Cost to build a natural swimming pool

Whether traditional or natural, swimming pools add life to your property. Natural swimming pools are much closer to nature than conventional swimming pools. Are you bent on building a natural swimming pool on your property? In that case, this article will help you make your decision by describing various aspects and costs associated with building a natural swimming pool.

If you’re a diehard nature enthusiast, the chances are that you’re a fan of natural swimming pools. Natural swimming pools provide an excellent means of cooling your hot day off. Also, natural swimming pools are much easier to maintain than conventional swimming pools (we’ll get into the details later in this article).

“Swimming is probably the ultimate of burnout sports,” says Diana Nyad, and she’s right about that. There’s nothing better to cool off your day than a dip in a swimming pool, especially a natural swimming pool, where you can swim in nature’s pleasant embrace.

Natural Swimming Pools – What are they?

A natural swimming pool is a body of water that does not require the use of chemicals to function and cleanse itself. Natural pools are self-cleaning ecosystems that exist within or next to the pool. Germany was the birthplace of natural swimming pools, which were inspired by natural swimming holes and ponds. Chemical-free swimming pools are still quite popular throughout Europe.

Biofilters are used to keep the water pure in order to function without the usage of chemicals. Good bacteria, microbes, and aquatic plants filter the water in a regeneration zone or directly in the pool. It’s then pushed through a secondary filter to remove any remaining sediments or germs before being returned to the pool.

Chemicals or machinery are not used to clean the water in natural pools. Instead, they utilize a pump to circulate water through various plants, which naturally filters and cleans the water. 

Every natural pool is divided into two sections of about similar size: a swimming portion and a regeneration zone. This portion is likewise filled with water, but it’s hidden and varies from the swimming section in that it’s shallower, filled with crushed gravel, and has a variety of aquatic plants. Mosquitoes do not reproduce where the water is constantly moving because they prefer stagnant or motionless water.

Backyard natural swimming pools – should I install one or not?

As mentioned earlier, there’s nothing better you can do in your home than furnishing it with a touch of nature through natural swimming pools. However, the decision to install a natural swimming pool on your property depends upon whether you can live with its negative aspects. 

Though not many, a natural swimming pool has some cons like every other thing in this world. Before discussing the cons of having a natural swimming pool on your property, let’s discuss the BENEFITS of having one on your property.

Benefits of having a natural swimming pool on your property

Apart from being a sight for sore eyes, natural swimming pools boast of the following features:

  • Natural swimming pools are environmentally friendly and home to a lot of plants and wildlife.
  • Natural swimming pools do not require any harmful chemicals to clean themselves.
  • Natural swimming pools demand much less maintenance as compared to traditional swimming pools. They don’t require chemical filtering, pH balancing, and chlorine.
  • Once you’re done building your natural swimming pools, the costs to maintain them are relatively lesser than those associated with traditional pools.
  • You can give natural pools the look of your choice, for example, a pond-like look. The sky’s the limit.
  • Natural swimming pools function in almost all climates. 

The cons of having a natural swimming pool on your property

Although not many, some of these cons pertaining to natural swimming pools are worth mentioning. 

  • The yearly costs of maintaining a natural swimming pool are comparatively lesser, but the initial investment might drill a hole in your pocket.
  • Natural swimming pools require a separate area specially dedicated to filtration, also known as the regeneration zone. The swimming zone and the regeneration should ideally be of the same size. This means that if you were to install a traditional swimming pool in the same area, you’d get a much larger swimming area.
  • Finding a contractor to build a natural swimming pool can be an arduous task because not many contractors specialize in building a natural swimming pool.
  • Depending on the algae population, organic water might take on a brownish hue, and it’s hard to entirely eliminate debris and some life from the pool.
  • Some people may just prefer the crystal-clear waters of a traditional swimming pool.

How much does it cost to build a natural swimming pool?

The minimum cost to build a natural swimming pool is somewhere around $50,000, whereas the maximum price can be around $100,000. This means that the average cost of building a natural swimming pool on your property averages between $60,000 and $80,000 (you do the math!).

Most people pay approximately $70,000 for a 30′ x 20′ natural concrete-lined pool with steps and a modest deck, which is the national average cost of building a natural pool. A natural bentonite-clay-lined pool with no frills will set you back around $50,000 on the low end. A natural pool with steps, deck, waterfall, retaining wall, infinity edge, and rocks costs around $100,000 on the high end.

Different materials you can use you build a natural swimming pool and their cost

A natural pool can cost anywhere from $0.25 to $113 per square foot, depending on the material used to construct it. Concrete is the most typical material for swimming pools since it allows you to customize your pool, get varying depths, and have straighter walls. 

Other materials, including pool liners, gravel, clay, and fiberglass, may be utilized instead. A pool’s regeneration zone is packed with plant life and gravel that filters the water and keeps it clean and algae-free.


