Swimming Pool vs. Bathing Pond: Advantages and Disadvantages

Swimming Pool vs. Bathing Pond

A swimming pool or a bathing pond in the garden saves you a trip to the swimming pool or quarry pond because you can bathe at home. You can integrate a swimming pool into the garden as a natural pond. Even more realistic is a swimming pond. It combines the features of a swimming pool and a garden pond. Both variants have advantages and disadvantages. The following article will help you in your decision about a swimming pool or a swimming pond.

The Swimming Pool in the Garden

You can easily integrate a swimming pool into your garden. The size of the pool depends on the available space. You can design a swimming pool in different ways. Prefabricated pools are suitable when there is little space available. They are offered in different shapes. These prefabricated pools are usually divided into several zones with different depths.

However, you can also create a swimming pool yourself. So you have the advantage that you can design it in shape and depth according to your wishes. Stairs lead into the water. The swimming pool can be rectangular but also oval or irregular in form. To enjoy swimming even when it gets colder, you can equip the pool with a heater.

There are no plants or animals in the swimming pool. Therefore, the swimming pool often looks quite sterile.

Construction Costs You Have to Reckon With

The fun of swimming in your garden will not be cheap. The construction costs for the swimming pool are not the only costs. There are also running costs for operation and maintenance. The construction costs and running costs can be lower for a swimming pond because the swimming pond can better regulate itself.

A standard backyard swimming pool often has a length of 24 feet (eight meters), a width of 12 feet (four meters), and a depth of at least 5 feet (1.50 meters). You should expect average construction costs of at least $50,000 (15,000 euros in Germany). These costs already include

  • Water purification and chlorine dosing system
  • heating with photovoltaic or air heat pump

How expensive the swimming pool will also depend on the shape or location. If you want an oval or irregularly shaped pool, it will be more expensive. The construction of the swimming pool on a slope can also be more expensive, as more muscular retaining walls are required.

If you still want to integrate a counter-current system because you want to fight against waves, another $6000 (5,000 euros in Germany) can be added.

To protect the swimming pool from dirt when not in use and to prevent animals or even small children from meeting a cruel end in it, you can equip the pool with a cover. This will incur further costs, depending on the size of the pool. A roller shutter with hollow chamber profiles is suitable. It slides over the entire surface of the pool and often has a load capacity of up to 25 pounds per square foot (120 kilograms per square meter). For a cover for a standard pool, you must expect the cost of $1000 – $5000 depending on the pool’s size and the pool cover material.

Inexpensive Alternative: The Erectable Swimming Pool

If you have limited space in your garden, you do not have to do without a swimming pool. There are different sizes and equipment variants of the installable models. However, such swimming pools are usually no deeper than 3.3 feet (one meter). Also, the space for swimming is limited. Such pools are an inexpensive solution. You need to change the water frequently and clean the pool to prevent the formation of algae. However, you can do without technology in such pools. Several of these pools can be dismantled when the cold season comes.

The Natural Pool – A Swimming Pool in Nature

A natural pool is a swimming pool that is integrated into nature. Also, in the natural pool no animals and no plants live. However, you can design a natural pool with a few plants. For this, you should choose plants that are suitable for hydroponics. A sand and phosphate filter provides purification and is located outside the pool. This is a biological filter. To not spoil the look of the pool, you can use a wooden border for the natural pool, under which you hide the filter. A natural pool, just like a swimming pool, must be cleaned with chlorine and with other chemicals. Since it is a naturally designed swimming pool, you should expect similar costs for a standard swimming pool. You can also use a cover for the natural pool.

Higher Construction and Cheaper Operating Costs for a Bathing Pond/Swimming Pond

A swimming pond is a garden pond that provides enough space for swimming. Like a garden pond, it has a shore zone, shallow water zone, and deep water zone. It is only more extensive than a garden pond, as it should provide enough space for swimming. In a swimming pond, the deepwater zone should be at least 5 feet (1.50 meters) deep so that the pond can essentially clean and regulate itself.

Unlike in a swimming pool, there are plants in a bathing pond. You do not necessarily need a pond liner for a swimming pond if you make it appropriately deep.

Construction costs are higher for a swimming pond than for a swimming pool. Due to the regeneration zone and the plants, you need higher costs. But these higher initial costs are amortized very quickly because you need less money during operation, e.g., heating costs or chemicals.

The things that add cost to building a swimming pool and provide benefits are not even possible with a swimming pond. You cannot equip a swimming pond with a counter-current system and a cover. However, it is not necessarily an advantage, as you cannot fight waves, and there is no protection from pollution and for children and animals.

