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  • Chile’s Crystal Lagoon: the Biggest Pool in the World

    Chile’s gigantic Crystal Lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar is a modern wonder. There’s a lot of information on its filtration and cleaning systems on the web. What’s not mentioned in most articles is that physically, the Crystal Lagoon is fundamentally the same type of pool that we sell here at Albatross.

    The Crystal Lagoon’s amazing filtration system was designed by Fernando Fischmann, a Chilean biochemist. His company, Crystal Lagoons Corporation, is now selling pools to real estate developers around the world and the technology also has industrial applications. The giant pool at San Alfonso del Mar and the other large pools designed by Crystal Lagoon use a variety of wall support methods, including steel structures similar to the ones we use to support our pools. The pool interior is a PVC product that’s much like our own Aqualux Pool Interior.

    A Truly Enormous Pool

    The Crystal Lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar has awe inspiring statistics, and that’s not an exaggeration. It is more than a kilometre long and eight hectares in area, and it contains 250 million litres of filtered seawater. That’s 6,000 times the size of a standard eight metre long pool. It is 35 metres (115 feet) deep in the middle. It can be used for swimming for much of the year, because unlike the ocean coast 100 metres to the west, it doesn’t have huge waves or dangerous currents. It’s also naturally warmer than the adjacent ocean by approximately nine degrees celsius.

    Crystal Lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar
    Crystal Lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar

    The pool is surrounded by a huge resort development, and it’s used for all kinds of sports and activities. As you can imagine, a pool the size of a small lake isn’t just for swimming. There’s sailing, boating, rafting and scuba diving lessons. It is safer than any natural body of water and it’s much safer than the adjacent, rough ocean shore.

    A Groundbreaking Filtration System

    In articles about the San Alfonso del Mar, the pool’s structure and interior are taken for granted. They’re simply durable, functional and enormous in scale. What’s really got people’s attention is the filtration system. It keeps the pool clean with only one-hundredth the volume of chemicals that would be needed if the pool had a standard water treatment system. The pool is constantly pulling water out of the ocean at one end, treating it and adding it to the pool. At the other end, the water is returned to the ocean. There are also water filters that help to keep the pool clean.

    Proyecto San Alfonso Del Mar
    Proyecto San Alfonso Del Mar

    The chemical treatment is dependant on sensors that detect when bacteria and algae levels become too high and respond with the right type and amount of chemical treatment to bring it back to an acceptable level of cleanliness. It also uses ultrasonic pulses to make algae cluster so that it will be easier to remove when it reaches the filters. The system took Fernando Fischmann six years to develop, and he’s now applying it to everything from power plant cooling systems to fresh water production. There’s a great article on it in Popular Mechanics and more information on the Crystal Lagoons webpage.

    If you look at Crystal Lagoon pools, you can see that they’re really just oversized, highly engineered versions of our own smaller Albatross pools. The construction concept is the same, and if it works for some of the biggest pools in the world, it will work in your backyard. The best news? While the Crystal Lagoon took five years to build and cost $1.96 billion, our pools can be installed in 5-10 days and are much, much more affordable.

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