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Natural grey water cleaning swim pond
We were working on two natural ponds next to the forest garden. This project has stopped for the time being because we're not yet ready for it. Or we let go our principle of only using natural materials, or we find some funds to make it happen.
In the mean time we are creating a small pond, on top of the garden. This small pond will be a water source for the garden and a nice place to host frogs, dragonflies and other water loving animals. It will bring more bio diversity (animals and plants) and moisture in the garden.
The big ponds project:
Let nature clean the water!
The first big pond will be full with waterplants that act like a filter.
The plants host the right bacteria for breaking down and processing
rain water and water from the house.
The second pond has some plants around, on the shallow parts, and in the middle it will be 2 to 2,5 meter deep.
These natural ponds will have a clay floor, with stones on top of the clay for the plants to hold on to. No plastic liner; we want to use only natural and local materials.
The pond(s) will add a lot to the natural diversity of that area and we're looking forward to host all this new plants and wildlife!
Permaculture design for our natural swim pond
Our summers get hot and we love to swim. Not in chlorinated water; we love fresh water. So in summer we drive to the river (13km) a few times a week. And back.
How fantastic would it be if we can swim on our own terrain, in a natural pond with our own grey water that is filtered and cleaned!
If only 3% of the world's water supply is fresh water, and of this only 0.03% is available (the rest of the fresh water is held in ice caps, clouds, vegetation and in the soil), it can be considered a crime to flush the toilet with drinking water, and not find a use for shower water that is hardly polluted with our natural, biodegradable soaps.
Observations and patterns:
- We as a family strive to make our handprint exceed the size of our footprint and live in harmony with nature. This pond will be a good step in that direction,
- After food security on our self sufficient homestead, we want to work on water security.
- We don't want to drive this 26 kilometre,
- Our guests don't have to drive and can stay here when we have a pond,
- Guests might stay longer on our camp site,
- We don't have to spend money on beer on someone else's terrace,
- We can do quick dives & don't loose time on driving and waiting for others to be ready,
- Swimming is an excellent way of exercising,
- Reuse of our grey water so it is not wasted in the septic tank,
- We can show a great permaculture example,
- Diversification of the wildlife on our land,
- Diversification of the plants on our land,
- We could create an extra income stream with fish or water plants or ducks or growing water demanding crops, or selling drinks for swimmers.
Points against a natural, grey water cleaning swim pond at home:
- We have to spend money on it
- Frogs make noise.
Some usefull resources:
We were inspired by the article "DIY Natural Swimming Pool" by David Butler, in Permaculture Magazine #66 (winter 2010).
The book we use is Michael Littlewood's "Natural swimming pools: Inspiration for Harmony with Nature" (ISBN 978-0-7643-2183-2).
We also use various information from the internet and YouTube.
Article "How to Build a Natural Swimming Pool" by By Douglas Buege and Vicky Uhland on Mother Earth News.
An inspiring community project: Creating a Home Graywater System on YouTube.
Another nice Home-built greywater treatment system on YouTube.
Building a Bio-Filter, (Greywater Recycling System) on YouTube: a nice small scale project.