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Pool Engineering
ENGINEERING 121: Natural Swimming Pools – The Pool Reinvented – Plants Instead of Chemicals

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss Natural Swimming Pools/Ponds (NSPs) and the history behind introducing this technology to the North American landscape.
  • Understand principles of biological filtration and how an NSP is different from chemically-sterilized pools.
  • Discuss design aesthetics and basic construction fundamentals.
  • Discuss different types of NSPs in accordance with German standards.


Natural Swimming Pools (NSPs) are 100% chemical-free constructed wetland ecosystems in which all clarification and purification of the water is achieved with biological filtration. Developed in Europe over 25 years ago, NSPs are just now starting to gain foothold in the U.S. This program introduces the five (5) different types of residential NSPs in accordance with German standards as well as examples, diagrams, and photos of the various types. The science of biological filtration and microbiological standards will be discussed to demonstrate how NSPs ensure the health and safety of swimmers.

Time/ Credits

1:00 hrs


James G. Robyn, BA, MBA

CEO of BioNova® Natural Pools
(507) 246-6682

GENESIS® Associate Pool Designer
  • B.A. Astrogeophysics from Colgate University
  • MBA in International Management with a concentration in German
James G. Robyn, BA, MBA

James Robyn is the CEO of BioNova® Natural Pools with over 40 years of experience in the swimming pool industry. James consults on chemical-free Natural Swimming Pools (NSPs) focusing on both aesthetic elements and on the technology of the constructed wetlands that clarify and purify the bathing water. His firm provides support to a network of licensed professionals promoting residential Natural Swimming Pools. Robyn has also been a leader involved in the design, planning, installation and maintenance of the first public natural swimming pool in North America at the City of Minneapolis’ Webber Park. A graduate of Colgate University with a degree in Astrogeophysics, Robyn also holds an MBA in International Management.