A family near Essaouira, Morocco happily splash around in a natural pool with zero chemicals.
A beautiful, luxurious swimming pool in Morocco that contains none of the nasty chemicals that irritate your eyes and cause respiratory problems has functioned perfectly well for over a year. A family living near Essaoiura on the country’s windy west coast (famous in parts for its murals) commissioned a natural, zero emissions eco-pool that blends in with the natural landscape. Despite critics who claim that it’s dangerous to have a swimming pool without chlorine, the “Schwimmteich” still looks great and allows the local fauna and flora to thrive as well.
Babeth and Guy from Morocco have a whitewashed stone house typical of the area as well as a generous garden. Their pool was built around existing plants and olive trees to ensure that the ecosystem was not disturbed. The filtration system includes lagoons planted with certain wetland plants that filter out water, a sedimentation column that absorbs nutrients, as well as a waterfall and regeneration pool that oxygenates water before it is returned to the swimming area.
Scientists have known for the last few decades that bulrushes and other wetland plants are nature’s kidneys and often exceed the performance of harmful chemicals, but it has only been in the last few years that people have begun to trust constructed wetlands and natural pools.
Ecological pools that rely on nature to stay clean are considered quite controversial since they lack fast-acting chemicals that kill bacteria. In Israel last year, a Kibbutznik who wanted to build a natural pool sued the country’s health ministry, which denied permits on the grounds that some kind of chlorine must be used to keep it clean.
But in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, ecological pools are fairly common and have proven themselves to be perfectly healthy and safe.
DecRen Water Consult (DWC) from Germany lent their expertise to the Moroccan-based company ITRI Environment, who notes on their website that, “the principle of the natural pool is based on the balance of an ecosystem: the choice of plants is crucial.”
A solar-powered 12 volt pump helps to keep the water circulated and oxygenated and ensures that this zero-emissions natural pool is the first of its kind in the country.
Although the Middle East has been slow to catch on to the benefits of plants such as bulrushes and papyrus that naturally filter contaminants, at a water-centered conference in Egypt last year, experts presented the idea that constructed wetlands can help to clean the polluted Nile River.
More on wetland plants and natural pool in the Middle East: