Go to top

3 Types of Swimming Ponds + Expert Care Tips

Swimming ponds are an amazing way to bring a touch of nature right to your doorstep. They’re a greener, more scenic alternative to traditional chlorinated swimming pools.

In this blog post, we’ll explore three types of swimming ponds: formal, walled, and hybrid. Each type brings its own special flair to your outdoor space, offering beautiful spots for relaxation and fun.

Whether you prefer the neat lines of formal ponds, the cosy feel of walled ponds, or the flexibility of hybrid ponds, you’ll find plenty of inspiration.

Key Takeaways

  • A swimming pond is an eco-friendly alternative to usual swimming pools, blending into your garden space.
  • Design and construction must be well-planned to ensure a balanced ecosystem and cleanliness.
  • Maintaining water quality and the safety of the swimming environment are crucial.

Different Types of Swimming Ponds

Choosing the right type of swimming pond depends on your aesthetic preference, garden layout, and ecological considerations. Each design offers a unique way to enjoy the benefits of a natural swimming pool.

1. Formal Swimming Ponds

Formal Swimming Pond

Formal swimponds often emulate traditional garden layouts with their sleek, geometric lines. These ponds are designed to create a sense of elegance, making them an ideal choice for more structured garden spaces. These ponds frequently have clean, angular boundaries and upscale finishes like polished stone or granite.

  • Design Elements: Formal ponds may include fountains or statues that serve as focal points, enhancing the structured beauty of the garden. They frequently have carefully chosen vegetation surrounding them that enhances the pond’s geometry.
  • Shapes and Sizes: Typically rectangular or square, formal ponds can be customised to fit specific dimensions of a garden, often featuring straight edges aligned with existing property lines.
  • Depth Considerations: Depths can vary, but they usually range from 1.2 to 2 metres, accommodating safe swimming conditions while maintaining enough volume for effective water purification.
  • Ideal Settings: This type of pond suits traditional gardens. It is a perfect match for estates or homes where architecture is a focus.

2. Walled Swimming Ponds

Walled Swimming Pond

Walled swimponds are defined by their use of vertical boundaries. These natural pools, which have walls enclosing them on one or more sides, offer a retreat that is ideal for private estates and urban gardens alike.

  • Shapes and Sizes: Walled ponds can be adapted to nearly any shape—rectangular, circular, or even irregular forms.
  • Depth Considerations: Similar to formal ponds, the depths of walled swim ponds generally stay within the range of 1.2 to 2 metres, designed for both safety and ecological balance.
  • Materials: The walls are typically built with materials that echo the local architecture—think aged bricks, natural stones, or decorative blocks.
  • Aesthetic and Practical Benefits: Besides their beauty, the walls of these ponds enhance the microclimate of the water, helping to keep it warmer.

3. Hybrid Swimming Ponds

Hybrid Swimming Pond

Hybrid swimponds are the chameleons of the pond world, blending elements from both naturalistic and formal designs. They cater to those who appreciate the organic feel of a natural pool but desire some structured elements.

  • Shapes and Sizes: The flexibility of hybrid designs allows for a range of shapes, from circular to freeform, tailored to the unique contours of the garden space.
  • Design Flexibility: These natural swimming pools might combine sleek stonework with rugged, natural edges or mix manicured plant zones with areas for wildlife. The result is a balanced ecosystem that is both beautiful and biologically functional.
  • Depth Considerations: Hybrid ponds maintain a depth range suitable for swimming yet shallow enough to support aquatic plants and efficient water filtration.

Water Quality and Maintenance

Maintaining your swimming pond’s water quality is key to ensuring a healthy environment. Through regular maintenance and the right equipment, you can prevent common issues such as algae growth. At Ponds by Michael Wheat, we offer pond maintenance packages to ensure your natural swimming pond is crystal clear.

Filtration and Water Circulation

Filtration systems are crucial for maintaining clear and healthy water. Your pond should have a mechanical filter to remove debris and a biological filter to break down nitrogen compounds.

Circulation pumps play a vital role in this process, as they oxygenate the water and facilitate the filtration process. It’s essential to choose a pump that’s appropriately sized for your pond’s volume to ensure efficient water movement.

When building our swimponds, we use the first-of-its-kind Michael Wheat System to ensure our ponds are the safest and cleanest possible.

Algae and Plant Management

Algae management is a significant part of pond maintenance. Algae growth can be reduced through the strategic use of aquatic plants, which compete for nutrients and block sunlight. Regular removal of fallen leaves and debris will also reduce excess nutrients that fuel algae spread. Additionally, ultraviolet (UV) clarifiers can be used to kill bacteria and algae.

Seasonal Care

Your pond’s maintenance needs change with the seasons. In spring, it’s necessary to clean out any waste that has accumulated and restart your filtration systems. During the summer, regular checks will keep algae at bay.

Autumn may require the removal of fallen leaves, and as winter approaches, some ponds may need a heater to prevent the surface from freezing completely. Remember, proper seasonal pond care can minimise maintenance costs in the long run.

Top Tip: Check out our guide on Pond & SwimPond Maintenance Tips for Every Season

Health and Safety Considerations

Types Of Swimming Ponds

When you’re considering taking a dip in a swimming pond, your safety and health should always come first. Ensure you are well-informed about your swimming pond’s maintenance and water quality aspects to enjoy a safe swimming experience.

Listed below are key health and safety considerations:

  • Water Quality: Regularly testing the pond water for harmful bacteria such as E. coli is vital. Be aware of the levels of other bacterial indicators that reflect water safety.
  • Chemical Use: Ponds with no chlorine reduce the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals. However, if chlorine is necessary, ensure it is used minimally and safely to prevent irritation to your skin.
  • Fencing: It’s important to have secure fencing around the pond if you have children or pets. This prevents accidental falls into the pond.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Ecosystem: Consider the ecosystem within your pond. Balancing the plant life and aquatic organisms can contribute to the natural cleanliness and health of your swimming area.
  • Sun Exposure: While sunbathing may be enjoyable, overexposure to heat can lead to sunburn or heatstroke. Always apply sun protection and keep hydrated.

Shape of Your Swimming Pond

There may only be 3 common types of swimming ponds however, when working with a specialist, your project will be bespoke to your vision. Will it be the most extravagant around or do you prefer the tried and tested? There’s lots of extravagant shapes and your consultant at Ponds by Michael Wheat will be able to go through them with you. 

Click Here to see our Swimming Pond Shapes document

Enhance Your Garden with a Custom Swimming Pond

Swimming ponds are a lifestyle choice that beautifies your garden while supporting local ecosystems. Whether you prefer the crisp edges of a formal pond, the enclosed charm of a walled pond, or the adaptable nature of a hybrid pond, there is a design that will enhance your outdoor space. For more inspiration or to start designing your own swimming pond, contact our experts at Ponds by Michael Wheat. Let us help you create the perfect natural pool for your home.