Your own swimming pond in the garden – that sounds like a dream that is not so easy to realize at first. You can get to your swimming pond very quickly and fairly cheaply if you inform yourself, work out your own instructions for the procedure and then take action yourself. Here is a first overview of how you can build a swimming pond yourself and what costs it could cause.

What distinguishes a swimming pond?

A swimming pond is a pond that looks like a pond and in which you can still swim – at least in part of the pond. It contains two zones, first the swimming zone, in which there is nothing but water, and then the pond zone, a natural habitat for animals and plants, as is the case with every pond in the garden.

The swimming pond is more natural than the swimming pool of the classic pool, because you clean your water with natural means in a biological-mechanical way without the unpleasant chlorine. Gravel, plants and microorganisms and possibly a permanent flow filter take over the water purification.

Clear and soft swimming water without any chlorine is not only good for the skin, but also for the surrounding garden (soil).

Preparation and planning of the swimming pond

Before you start building or shoveling enthusiastically under the pressure of your children, a few things need to be clarified:

  • Where should the swimming pond be? Best in partial shade, constant sun allows too many algae to sprout.
  • There should be no trees near the pond that let their leaves fall into the water.
  • The groundwater level must be checked; if it is too high, it can lead to the excavation collapsing during construction or require extensive drainage measures.
  • Most of the time, your water authority can tell you the height of the groundwater table; if in doubt, a test excavation is sometimes necessary.
  • Your bathing pond is sometimes subject to approval, which you can find out from your responsible building authority.

Then you have to decide how much technology you want to operate your swimming pond with:

1 . The classic swimming pond is set up in such a way that natural water treatment takes place, supported at most by a small pump that creates a little flow. Here you work with a one-chamber system in which the swimming area and regeneration area are in one pond. The regeneration area is large. Preferably even larger than the swimming area. That won’t be possible on every property. However, you should plan at least half of the available area for the regeneration area. If in doubt, you can create an additional filter zone later.

This regeneration area is also called the filter zone or water treatment zone. It can be designed in different ways:

  • Turn the regeneration zone into a huge soil filter by planting it with underwater plants
  • The surrounding planting with suitable bank plants is also part of the regeneration zone
  • Bank plants support the aquatic plants
  • It is easier to guarantee water treatment if you include a small pump or an artificial stream
  • ensure that the water keeps moving
  • The filter zone through which the water is fed improves the cleaning performance even more
  • then the regeneration zone can be a little smaller

In any case, with such a naturally kept swimming pond, only around half of the area remains for swimming. The swimming pond, which can be operated as a purely natural facility, can take up total sizes between 80 and 250 square meters.

2. If this cannot be achieved on your property, all you have to do is create a swimming pond with more technical support. Here, too, by the way, one assumes an ideal case of the same size of swimming area and regeneration area. The smaller you want to design the overall system of the swimming pond, the more effort you will have to make and the more technology you will have to use to achieve good water quality.

Building a swimming pond – technical instructions

A classic swimming pond is created in the following steps:

Step 1

For a swimming pond, too, you first need a large hole in the bottom. Those who have the strength and time simply start digging, those who do not get construction machinery to do the excavation. A mini excavator can be picked up with a car trailer. It fits through most, even narrow, garden doors and can dig a pit about 10 x 4 meters, 1.70 meters deep, in one day. These are roughly the dimensions for a normal swimming pond. A good 50 cubic meters of earth will then be excavated, which will also have to be distributed on the property. You can rent a so-called mini dumper, a kind of wheelbarrow with a motor. If you really want to dig, plan a lot more time. But of course muscle work replaces the gym for some time. You should proceed in this order:

  • First determine the size and shape of the future swimming pond and the exact location on the property
  • Mark the outline of the swimming pond with stakes that protrude from the excavation around it
  • The excavation is now taking place
  • keep part of the earth, store the rest (raised bed, etc.) or dispose of it
  • Then model the pit into a smooth basin, depending on the local soil conditions:
    • Loamy soils bind very well, here the risk of the slope edge breaking off is quite low.
    • This is different with sandy soils, here the basin should be stabilized after modeling.
    • To do this, you can cover the swimming pond hollow, for example, with a light concrete cover made from a concrete-sand mixture.
    • Or you pull in a real concrete base, the smoother the pond floor, the easier it is to maintain.

step 2

When the pond basin is ready, it is cleaned – every stone, every root and every other sharp unevenness must be removed with the greatest care.

A fleece is then inserted, with an overlap of at least 10 cm for each lane. These fleeces are offered in a wide variety of variants and strengths, e.g. B. from providers of pond liners. When it comes to strength, you should orientate yourself in a range between 300 g and 1 kg weight per square meter. The strips should be dimensioned so that the film ends about 30 cm above the water level, direct contact between the water and the ground must be avoided at all costs. Otherwise the earth would pull the water out of the pond, this is called the capillary effect.

step 3

Accordingly, you now use capillary locks to prevent this. Here plastic systems are offered that only have to be joined together, a simpler variant is created from lawn edging stones or a land-side concrete foundation. A concrete foundation can be walled up with a natural stone plaster for decoration.

