Dapto retiree Anna Read says opting for a backyard pool-to-pond conversion at her home was all about being practical.
"I've got a bit of a permaculture garden and I'm trying to be green and sustainable," she said.
"I'm also a pensioner, and it's been a cheap option to turn it into a natural pond.
"It's an alternative for people who don't want a high maintenance chlorine pool, and who want something that looks natural, but you can still cool off in it."
Converting disused pools into native ponds is an emerging trend, according to Illawarra business owner Sam Agars.
"I think it's gaining in popularity - more people seem interested and have heard about it through various gardening shows or nature programs," he said.
"It costs $1000 to $1500 to maintain a pool (per year), with chlorine, the running costs and things like that. So for some people, it's a better option."
Mr Agars recently launched Illawarra Pool to Ponds, a venture with business partner Peter Nolan.
"Mainly we're looking at people who have a got a pool that they no longer want or need, or perhaps they've used it a lot in the past but are over maintaining it, and paying for the maintenance," Mr Agars said.
"We're helping them convert it quite easily into a native pool that in the end kind of looks after itself, and once complete requires little maintenance or running costs."
One such project they've been undertaking during recent months - and is now almost complete - is at Ms Read's home.
"I've been in this house for just over five years, and it had a functioning, above ground vinyl pool when I moved in," she said.
"It was quite a lot of maintenance and cost, and I just felt last summer when we had the water restrictions, I just let it go and wasn't sure what I was going to do with it.
"In the end I decided to go with converting it into a natural pool."
Mr Agars said the process typically entailed no longer putting chlorine into the pool and turning off the pump.
This is followed by using steel gabions or recycled milk and bread crates to make towers of different heights, then putting native plants on those structures, which will grow in different depths of the water.
Other plants are also added to float on top of the water, and later on, native fish can be introduced.
"You get all the native benefits of it, all the frogs and dragonflies, and you can put small native fish into it," Mr Agars said.
Ms Read said she wanted to invite nature back into her yard.
She expected within six to 12 months, the plants will emerge from the water to create a welcome habitat for the frogs and dragonflies.
"I wanted to not use chlorine, and I wanted it so you could still use the pool to have a swim and cool off," she said.
"It's not a pool you can have the kids jumping, splashing and mucking around in, it's more like swimming in a dam.
"It will keep the yard cool, because it's a semi-above ground pool... It'll have a cooling effect on the property.
"It's about still being able to have a swim and cool off, but being natural and not having to use any chemicals."
Ms Read said she also hoped it would add value to her property.
"It's a bit of a novelty, it's a bit unusual, and I think it will really appeal to some people - much more than a typical swimming pool," she said.