A Crystal Lagoons project at Laguna Vista, a resort in Chile.
Crystal Lagoons A Crystal Lagoons project at Laguna Vista, a resort in Chile.

A company founded in Chile that holds the record for the world’s largest pool is planning several massive installations in the U.S.

Crystal Lagoons makes humongous bodies of turquoise water intended for swimming. But the multinational company would rather you not call them swimming pools.

That’s because the lagoons do not have filtration equipment. “Therefore regulations that apply to swimming pools do not apply to us,” said Uri Man, CEO of Crystal Lagoons USA, based in Miami.

Instead of common pool equipment, the company builds its gigantic Caribbean beach replicas with technology that somehow uses ultrasound for purification. Water quality is monitored and adjusted remotely from a control center. Beyond that, little is known publicly about the patented technology. But these exports are clearing regulatory hurdles here in the U.S. where they have to meet the same codes that apply to public bathing places such as swimmable lakes, beaches and watering holes.

Crystal Lagoons currently has eight projects in development and another 35 in negotiations, Man said. The trend is largely driven by real-estate developers who are buying in on the prospect of turning any project into a beach-front property.

Future projects include two 10-acre lagoons that will sit next to residential high rises at a $4 billion project in North Miami, and an 11-acre behemoth at a master-planned community in Orange, Fla. The company also is making headway in Texas and California, as well as Arizona,  where it hopes to establish a public beach-like facility, Man said.

The contractor built its first mega-lagoon at a Chilean resort called San Alfonso del Mar. At 20 acres, it was declared the largest swimming pool in the world in the 2007 Guinness World Records. The company has more than 300 projects in 60 countries.