Natural swimming pools or natural pools are a great way to add that close-to-nature touch to your swimming sessions. To make a fair estimate of how much it costs to build a natural pool – we’d say it takes an average of $70,000 to create a natural pool that is 30×20 feet.

If you’re a fan of nature, the chances are that you’d prefer natural pools over traditional ones. Natural swimming pools are also referred to as natural ponds. This is because they are much like ponds and even pack that pond-like greenish/brownish tint.

This article boxes all there is to know about natural swimming ponds. If you’re considering building a natural swimming pool, we’d say GO FOR IT! And if you aren’t convinced already, by the end of this article, you will be!

What is a Natural Swimming Pool?

The roots of natural swimming pools lie in Europe. Natural swimming pools differ from regular swimming pools due to the fact that Mother Nature aids these pools in their maintenance.

With a natural swimming pool on your property, you won’t have to pay heavy bills to buy chlorine and other chemicals to disinfect and clean your pool. Swimming ponds rely on plants instead of chemicals for their filtration.

Essentially, you’ll find two areas in a natural swimming pool, the swimming area, where you can swim to your heart’s content, and the green area. The latter area consists of plants and greenery that filter and cleans the pond for you.

What Are Natural Swimming Pools Made From and How are They Built?

Mostly, people use concrete to build artificial swimming ponds for themselves. However, to distinguish them from the traditional swimming pools, people paint the concrete black. This ensures that the pool vibes with nature’s touch. Also, a separate portion is dedicated to plants in these pools to paint them as a truly natural phenomenon.

The initial steps of creating a natural pool area are similar to those of creating a conventional pool. First, the pool is either lined with clay or built up and poured with concrete after the excavation and digging. Then, on the regeneration side, gravel is spread. The pipes and pump system are then installed, and the pool is gradually filled with water. The aquatic plants are then planted. Finally, the contractor adds various floating plants, oxygenating plants, and crushed gravel to the regeneration area.

The Cost To Build A Swimming Pool That Resembles A Natural Pond

Before going knee-deep into the dynamics of what it costs to build a natural swimming pool, you should know that it takes around $70,000 to build a concrete 30×20 feet natural pool. The pool that we’re talking about here is a pool that has stairs and a small deck to add to its natural glow.

If you’re on a budget, we’d recommend that you go for a natural pool that is lined with bentonite clay. This will cost you $50,000, tops.

If you’re a fan of luxuries, you must go for high-end natural swimming pools that boast of extravagance and luxury. High-end natural swimming pools will cost you around $100,000. Such swimming pools feature a waterfall, retaining wall, boulders, infinity edge, stairs, and a deck.

Cost Of Using Different Materials To Line Your Natural Swimming Pool

Naturally, the ultimate cost of building a natural swimming pool varies with the type of material you use to line its walls and floor. The price per square foot of natural pool lies in the range of $0.25-$113, depending on the material.

Concrete is the most common pool lining material. However, fiberglass, gravel, pool-liners, and clay are close contenders too. Concrete also allows for straighter pools walls and more customization options. The plant or regeneration zones are covered in gravel and plants to filter the water and save it from algae spread.

The table below summarizes the costs per square foot of using different materials to line your swimming pools.

Pool MaterialCost per Sq. Ft.
Fiberglass$100 – $113
Gravel$1 – $2
Concrete$55 – $70
Pool liner$0.25 – $1.20
Clay$0.50 – $1.50

Labor Costs In Building A Natural Swimming Pool

Broadly speaking, the labor charges around $27,000 to $38,000 to build a natural swimming pool that is tailored to your requirements.

On the other hand, machinery, material, and excavation costs lie in the range of $33,000 to $42,000. Considering these factors, the ultimate cost of building a natural swimming pool is between $60,000 and $80,000.

Maintenance Costs For Natural Swimming Pools

You’re done with building your natural swimming pool, GREAT! But now it’s time to maintain it to keep it fit for swimming. The maintenance costs for natural swimming pools are much lesser than those of traditional swimming pools.

They do not require frequent opening and closing at the start and end of a season and can succumb to the season as the water freezes and thaws. However, they need special pumps to operate for a few weeks at the start of a season to get the filters working correctly before utilizing the pool for swimming.

You may also need to clean the pool periodically to remove silt or debris. To keep the pump operating correctly, it needs to be serviced from time to time.

Traditional pools vs natural swimming pools

Natural swimming ponds usually cost around $50,000 to $100,000. Whereas, traditional pools cost between $35,000 and $90,000. Both are great options when it comes to water-based recreational activities. However, if you’re a man of nature, then it’s recommended that you go for a natural swimming pool.

Natural swimming pools can take up more space than regular swimming pools due to the fact that natural swimming pools demand an equal area for regeneration zones as well. These regeneration zones are essential to add the breath of nature to your swimming pools, and you can’t compromise on their creation.

