With a nod to Mother Nature, European designers keep pools clean
and safe without resorting to chemicals.
By Michelle Taute
Michael Littlewood is on a personal mission. The independent landscape
architect has spent the last several years trying to convince England's
homeowners they can enjoy safe backyard swimming sans all the harsh
chemicals. So far it's been an upstream battle.
Courtesy Michael Littlewood
While there are an estimated 5,000 natural pools on the Continent
that date back to at least 1985, Littlewood didn't preside over
the design and installation of England's first chemical-free swimming
pool until 2001. He teamed up with an environmentally minded family
in Gloucester County and the Austrian firm Biotop to create a pool
that mimics Mother Nature's natural water-cleaning systems for rivers
and lakes. Littlewood hopes U.S. designers will eventually follow
his lead and champion natural pools in what potentially is the largest
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