Swimming pool vs pond

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jenn, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    About to move to Alabama. Know we'll need some way to cool off. Some of the places I'm looking at buying have ponds and no pools (well none have a pond AND a pool- maybe that should be a hint....). Anyway, is it realistic for fairly YUPPY me (afraid of alligators and sort of prefer not having muddy feet when I'm done swimming) and very urban DH ("I can go camping anywhere they have electricity and internet access") to swim in a pond in AL and not a pool? DD13 will follow his lead, DD5 really LIKES mud. Anyone want to try to convince me ponds are as good as or better than pools for swimming? We aren't much on fishing so we'll actually plan for a pool if there is neither pond nor pool and we can afford it after buying the house. Your state and your kids' ages and if they agree in your replies, please.
     
  2. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would never swim in the pond. It's stagnant water containing runoff and the animals like to poop in it.

    Several years ago in a rural area of VA some bikers saw a pond and wanted to cool off. It had rained recently which churned up the bottom and formed a kind of quicksand. One by one they went in to help one another and several drowned.

    Edited to add: We do "swim" in our creek.
     

  3. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    The pool will require more maintenance and work than the pond. You have to clean it and maintain the pH balance. You have to cover it in the winter time. You have to deal with the filters. But it is nice and clean, for the most part.

    The pond does have a large "ick" factor. Even without stocking fish you're going to have tadpoles and fish might find their way in as eggs via birds' feet. But the pond can be used for watering livestock and your garden (don't let them in there directly, run water from the pond to their trough). That way you can save your well water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. And ponds are virtually maintenance-free, only requiring attention every few years.

    We have been in the country for almost a year. Our kids were on swim team and spent practically every day at the neighborhood pool when we lived in the city. They swim in the pond and like it okay but right now they say they prefer a pool. I think a lot of that is the socialization they could get at the neighborhood pool, though. They cite not having anyone to play games with as the biggest drawback. They find the mud and algae a minor irritation and they actually like having the tadpoles and newts in the pond with them.

    Younger kids will be more flexible on this than older kids. Once they're about 17 they may not swim in a pond. 13-15 will give it a try, and younger than that probably won't care one way or the other about the mud.
     
  4. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    While our pond is fed by runoff, it is also fed by springs and water constantly drains from it so it is not stagnant. We don't let animals poop in it, other than tadpoles and newts.

    You raise a good point - I wouldn't swim in stagnant water nor water that has livestock feces in it, either. So I guess a lot would depend on the particular pond in question.
     
  5. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wouldn't swim in any of the three ponds on our property. Big snapping turtles the main reason!!! Two are spring-fed so water cleanliness is not a real problem but I don't like swimming with critters! :) We've had a pool for over 20 years and it just isn't that much work. Checking chlorine/ph daily and never let it get away from you,run the filter the appropriate time every day and cover in fall to keep leaves/debris out so spring start-up isn't a problem....we didn't get this chore done in a timely manner last fall and are paying the price now trying to get our water cleared up. Our kids used to go down to the river occasionally but they used the pool daily and living in the country is was worth the effort. We rarely go anywhere as having a pool and nice deck makes our backyard a perfect getaway. DEE
     
  6. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Leaches in our pond.

    Enough said.
     
  7. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get a river. Ours is pretty self cleaning and we can raft on it too. Maintenance is minimal.
     
  8. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm sure it's better in Alabama but here in Maine it hasn't been warm enough yet to even think about taking the pool cover off :(
     
  9. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Go for the pool and get solar heating and/or a cover that adds thermal warming. A pool will increase your home's value (and unfortunately, your insurance premiums). You won't have to worry about critters and diseases with a pool. Keep it covered to keep it warmer and cleaner and to prevent flocks of ducks from moving in.
     
  10. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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  11. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    I loved to swim in our "tank" (the word for pond here in Texas) for years. It was so carefree, easy, and fun to wade out there WITH the animals (horses, geese, and dogs) and float, etc. I always wore shoes/ velcro sandals to reduce the owch factor if I kicked off of a stone or underwater log.

    A quick shower immediately upon entering the house was standard.

    HOWEVER- one day I came face-to-face with a water moccasin (poisonous southern snake) who enjoyed swimming JUST AS MUCH as I did, and you can't get me to go back into any tank, anywhere, period.

    So now, to cool off in summer, I take a cold shower and sit under the ceiling fan while still damp..... aaaaaahhhhhhh!

    I have been told that if the tank is very well maintained, and the scrubby underbrush has been cut away from it so that it's nice and tidy, then the snakes won't take up residence. But what a risk!
     
  12. greenbean

    greenbean Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't swim in the pond. Water-borne stuff like Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis, E-Coli, and a host of Worms, Larvae, & parasites in it. Personally I have both a pond & a pool. I keep fish & In-Laws in the pond & people in the pool.
     
  13. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whereabouts in Alabama will you be? If very far south, there is the slim possibility of alligators. There are lots of water moccassins here, so you'll need to be careful of them anywhere (including lakes and rivers). You'll also have rattlesnakes and copperheads, but they don't frequent the water much. Generally you won't have any of the above in a swimming pool, although we had a black snake once in a tree above the pool, and had some friends who said a mocassin got in their pool - but it was very easy to spot.
    I don't find a pool hard to maintain, but we use it almost every day of the week.
    Dawn
     
  14. emulkahi1

    emulkahi1 Well-Known Member

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    I was going to post a link to an article on Natural Swimming Pools, but I see that someone beat me to it :). I remember reading it a year or so ago in Mother Earth News and thinking it sounded like a wonderful idea. Best of both worlds...You get a relatively 'clean' (minus many of the negatives mentioned here) pond to swim in, at a lower cost than a standard pool AND without many of the chemicals. If I was ever considering a swimming pool, I'd probably go that route.

    Erin
     
  15. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    My philosphy is that ponds are for fishing and pools are for swimming. There are parasites in pond water that can make a person very sick. That having been said. Every year I buy a toddler pond from Wal-Mart that I sit in when it's hot out. Next year (at the homestead), I am seriously thinking about a pool/water feature that will be "about" the size of a bathtub, with a plug in the bottom for easy drainage/maintenance. The idea of a big, nasty, muddy, yucky pond does not appeal to me for swimming. I have gone "spashing" in rivers and creeks but they have rocky bottoms and are MOVING (no parasites). Ponds are gross (they attract cottonmouth snakes in Missouri too).

    edited to add: If you do decide to go with a pool. Please check out maintaining the water with OZONE rather than harsh chemicals. It is a tad more expensive but well worth it.

    Donsgal
     
  16. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    We have a pond that gets taken over by Lily's in the summer and every once in awhile my kids go swimming in it. I hate it when they do because when they come out they are covered with this brown junk that does not come out of their clothes and is even hard to get off their skin and out of their hair. YUK! I'm for the pool!
     
  17. claytonpiano

    claytonpiano Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Having been raised in Alabama, there are just too many snakes that love water and show up at odd times. They were everywhere on my grandmother's farm and LOVED her pond. That was Brantley, Alabama in the south. North Alabama has similar issues. Go for the Pool.
     
  18. Northumberland

    Northumberland Well-Known Member

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    Pool for sure, would never swim in a pond.
     
  19. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Born and raised in North Alabama. My family still lives there, except for my brother who lives in Mobile. He goes to the beach to swim. My sister in North Alabama has a pool even though the pond is within sight of her house. The only thing that goes swimming in the pond are snakes, fish, frogs, spiders, bugs, turtles, dogs and water fowl. The pool is for people although dogs, snakes and frogs might hop in from time to time.

    I would definitely recommend a pool for yuppies and urbanites.