Recreational water features

Recreational water features are ponds or tubs specifically designed for swimming or relaxing in.

Swimming ponds; Unlike most ponds they are generally built with either smooth pebbles or sand on the bottom to give a more pleasant feel underfoot and are planted with a range of flora which will enhance both the visual aspect of the feature and the water quality.

A well designed swimming pond can combine the recreational requirements of people who like outdoor swimming with an attractive and natural looking water feature that will bring wildlife and interest to the garden. It is possible to construct jetties and islands and even introduce fish for an even more diverse habitat.

The major considerations are whether you have

  • a space large enough to accommodate the feature?
  • a sufficient source of water to replenish the large amounts of evaporation losses and evapotranspiration from plants and algae?
  • the money??
  • the commitment to ongoing maintenance ?(quite minimal if properly designed)
  • and no small children to whom you consider a large pond a risk
  • If you are fortunate enough to have all of these things you can consider installing one.

    Hot tubs; these can be easily acquired as off the peg items and vary enormously in price, size and complexity.

    a typical commercial hot tub being installed

    Most of the purpose made hot tubs available require a suitable hard surface, an electricity supply and a good supply of water to hand. The amount of energy required to heat, circulate and filter the water is considerable and must not be overlooked. With proper attention they can be a wonderful addition to the garden however because they are large vessels full of warm water they pose a very serious risk to health if not properly maintained. The main culprit is Legionella but there are other organisms that require proper control, the only guaranteed way to kill these in a hot tub is to dose it regularly with a chemical specifically designed to deal with these bugs. Draining the system is no guarantee of getting rid of these pathogens as small amounts of water left in pipes and filters can still harbour dangerous populations.

    It is possible to build hot tubs in situ using a range of materials and techniques within a wide range of budgets. Examples heated by open fires, stoves, solar panels and even small wind turbines are all possible and can be made into interesting and visually appealing structures.

    This example in Iceland has helped inspire a few people here as it has a similar look to much of our local stonework.but then they have the benefit of natural hot springs to heat them!

    See our gallery for other ideas and some we have built

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