Renowned water garden designer/builder Anthony Archer-Wills hosts a new cable television program.
Archer-Wills has designed water gardens for a half century and authored three books on the subject. He also has presented well-received Genesis 3 courses.
Also featured on the Animal Planet series are two of Archer-Wills’ frequent collaborators — pond designer and contractor David Duensing and excavator Ed Kading.
Modeled after “Treehouse Masters,” one of the network’s successful broadcasts, the show follows Archer-Wills as he designs natural swimming ponds and pools for his clients. This season highlights three projects, with the final episode featuring some of the world’s most unique pools.
Though the program is called “The Pool Master,” Archer-Wills and his team are creating products widely known as swimmable ponds, meaning that the pools are cleaned with natural biofiltration systems in lieu of traditional sanitizers.
It’s a trend that’s gaining ground.
Such pools have been long popular in Europe, and Duensing, owner of David B. Duensing and Associates in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., reports a boost in the number of natural swimming ponds that he and Archer-Wills have created in the USA.
“It used to be that we’d do one each year, whereas over the last four years it’s increased to at least four or five a year. We’re getting calls for it,” he said.
Some of these pools measure more than an acre and are as deep as 15 feet.
The show’s executive producer, Lisa Lucas, expects many viewers will learn about this option for the first time.
“I think a lot of people are surprised to find out there are other ways to keep pools clean ...,” she said. “I think it’s going to raise awareness of those alternatives.”
Additionally, Duensing said, viewers will see the range of designs possible with this technology. Swimmable ponds often replicate nature’s soft, flowing lines, but they also can be formal or adventurous.
“They are extremely different projects,” Duensing said, “and I think it’ll open up people’s minds for seeing swimming pools or ponds in a different way.”
Many American pool and spa professionals have concerns about sanitizing without chlorine or more familiar alternatives. But Archer-Wills doesn’t like the effects of chlorine on the water or environment and hopes his program will increase consumers’ comfort level with the prospect of biofiltered pools.
“[Biofiltration] is not suitable for everybody — there are people who want to make sure every bug is killed, good or bad alike,” he said. “But natural swimming pools [are] so full of good, beneficial bacteria that basically there is no room for the bad to get in. It’s rather like in your body.”
“The Pool Master” premiers June 20.