While driving through the middle of nowhere near the Michigan/Ohio border over the weekend I discovered the thrill and luxury of swimming ponds. I’ve been telling my husband that I want a pool for years (despite living in an apartment) but now I’m changing my tune. Pools look puny next to a sprawling pond complete with swimming deck and paddle boats. My new quest has begun!

Here’s some scoop I discovered about swimming ponds (or natural swimming pools as they’re otherwise called):

1. They’re not as expensive as you’d think. I haven’t called anyone for a quote (I need the house and property first) but construction costs mirror traditional swimming pools and maintenance costs are hundreds of dollars less per year.

2. Swimming ponds are low maintenance. The natural ecosystem basically takes care of itself so the most you (or I) will need to do is skim leaves off the top. And no electricity is needed to run the filter system.

3. The water is super clean and chemical free. At first I thought I’d be swimming with the weeds and fish when Kurt (my husband) introduced me to the idea of a swimming pond but this is not the case. You can construct it where you keep the plants (and any other wild life such as frogs and fish) separate from the general swimming area. Also swim ponds are filtered without the use of harsh chemicals keeping everyone happier (and healthier).

4. Instant winter ice rink! There is no need to drain swimming ponds in the winter – simply allow them to freeze over. Pipes used for circulating water are underground and protected from freezing.

5. You can build one yourself. Ok – you’ll probably have to rent some equipment (like a bulldozer) but it’s possible to build a swimming pond yourself. Plenty of websites offer tips and know-how to help you out. Or you can take the easy way out and hire a contractor.

When I was talking with my in-laws about my want for a swimming pond, they reminded me that I have a huge “pond” right outside my apartment (aka Lake Michigan). Um, yea. That’s true but there’s nothing quite like having your own private oasis. Maybe someday (soon!).

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