Digging a natural swimming pool in your own backyard is not only a way to improve your property, but also a fun project that can involve family members of all ages. Most natural pools look nothing like standard swimming pools, which are usually encased in brightly colored tiles and filled with chlorine-laced water. Instead, a natural swimming pool features distinct areas with differing water depths, many of which are filled with aquatic plants, stones, gravel and sand to add beauty and help filter the water naturally. 

Occasionally, however, the process of digging a natural pool will come to a halt when the work of removing the soil unearths a portion of a large boulder or boulders. If you are building a natural swimming pool, the following information will help you deal with those unexpected boulders and prevent them from throwing your pool project off track.

Using the Boulder within the Design

Because the goal of this type of project is to end up with a pool that looks as if were designed and created by nature, finding a way to incorporate a troublesome boulder into the project can result in enhanced beauty.

To accomplish this, review your original design and the location of the boulder in question. If it lies along a border or in one of the areas that will be filled with aquatic plants and used for filtration, it may be possible to leave it in place for use as a natural decorative element. If you plan to add a solar fountain or waterfall to your pool, the naturally occurring boulder may be able to serve as a base surface for these features.

If it is boulder is located along the edge of the water and does not extend above the water level of the completed pool, it may be possible to conceal it easily by building deck surfaces or walkways over the top of it.

DIY Boulder Removal Options

If the boulder you uncover during the digging process is located in an area that will make it difficult or impossible to install the liner on the bottom of the pool and it cannot be easily incorporated into the design in other ways, it will likely need to be removed.

A do-it-yourself method of removing boulders that are small enough to handle is to continue to remove any soil, clay or gravel found around the base of the boulder until it has been completely unearthed. If the soil is dry or difficult to remove, soak the area around the base of the boulder with a garden hose for several hours prior to digging and repeat as needed until the soil is removed and the boulder is able to be rolled. (Please note that this method only works well when the boulder is small enough to be easily lifted or rolled from the site by hand, cart or wheelbarrow.)

If the boulder is too large to consider DIY removal techniques or you are working to meet a deadline on your project, it will be best to defer the problem to your local boulder or rock removal contractor (such as DyTech). They have the equipment and expertise to remove most sizes and types of boulders or rocks so that you can complete your project on schedule and begin enjoying your new natural pool without additional delays.