Pool to pond

pool to pond

Join the multitude of Pool to Pond converts and create an eco-friendly, cost-effective alternative to a conventional swimming pool. We have been assisting residents to convert their pools since 2007 by supplying native fish, aquatic plants and technical advice.

How to convert your pool

Discover everything you need to know about how to create your own backyard haven - see how to convert your pool here.

Plant and fish guide

Detailed lists on which fish and plants are best for your pool to pond conversion - see plant and fish guide here.

Why convert your pool?

The benefits of a pool conversion go beyond the practical. We believe in connecting with the natural areas in which we live, not only improving our wellbeing but helping the natural flora and fauna around us. The Pool to Pond program perfectly demonstrates this philosophy. The benefits to our mental health of spending time in natural areas is becoming more apparent. You’ll be creating a little haven for wildlife in your own backyard and supporting an interconnected web of habitats for our native critters in the urban world. 

Top practical benefits

  • Save up to $1000pa with no pool pump/filter.
  • Less maintenance, expense and no chemicals.
  • Cheaper than filling in your pool, which costs between 3-10k.
  • Acts as a tank and provides water for garden irrigation.
  • Kids can’ pond dip’ for aquatic life, observe wildlife or join a monitoring program.
  • Creates a wildlife refuge for native fauna.
  • Conserves threatened fish species by using your pond as a biobank.
  • Landscape feature which maintains a steady temperature around your home.
  • Can be converted back to a swimming pool if desired.

Saving our local species

Backyard habitats are crucial for the movement of native animals to find resources, especially as urban sprawl impacts their habitat. Converted pools provide habitat for a range of fauna species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, a swathe of invertebrates and as we recently discovered, microbats.

Monitoring program

Since 2017 Council have been monitoring microbats throughout Ku-ring-gai, including residential backyards, creeks, bushland sites and golf courses. A total of 14 species have been detected so far, with converted pool sites supporting a high diversity and activity of microbats including some of our more rare and threatened species. Download the 2020 Microbat Monitoring Report(PDF, 4MB)

Watch online

Watch a short YouTube video on successful pool to pond conversions on our own Envirotube channel.

Pool to pond FAQs

Are mosquitoes a problem?

No. Approximately 60 mosquito species live in the Sydney area, three to four of which are considered pests. These three to four species prefer temporary water sources and dislike living in depths greater than 30cm. These mosquitoes are typically found in saucers under pot plants. 

Ku-ring-gai Council commissioned research into this very topic, you can read the report here(PDF, 1MB) .

Will my water smell?

Pond odour has not been raised as an issue with any of our conversions. The surface area of a pool is large enough to ensure that the water is relatively oxygenated. 

Is the water safe?

A study facilitated by a researcher at the University of Western Sydney has shown that the water in converted ponds meets Australian recreational water guidelines. The water is "clean" enough to swim in provided that animals such as ducks are not present in large numbers, as that can lead to faecal coliform contamination. However, the water standard of converted pools does not meet drinking water guidelines.  

Will a pond damage my pump and filter?

Pumps and filters are manufactured to last for approximately eight years and may need to be replaced if the pond is converted back into a swimming pool, particularly if it has been a number of years since conversion. Algae will not cause any problems for your pool equipment.  

Purchase plants for your pond

Visit the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Nursery for a full range of water plants suitable for starting your Pool to Pond conversion.

Email us if you want to find out more about converting your pool. Pool to Pond is part of our WildThings program, which also includes our successful native bees program.

*Note: Converting to a pond does not negate your obligations under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 which requires private swimming pool owners to ensure their pool is at all times surrounded by a child-resistant barrier that separates the swimming pool from the dwelling on the property as well as any public or private place adjoining the property.

Related documents

Pool to Pond - Plants and Fish brochure - English language(PDF, 1MB)

Pool to Pond flyer - English language(PDF, 318KB)

Pool to Pond flyer - Chinese language(PDF, 1MB)

Pool to Pond flyer - Korean language(PDF, 765KB)