Has anyone used a pond as a small pool? Would that work?

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We have two ponds in our yard, both are cement and surrounded by rocks. We lost quite a few of our fish over the winter, so the survivors are in the small pond now, because we drained the big pond to see if we could address a slow leak that the waterfall has developed.

We have a 4 year old and an 8 year old who have been having fun playing in the empty pond, and I got to thinking that it could make an awesome "pool" for the girls to use for a few years. It's not quite three feet deep at its deepest, and a good portion of it is a shallower plant shelf. It's not big enough for swimming, but they could play in it. I don't want to add chemicals, or anything like that, and when I searched I found some information on setting up natural swimming pools, with plants. Our pond is obviously quite a bit smaller than a swimming pool (it's around 1,000 gallons) though, so I am not sure if it would work as well.

Could I just run one of our pond filters? Are there safety issues with doing it that way? I'm assuming that if it can handle fish waste, it can handle an empty ponds with kids occasionally swimming in it.

Any thoughts on this? I can't decide whether it's crazy, or brilliant.
 
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Sounds like something that would happen at our house.

I don't really know the hazards of using a pond as a splash pool. I'd think if it was cleaned well and allowed to dry out entirely for a few days to dry up worms or things like that were living in the pond.

Maybe try a salt water pool, I'd be worried about eye infections if you couldn't sanitize the water some how. I would totally use it if it was cleaned properly and you used chorine or salt to keep the water safe. Unless you empty it after each use and start over fresh each use.

And now you have me in the mood to build a small splash pond for my guys!
 

mrsclem

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My only thought on that is if your filter is run off a submersable pump, you might want to unplug it with kids in the pond. I shut down all my pumps any time I have to go in the water. Just an added safety thing.
 
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Could I just run one of our pond filters? Are there safety issues with doing it that way? I'm assuming that if it can handle fish waste, it can handle an empty ponds with kids occasionally swimming in it.

Any thoughts on this? I can't decide whether it's crazy, or brilliant.
It's neither crazy nor brilliant, but there certainly are safety issues. Without using chlorine there is always a possibility of the water harboring and breeding some sort of harmful bacteria or pathogen. Of course there are a lot of factors that can and will effect the water quality and the chances of your children getting sick from anything that might be in the water. For instance, the more use it gets by other humans, the more chance you'll have of spreading some pathogen that effects humans. How much wildlife might wander into the pond (eg; frogs, turtles, birds), How clean will you keep it, what temperature will you keep it (the warmer the water the more chance of pathogens growing in it). And one significant issue is your children themselves, how much time will they spend in there, and can you trust that they won't be drinking the water or even getting it into their mouths?
There are lots of pathogens that can be found in natural bodies of water that will make us sick, especially warm still ponds. Your pond likely won't be any different, but you can minimize the risks by circulating and aerating the water aggressively, cleaning and filtering it very well, restricting it's use to just your family (no pool parties), and using the biggest GD UV sterilizer you can afford.

Here's a little tadpole swimming in my pond.
She's still alive and healthy by the way.
 

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