maintained by natural filtration in the United States: Webber Park Natural Swimming Pool.Natural filtration is a dynamic biological process through which harmful waste is extracted from pool water by over 7,000 aquatic plants growing in a separate regeneration basin lined with limestone and granite gravel.  The plants utilize unwanted bacteria as a food source while the gravel sponges remaining contaminants   Filters are also used but no chlorine or bromine is added to keep the H20 healthy.  As such, the water is naturally emerald green rather than the traditional crystalline blue created by chemicals.

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Close up of the regeneration basin. (Image Credit: minneapolisparks.org)

In Europe natural pools became popular and are now commonplace according to Upworthy.  However, rigid health regulation – particularly for public pools – have hindered the natural pool conversion on a large scale.  Despite a legal and financial deep end, Webber Park took the cannonball dive once the original concrete public pool was set for demolition in 2010.  Now they have a 500,000 gallon public pool, sans chemicals, that completely circulates every twelve hours.

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Detailed layout of the main pool’s depth divisions and the regeneration basin. (Image Credit: minneapolisparks.org)

Project managers can also boast two bonuses to the natural swimming pool.  They hope the regeneration basin will attract local wildlife such as frogs and turtles to inhabit the micro-environment and enhance the overall experience.  Plus, after the pool closes on Labor Day (like all other public pools) it will be used as an ice-rink when the water freezes.

For more information visit the Webber Park Natural Swimming Pool website and Upworthy.

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