Operating costs are also lower with a bathing pond, as good self-cleaning is ensured. However, you will need a filter. Since you can completely abandon the chemical club, the bathing pond, in the long run, will be cheaper than the swimming pool.

For example, you save about $350 – $500 for chemicals and chlorine alone with a natural pond.

Effort for Maintenance

A swimming pool or natural pool requires more effort to maintain than a swimming pond. You must always ensure clean water in a swimming pool and integrate a water purification and chlorine dosing system. The operation of such a system is associated with higher costs than the filter in a swimming pond. In addition, the system requires regular maintenance and care.

Furthermore, you will need to clean the pool frequently by removing algae and other debris. The area around the swimming pool also needs to be maintained. You need to mow the lawn and take care of the plants.

If you have a natural pool with a wooden border, the wooden frame also requires regular maintenance. It would be best if you painted with a glaze to withstand the weather.

The bathing pond requires much less maintenance. You need to remove algae and take care of the plants. You need to remove dead parts of the plants. If the plants have grown too large, you should divide them. The maintenance effort is primarily limited to plant care.

As a rule, there are no fish in a swimming pond. Therefore, you do not have to feed any fish.

However, you should check the water values at least once a week. Algae can form quickly on hot summer days. Since the bathing pond is larger than a garden pond, it requires less maintenance.

Swimming Pool and Bathing Bond – The Differences at a Glance

Between a swimming pool and a bathing pond, there are some differences:

  • The swimming pool has no division into shore, shallow water, and deep water zone.
  • The swimming pond is divided into shore, shallow water, and deep water zone.
  • The swimming pool has walls and a bottom made of concrete or tiles.
  • The swimming pond has a bottom made of soil or pond liner.
  • There are no plants or animals in the swimming pool.
  • There are plants in the bathing pond. Animals can settle.
  • In the swimming pool, you need a water purification and chlorine dosing system.
  • A swimming pond does not need a water purification system and chlorine and mostly cleans itself.

With a swimming pool, you cannot do without chemicals to keep the water clean. On the other hand, the bathing pond does not need chemicals because microorganisms take care of the purification. The swimming pool can be equipped with additional technology, for example, a heater, a counter-current system, and a cover. This is not possible with a bathing pond.

Swimming Pool – The Pros and Cons

A swimming pool is used only for swimming and is often considered a luxury object.

The Advantages Are:

  • clean water and constant good water quality with regular maintenance
  • possibility of additional heating and usability even in the cold season
  • possibility of covering
  • various accessories available, for example, massage jets

A Swimming Pool Also has Disadvantages:

  • higher effort and higher costs for maintenance
  • technology required
  • you can not do without chemical means for cleaning
  • increased water consumption since the water must be changed at longer intervals

A decisive disadvantage with a swimming pool is the chemical club for cleaning. Especially for people with sensitive skin, chlorine and other chemicals can be pretty unpleasant, as they can cause skin irritation.

Bathing Pond – The Pros and Cons

Moden house with natural swimming pond

A bathing pond is a natural biotope, as it has plants, and over time, various animals such as newts, frogs, and insects settle all by themselves.

It has Several Advantages:

  • less effort for maintenance
  • no chemical mace, as the water primarily cleans itself
  • well suited for people with sensitive skin, as no chemicals are used
  • water does not have to be changed; therefore, less water consumption
  • less technology is needed than for a swimming pool

However, a Swimming Pond Also has Disadvantages:

  • cannot be equipped with accessories such as a counter-current system or massage jets
  • no cover possible
  • water is colder because it cannot be heated
  • bathing pond can not be used for bathing in the colder season
  • a lot of space is required, as a regeneration zone must be created in addition to the swimming area.

Set Priorities

If you want to build a swimming facility in your garden, you should consider what is important to you and set priorities. If you need a lot of space for swimming, you value clear water, and you still want to swim in the colder season, the swimming pool is the solution of choice. If you mainly want to enjoy nature and occasionally take a dip, you will make the right choice with a swimming pond.


A swimming pool is more expensive to build and maintain than a swimming pond. It is used only for swimming and can be equipped with various technology. Cleaning can not be done without chemicals. A swimming pond is a small biotope, and the water cleans itself for the most part and does not require chemicals. The cost of construction and maintenance is lower. It would help if you prioritized what is important to you in the first place.

Florian Egert

I am Florian Egert, the owner of pondlovers.com. I live with my wife and two children in Germany in a small village in the countryside.

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