As more and more people are conscious of taking care of the environment, designers are doubling down on creating sustainable projects, products, and initiatives that preserve our finite resources.
Toronto-based design and architecture firm, GH3, took on the challenge of developing a better way to disinfect pools without the use of harsh chemicals and they succeeded.
For years pools have been cleaned using chlorine, but GH3 thinks a more natural approach is the better way to do things. At the Borden Park, Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, they decided to replace the existing pools there with a self-cleaning option.
They decided to incorporate a balanced ecosystem that relies on a triple-processing system using sand and granite filters, algae and aquatic plants such as reed grass and pond lilies, to keep the waters clean and safe.
The Borden Natural Swimming Pool is Edmonton’s newest summer destination and it prides itself as Canada’s first public, man-made, natural swimming pool.
The water in the public pool undergoes three water purification systems. “The filtration system relies on zooplankton plants, which eat harmful bacteria and also give the water its signature greenish colour,” GH3 said. The water is purified through:
The Neptune Filter, which uses layers of granite rock to filter the water to remove big particles such as leaves, dissolved solids, and larger organic materials. A biofilm on top of the rock filters out smaller microorganisms.
Next, the water goes through hydrobotanical beds which are “constructed wetlands” which are plants that filter phosphates, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other contaminants from the water.
“The hydrobotanic pool uses shade-giving plants like water lilies to provide a sheltered underwater environment where bacteria-eating zooplankton can flourish, while the adjacent submersive filter pool uses reed plants to help oxygenate the water,” the studio added
Lastly, all the water is sent to a chamber where it is tested before water is recirculated into the public basins.
Besides the pool, a recreation area with several patio umbrellas, space for picnicking, and volleyball court is available for use.