This Is The First Chlorine Free PUBLIC Swimming Pool In The U.S.


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Categories: Nature

For a long time, there were only two ways to access a "naturally filtered" pool: live in Europe or open up your wallet.

A gorgeous natural swimming pool in Austria. Photo by Peter Thomas/Flickr.


Natural pools are miraculous, gorgeous creations that use plant life, rocks, and other biological filters to eliminate the need for cleansing chemicals.

They're clean, they're safe, and they're absolutely beautiful.

These natural pools have been big in Europe for a couple of decades now, with the first ones popping up in Austria and Germany in the 1980s. In the years since, they've seen a rapid increase in numbers. Today there are over 20,000 natural pools in Europe, including plenty open to the general public.

A naturally filtered pool at a hotel in the UK. Photo by Matt Taylor/Flickr.

For those of us in the States, however, natural pools are much harder to come by.

Having any kind of pool built from scratch in your own backyard comes with a hefty price tag, and not a lot of homes in America come with a pre-built private, natural pool.

When it comes to public pools, there are lots of strict state-mandated regulations around the use of chemicals for bacteria, so natural pools just haven't been an option for most communities.

A private natural pool built for a homeowner in Maryland. Jealous? Photo by Maryland Pools/Flickr.


That's why most of us have been stuck wading in pale blue, chlorinated waters for as long as we can remember.

But that's about to change — at least, if you live in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis is about to open the first all-natural, chlorine-free public swimming pool in the United States.

It's called the Webber natural pool, and the project has taken over four years and $6 million of funding, not to mention the numerous legal hurdles and construction delays, but it's finally coming to fruition.

This is no dinky pond. Check out all the features the pool supports with natural filtration. All photos of Webber pool courtesy of the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.

The pool is all set to open on July 24, 2015.

The swimming pool is on the left. That huge area on the right is filled with biological filters, plants, and gravel.

The Webber pool features a shallow end and a deep end — like any good pool — and it also features an even deeper jumping platform, lap swimming lanes, and holds over 500,000 gallons of water.

Every 12 hours, the entire half-million gallon pool slowly drains in and out of what's called a "regeneration basin" filled with over 7,000 different aquatic plants rooted in gravel and limestone. The plants consume some of the bacteria and nutrients — the ones you wouldn't want getting in your eyes — for growth, while the rest clings to the gravel.

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