Cool pools

1 August 2011

It holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s largest swimming pool, holding around 100-times as much water as a typical Olympic-sized pool. But the pool – or more rightly artificial lagoon – at Chile’s San Alfonso del Mar resort has been designed with energy efficiency and the environment top of mind.

Cool pools

The world's biggest pool makes a splash!

Located in seaside Algarrobo on the south coast of Chile, the swimming pool at the San Alfonso del Mar resort is more than one kilometre long, covers an area of eight hectares and holds 250 million litres of seawater. That's the equivalent to 6000 eight metre-long family swimming pools.

Developed over a 10 year period, the US$3.5 million lagoon is the first to be created by Crystal Lagoons Corporation – a Chilean company that has developed a technology to maintain the quality and clarity of massive volumes of water. The water complies with the strictest health and chemical regulations making it suitable for bathing and water sports. The intense turquoise colour resembles that of tropical seas.

The patented process uses a low-energy filtration system and uses a pulse-based disinfection method which requires up to 100 times less chemical products than used in traditional swimming pools. Rather than conventional filtering, the patented method uses special equipment to bind, then suction off waterborne particles.

Cool poolsCool poolsNot only that, the lagoon at San Alfonso is heated to a consistent 26ºC during summer, nine degrees more than the nearby sea temperature.

"Our lagoons are 'closed circuits' that do not exchange water with the environment," explains Fernando Fischmann, creator of the pool. "Moreover, they use 100-times fewer chemicals and only two percent of the energy compared with traditional pool technologies.

"It is also compatible with seawater or salt underground water from wells that are unlimited resources. When fresh water is used, one hectare of a crystal lagoon requires less quantity of water than one hectare of park, green area or golf course."
The pool is heated by solar heating, and it's surrounded by man-made white sand beaches with swimming enclosures, outside and inside Jacuzzi tubs, boat docks, water current and cascades. Plus there's an ocean aquarium holding more than 42 Chilean species viewed along 25 metres of glass walls. Interestingly, the aquarium uses the same water as the pool.

Worldwide, Crystal Lagoons Corp has 70 giant lagoon projects, and its latest projects include City of Stars in the middle of desert in Egypt (it will take the crown as the world's largest pool), Playa Blanca in Panama, Guitar Project in Jordan, Lagoa dos Ingleses in Brazil, Asia del Mar in Peru, and Las Brisas de Santo Domingo in Chile.

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