Step 4

The regeneration area is now separated. This can be done by floating baffles or by reed rollers, which are laid out on a (possibly previously modeled) earth wall and then fixed with earth-moist concrete.

The area where the soil filter should go is filled with a mixture of stones and lava (grain size 2.5 to 5 mm), with which zeolites have been mixed. When the entire regeneration zone becomes a soil filter, it is equipped with a filter layer of approx. 50 cm everywhere, then the soil filter is planted with reed plants or pre-cultivated reed mats.

Step 5

A small centrifugal pump can be used to circulate the water, which can be combined with a compact filter unit with sponge filters. Such a centrifugal pump may only have an output of up to 30 watts and be operated with 12 volts, which is mandatory for bathing ponds for safety reasons. The centrifugal pump can be accommodated well below the web in the compact filter unit.

The plants for the regeneration zone

If you really want to build your swimming pond on your own and do not want to bring in any prefabricated plant mats, you will have to deal thoroughly with the underwater plants. Because these are extremely important for the pond, in more than one respect:


  • dispose of excess nutrients in the water and from the soil
  • compete with the algae so that they do not multiply excessively
  • enrich the water with oxygen, also in the deep

These are powerful plants for the regeneration zone:

  • Glossy pondweed or specular pondweed (Potamogeton lucens)
    • Aquatic plant that grows in flood
    • Leaves and / or stems float on the surface of the water
    • However, it does take root under water
    • very persistent and usually grows quickly
    • Leaves “float” briefly below the water level
    • The flower spikes rise from the water, waiting for pollination
  • Quellmoos (Fontinalis antipyretica)
    • belongs to the native aquatic plants most willing to grow
    • per area of ​​10 square centimeters, it aerates and cleans one cubic meter of water
    • fast growing
    • forms entire underwater meadows
    • Underwater carpets grow along the ground without shading other plants
    • stay green all year round
    • this provides the fish with air and oxygen even in winter and prevents excessive algae proliferation in spring
  • Dense leaved waterweed (Egeria densa or Elodea densa)
    • spreads “like the plague” with its exceptionally rapid growth
    • works like a kind of health police, converting all pollution into plant growth
    • ensures good water quality
    • Growth is easy to stop by very cautious and precise feeding for a while

The waterweed provides the pond with large amounts of oxygen all year round, which the fish in the pond urgently need, and due to their rapid growth, it does not give algae a chance to spread in the pond.

Even more plants for the swimming pond

In the deepest pond zone z. B. additionally the yellow pond rose (Nuphar lutea), the sea can (Nymphoides peltata), water feather (Hottonia palustris), crayfish claws (Stratiotes aloides), water nut (Trapa natans) and floating spawn herb (Potamogeton natans) can be used. These plants also form the rooting species of floating plants, see below.


In the swamp area of ​​the pond, plants grow that like to stand in the water, but that stretch their leaves and flowers out of the water: Frog spoons (Alisma) and buttercups such as buttercup (Ranunculus flammula), water crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis) and common buttercup (Ranunculus lingua), Heart spoon (Caldesia) and hedgehog (Baldellia), sweet flag (Acorus) and arrow herbs (Sagittaria), pine fronds (Hippuris vulgaris) and globe flowers (Trollius), swan flowers (Butomus) and sham callas (Lysichiton). By the way, be careful with the cattails (Typha) and the different types of reed, which only belong in really large ponds, because their far-reaching, strong root system slows them down, even through pond liners and plant containers.

Then there are the floating plants, the plants with floating leaves that are partly rooted in the ground and partly just float on the surface of the pond. Their leaves shade the water, offer animals in the pond hiding places and cover from above, and animals outside the pond have landing platforms where they can rest, drink or lay their eggs. Frog bite (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae), horn leaf (Ceratophyllum), duckweed (Lemna, Spirodela, Wolffia), water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) grow freely.

Cost of a swimming pond

As you have just seen, the subject of swimming ponds has so many facets that it would be nonsensical to write down any fixed price here. In other words: You can get a fixed price very quickly, all you need to do is go to the Internet and look at a kit that contains all the elements of a swimming pond. You get z. B. to see a kit for a 3 x 6.5 m swimming zone for around 15,000 euros. You will also often hear statements of 20,000 euros, e.g. E.g. when you ask a company for an offer.

But if you trust yourself to use a mini digger and are able to find and implement the information on building a swimming pond, you will probably build a wonderful swimming biotope on the property, which is no more than around 5,000 , – costs. Most of it costs the foil, if you can find a cheap (used) foil it can get even cheaper.

A swimming pond doesn’t have to remain a dream. The more natural the bathing biotope is to become, and the more you can tackle it yourself, the sooner you can start with the facility. The article here introduced you to the core work involved in the system, along with the design of the bank zone, and you will also have to acquire some knowledge and many tips and tricks about water in the pond and water treatment.

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