Which type of swimming pool

Hi John,

Your advice on this topic is very informative - thank you.

i have just joined this forum as I am considering taking on a property in Morbihan - I would like to make any development eco-friendly and as I am considering a pool I am looking at my options.

I would really like to PM you with some specifics regarding natural pools vs managing a pool to use very low chlorine levels - as you say drinking water levels appear possible with correct management.

I have only experienced communal pools and do suffer with eye and skin stinging - I’m a sensitive soul :).

Our pool has a black liner which helps to keep the water warmer and has a beautiful blue colour, not the Mediterranean blue which can look so out of place.
It can be heated via our pompe a chaleur, and which also gives the choice of heating or cooling our gite,
There is an automatic system to add the chemicals to the water, which works well and there is no smell at all.
There is an electric roller cover which meets the safety standards for pools.
Obviously, this is not a cheap system but swimming is my luxury and, of course helps to attract clients to our gite.

Hi Fran,
Yes by all means message me and we can discuss what you would like to do. As you can read from Jane’s post there are some things that help like good covers and automatic dosing. Reducing the electric bill is by 90% is another of specialists areas, so reducing the carbon foot print by a huge amount.


Hi Fran and welcome to the Forum…

If any of your queries are not of a private/personal nature… it could well be useful and informative if you could post them here …

Pools are a very popular subject and there is so much to learn…

but, quite understand if you only wish to discuss via PM…

This is great info. Thank you.

Thanks Jane.

Swimming is my luxury too and essential exercise for me.

I appreciate you sharing your experience and I’m sure I’ll have LOTS of questions. If I’m going to invest in a pool I want to do it right :).
I am interested in your comment on attracting more visitors - how much impact does a pool have on bookings and pricing, in your opinion?

Whilst this would not be a main focus for our property, I will be working overseas a lot in the next few years so there will be some opportunity for us to do a few holiday let’s and help fund at least a few utility bills :slight_smile:

As Jane has pointed out that our conversation may help others, I’ll keep it open for now.

I started to look into natural swimming ponds which use plants to filter the water etc. But I am not sure if this would work well when I’m absent from the property. I don’t think I, or anyone else, would have the knowledge and skills to maintain it.

I realise that there are other ways that I could maintain a more eco-friendly pool from your comments above.

I will be viewing properties in June/July and as a pool is at the top of my wishlist it would be super useful to understand the main considerations for construction of a small pool. If you could help I’d appreciate it.
So here goes:

  1. One area I am looking at is Morbihan - if I wanted to have a year-round pool what would I have to put in place to cope with the colder months? I would definitely have a pool cover and would aim to use solar for heating (see question below).

  2. In terms of structure, there would be a limited budget for this. In Spain I have seen a lot of ‘above ground’ structures which seems to be the cheapest option. With the environment in mind I am looking at the impact of concrete vs a ready made ‘molding’ which I assume would be fibreglass. I’ve also seen hemp concrete used for building but I’m not sure it would hold up for a pool?

  3. Site considerations - other than a flat area with no overhanging trees, what else do I need to consider?

  4. Water - is it possible to keep a pool topped up from a natural local source e.g. spring and can the water be left in all year? Again on environmental grounds I don’t want to waste water.

  5. Pool heating - I have read ( on other posts in this forum) that you can have a solar system that diverts any excess electricity to an immersion system to heat water including pool heating. Do you have experience or advice on this?

I know it’s a lot of questions, but I want to know what to look for when visiting properties. Your help is much appreciated.

Best regards,



All of our visitors have chosen us firstly because of the pool.

They put it in their search criteria, which cuts out the majority of other accommodation in our area.

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I agree, most looking for holiday accommodation also want extras so pools and spas feature highly on the want list.

Hi Fran,
Most important is an insulated pool structure, whilst most of the heat loss is from the surface there is loss through the pool walls and floor too.
If the budget allows an Abri cover is best for all season use.
Concrete is long lived and whilst the high temperature furnace is required to manufacture the cement concrete is usually crushed at the end of it’s life and re used into road materials etc. If you use a liner, then easier to look after and when the liner fails you get to choose another which will instantly update your pool, like changing wallpaper.
If the water table in your grounds is low enough the coque fiberglass are quick to put in and therefore a bit more expensive and sometimes have fixed, inflexible placement for fixtures like skimmers and returns which are unlikely to be in the best position for efficiency.
Site consideration as you have stated + water table, good draining ground.
Water from wells is often rich in minerals/metals which can create a whole host of problems. You would need to have it tested and retested at different times of the year to ensure it is safe. Same with natural springs. I hate wasting water, it is going to get into short supply so looking after it is essential. Good covers reduce evaporation and chemical use so very important on environmental grounds.
Pool heating, not really an efficient method using solar generated electricity, you can use solar hot water like evaporated tubes which could also be used to heat your hot water system and via a heat exchanger the pool as well. Some way of covering the tubes when your pool is warm and also the hot water to stop production of hot water like blinds would help, you could also use this for underfloor heating.
Air or ground source heat pumps can also be used efficiently for pool and home but you’ll need someone who can actually sort out the system for both competently.

With natural pools in theory you have less to look after as nature does most of the work but if you are renting then consider if all your guests would like to be swimming with frogs, snakes, and a host of natures little creatures. Making a guest ill with weil’s disease would be just one concern One of the drawbacks is the planting zone where the plants do the cleaning of the water is roughly the same size as the pool area for swimming so landscaping bill will be twice that of a normal pool. Not all natural pool use this approach, some use specially developed filters which are biological. Using such a system with paying guests is just too risky for me, I really need to know the water is clean, sanitary and therefore safe so anyone doubting could be shown the records of chlorination.

The way I set up a pool is as Eco friendly and sustainable as it can be whilst maintaining very high standards of water health and clarity. I have run a solar setup but that was because there was no other option, with running costs for electricity around 30 euros per season it would take a long time to recoup the cost of a solar setup.

Getting the best from your pool requires careful design and setup, I have been appalled at the standards of pool building and maintenance in France. Pool equipment was never designed to be efficient, just slap on a ruddy great electricity gobbling pump and no matter how bad the plumbing and water flow, the water will arrive where it’s needed. My approach is different hence the savings in chemicals and electricity.

That’s probably enough for now but happy to answer any other questions, I will also advise you who to avoid via private message for legal reasons.

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If I ever win Euro Million… John… you can sort me out with something to splash in… but it will have to be undercover and heated… :wink::hugs::upside_down_face:

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Be my pleasure Stella, so long as I don’t win before you in which case I would send an employee :joy:


Thank you John. This is really generous of you and you have really tuned in to my environmental concerns.

This has given me some food for thought. I will be in France looking at property in July, and this is really going to help my checklist.

I will definitely be in touch once we move further down the road.

If there’s any advice I can help you with get in touch, however my expertise is in education and personal development, but you never know :). Have a great day!

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