How to get rid of an unused swimming pool

Make it an attractive Koi pond!

The statistics are staggering. Johannesburg has thousands upon thousands of swimming pools, like most major cities in the world in fact. Billions of dollars and euros and pounds and rands are spent every year in keeping these things clean.

The frustrations of swimming pool keeping are not necessarily in keeping it clean though. They lie in that the wretched thing is hardly used - and the cost and effort to keep it from becoming a mosquito breeding swamp coloured thing then just seems to be effort wasted.

So. You have a swimming pool which you are not using. It's costing you time and money and really, are you truly benefiting from it?

Why not convert it into a Koi pond?

We hate to mention it (since we don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to keep Koi!) but you don't actually have to keep fish in the pond either if you don't want to. You can make it a wetland, or a frog pond, or a duck pond, or pretty much anything you like of course. You can even make combinations of these - the sky really is the limit here.

It is quicker and easier than you might think. It's also not that expensive - after all you have the basic infrastructure in place already. Whilst it is not ideal (no bottom drains) there are ways of working around this and the results can be truly amazing with a little ingenuity.

The beauty of a swimming pool conversion is also that in most cases the conversion can be easily undone and the pond switched back into a pool (if for instance you want to sell your house with a swimming pool instead of a Koi pond).

Basically the process can be summed up in a few simple steps.

1. Decide to do the conversion.

2. Decide on what filtration is going to work best for you.

3. Decide whether you want to change the colour of the pond to black.

4. Empty the pool.

5. Add the filtration and all the new pipework. Paint or coat it if need be.

6. Fill the pond up.

7. You have a Koi pond up and running.

In between all of this you can add planters, external veggie filters, wetlands even if you like, and you can really customise your pond to suit your tastes to the point where your friends won't even recognise your old swimming pool. In other words the conversion process is actually only really limited by your imagination.

Of course swimming pools weren't originally built as Koi ponds so there are a few unique issues to them that the typical Koi pond doesn't face. However, these can almost all be worked around and we're here to help you with them.

Best of all the entire thing can be done DIY. You don't need expensive contractors or builders and even if you do their input is generally limited to very simple brickwork and construction that can be completed a few days. This is a project that lends itself to a DIY enthusiast, but can equally be tackled by an ad hoc contractor at minimal cost. A simple conversion can be completed within a week, a more complex one within two.

Or, if you are like us, you can take your time and do it more slowly as your time allows. The beauty of the thing is that the choice is entirely up to you!