Natural Swimming Pools Vs. Natural Ponds

You can install a natural pond for prices as little as $5,000. This price may shoot up to $20,000 if you tweak your natural pond with a few luxuries. However, as the name suggests, ponds are not for swimming, unlike natural swimming pools.

Natural ponds are nothing like natural swimming pools, and their only purpose is to beautify your humble abode. They may also serve as breeding grounds for aquatic creatures, and this only adds to nature’s aesthetic touch.

Costs To Tweak Your Natural Swimming Pool

Retaining Wall

If your natural swimming pool wasn’t built with a retaining wall, you could always customize it to add a new one. You can add these walls for as low as $20 per square foot. In their construction, you can add natural stone veneer to make your retaining wall pop out.

Pool Sand

If you’re a fan of the beaches, you should add some sand to your natural swimming pond. Pool sand is pretty cheap, and you can easily get it for $1 per sq. ft. However, pool sand also calls for high maintenance.


Waterfalls are a luxurious addition to your natural swimming pool. However, waterfalls call for extra maintenance, too, as they’re prone to algae and the build-up of dirt and other elements. Depending on your choice of a waterfall design, the cost to install a waterfall averages $1,500.


The cost of lighting ranges between $450 and $1,200. Lighting should be used in your landscape to make the most of your pool. There are also choices for lining pool lights around the pool or integrating submersible, floating LED lights to provide a splash of color and life to your natural swimming pools.

Things To Consider Before Building A Natural Swimming Pool

Before rushing into the idea of building a natural swimming attraction for yourself and your family, you first need to consider a few things.

The Cost To Build A Natural Swimming Pool

Natural swimming pools can be deemed as a luxury on your property and call for high installation costs. The cost to build a swimming pool with a tinge of nature lies between $50,000 and $100,000, depending on how high-end you want your pool to be.

The Huge Amount Of Space Required

Natural swimming pools demand a great land space. This is due to the fact that regeneration zones are a part of these aesthetic pools, unlike traditional pools. A great natural swimming pond design is one with an equal area for swimming and plantation.

Building Phases

A lot goes into the building of natural swimming pools, and there are a lot of phases. For starters, a lot of area has to be dug out. After that, the foundation of the swimming pool is laid, and the pool is lined with the lining materials of your choice. Next, you need to give your pool a natural touch by adding all the plants in the regeneration zones. Next, you’d have to wait for these plants to settle and grow. While doing all this, you also need to be careful whether the planted plants are climate-friendly or not.

All this will take a minimum of three months, and that too if you’re lucky. Also, you won’t be able to dive into your natural beauty for the first year if you live in a cold climate.

The Depth Of The Swimming Pond

A natural pool’s swimming area can be up to 12 feet deep on average, equivalent to that of a conventional pool. Stairs, decks, and other classical pool elements are also popular among swimming pool fans.

The regeneration area will be shallower, commencing at roughly 6 inches and going to about 18 inches in depth.

Benefits of Having a Natural Swimming Pool

There are many benefits and gains of having a natural swimming pool on your property. Some of these benefits are:

  • Natural swimming ponds are environmentally friendly.
  • Natural swimming pools are free from potentially harmful chemicals that are used in traditional swimming pools to clean and disinfect them.
  • They are easy and much less costly to maintain than traditional swimming pools.
  • Natural pools work just as well in any harsh climatic conditions.
  • You won’t have to plan an adventure to dive into lakes if you crave a swim close to nature.

Cons Of Having A Natural Swimming Pool On Your Property

  • They are more expensive than traditional swimming pools and might drill a hole in your pocket.
  • They require a lot of space, so you’d have to sacrifice some space on your property if you want a natural swimming delight at your disposal.
  • Swimming pools that are naturally built aren’t that popular, are hard to build, and you might have a challenging time finding a contractor that is ready to build them.

Ending Note

Natural swimming pools, though expensive, can be an excellent investment if you have the money to build them. They are just great for nature enthusiasts and will indulge all their pleasure senses as they take a dive into the aesthetic waters of a natural swimming pool.

However, before materializing your plan of building a natural swimming pool, make sure you understand the costs associated with its construction, the space required, and the amount of time it takes to build one.


Are the costs to build a natural swimming pool high?

Yes, the cost to build a natural swimming pool is naturally high as they are considered a luxury. These costs can go as high as $100,000.

Can you put aquatic creatures into a natural swimming pond?

Yes, but that wouldn’t be a good idea, as this only increases your cleaning costs and efforts.

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

The average cost to build a natural swimming pool in the United States is $70,000.

What permits do you need for a natural swimming pool?

To build a natural swimming pond, you need the same permits as those required to build a regular swimming pool.

Can you heat natural swimming ponds?

Yes, like other swimming pools, natural swimming pools can also be heated. You can do so using solar heaters and different types of other water heaters available on the market.