Fiberglass costs between $100 and $113 per square foot for a natural swimming pool. The filtration system in natural swimming pools is effective in combating algae development. Installing fiberglass in your natural swimming pool, on the other hand, improves its capacity to combat algae development.


Concrete pools range in price from $55 to $70 per square foot, depending on the style. Concrete is the most popular swimming pool material, and it offers the greatest customization possibilities, as well as a wider range of depths and straighter walls.


Bentonite clay usually costs around $0.50 to $1.5 per sq. ft. Clay adds a natural look to your natural pool, while aestheticizing it at the same time.

Natural Pool Liner

Natural pool liners range in price from $0.25 to $1.20 per square foot. Pool liners are used in conventional pools; however, a pool liner may also be used in a natural pool. They assist in maintaining the pool clean and keeping the water in the pool.


The bottom of your pool’s regeneration area will be filled with 5 to 6 inches of crushed gravel, which costs $1 to $2 per square foot. The gravel isn’t used to create the pool; rather, it’s added to cleanse it. As a result, these fees will be in addition to the cost of the pool material used to construct the natural pool.

Labor costs associated with building a natural swimming pool

The average cost of labor to create a natural swimming pool is between $27,000 and $38,000. The cost of materials, machinery, and excavation varies between $33,000 and $42,000, putting the total cost of a natural swimming pool between $60,000 and $80,000. 

The initial few steps of constructing a natural pool area are similar to those of constructing a traditional pool. The pool must first be lined with clay, or concrete must be put up and poured. On the regeneration side, gravel is neatly bedded. 

Once the gravel has settled, pumps and pipes are installed to guarantee a neat and constant flow of water. Next, water is gradually added to your natural pool. When your contractor is done with filling your natural swimming pool with water, they’ll add plants to it. 

The regeneration zone is filled with oxygenating and floating plants. Once the plants are placed, your natural swimming pool is ready for you to take a dive and indulge in nature’s embrace.

Maintenance costs associated with building a natural swimming pool

Once installed and operating, natural pools require very little upkeep. They don’t need to be opened and closed at the start and end of the season and may be left to freeze and thaw naturally. They do, however, need the pumps to run for a few weeks at the beginning of the season to get the filters up and running before utilizing the pool. 

To remove silt or debris, you may need to skim or vacuum the pool on occasion. To maintain the pump operating properly, it may need to be serviced from time to time. A natural swimming pool, on the other hand, does not need to be maintained on a regular or annual basis. As a result, it is significantly less expensive to maintain than a traditional pool.

A basic natural swimming pool and additional tweaks

A standard family-sized natural swimming pool (approximately 50ft overall, with a 30ft swimming area), equipped with a wooden jumping pier, underwater wooden wall, starting water plants, and built-in biological filtration system, costs $65-70K to build. This excludes any unusual site requirements (turn-key, including all the materials, heavy equipment rental & labor). 

The supplies alone can cost $30-40K, with heavy gear costing $8-10K on average. The remaining cost of construction is the work time required to bring it all together. 

The expense of adding a realistic waterfall or extra accessories around your natural swimming pool (one 20T load of big rock from the quarry) is around $10-15K. 

Depending on the design and local material pricing, larger, more bespoke natural swimming pool/pond building projects can cost anywhere from $70,000 to $150,000 or more. It totally depends on how luxurious you want your natural swimming pool to be.

Ending Note

Natural swimming pools do boast of luxury and are definitely the envy of many of your visitors. The cost to build natural swimming can be much more as compared to a traditional swimming pool; however, you can save a lot on maintenance costs. This is because natural swimming pools are not very high-maintenance, and the maintenance costs are much lesser than those of traditional swimming pools.


How much does it cost to build natural swimming pools?

The average cost to build a natural swimming pool is somewhere between $60,000 and $80,000. However, this is just an average. The final cost to build a backyard natural swimming pool depends on your requirements.

Are natural swimming pools cheaper?

Natural swimming pools are much cheaper in the long run because of their low maintenance costs. However, they may cost a bit more than traditional swimming pools in construction.

Do natural pools attract snakes?

Snakes and frogs may be drawn to natural pools, but they seldom stay long because there is no stable supply of food in the pool; nonetheless, hand skimming of the natural pool may be necessary from time to time.

How small can a natural swimming pool be?

A natural swimming pool can be as small as you like. However, it is important to mention here that almost 30% to 50% of the area will be used in the regeneration zone. Therefore, you must consider this before building a small natural swimming pool on your property.

How long does it take to build a natural swimming pool?

If you’re lucky enough to find a contractor that will build a natural swimming pool for you, they will usually build your natural swimming pool within 6 to 12 weeks. 

Can natural swimming pools be heated?

To extend your swimming season each year, you may heat a natural swimming pool with almost any conventional swimming pool heater or solar heating equipment.