This page explains some of the construction detail of a large swimpond intended for serious swimming activities. The site chosen for the swimpond was situated in a level field at the bottom of a bank. Work began by removing the sod and soil and installing a culvert to divert run-off water from the higher ground.
A wide excavation was worked to create a level bench for the regeneration zone. We then cut to the full depth needed for the swimming zone. At the deeper level, work was hampered by water breaking in from a natural spring making it necessary to install a drain to divert the flow of water. The excavation was wrapped with a fabric membrane to hold the sides, then a drainage base installed to channel rising water into the culvert and away from the swimpond.
The swimpond is lined with a standard EPDM waterproof membrane, the largest size available and then a sub-base of crushed stone. The size of the swimming zone demanded construction to an engineering specification. Modular concrete blocks were used for the retaining walls. The blocks have 2 interlocking parts, a decorative facing block and a long anchor block. They have to be laid so that each pair of blocks is level. Each block is filled and back-filled with drainage rock. When the 1st course of blocks is laid, the liners are flipped over and drainage installed behind. Nine rows plus a capping creates a 6 ft 5 in wall. It’s a deep pond!
The pictures show the progress of the construction and detailing with landscape stone and rockery, water features and aquatic planting. The pond was filled with water from the spring, which will also serve to replenish water lost due to evaporation. Additional landscaping included stone walling and seating, planted areas and a garden pizza oven.
As soon as the water level covered the regeneration zone, wildlife started to take an interest. Green Tree Frogs were soon spotted, and an American Dibber dibbing in the shallows, a rare visitor to these parts. Living water supports life!