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An infinity edge pool (also known as a vanishing edge, negative edge, zero edge, infinity pool, or disappearing edge) helps highlight and enhance any available vista. In an infinity pool, the main body of water spills into an auxiliary basin, or catch basin which is lower than the main body. The water is then filtered and returned to the upper pool. The edge of the upper pool is treated in such a way as to create the illusion of the water in the upper body extending to infinity. The upper pool becomes an accentuated reflecting pool, and makes the view over the edge a breathtaking reflection of whatever is in front of it.
Infinity pools vary greatly both structurally and hydraulically. Water flowing over the edge can be as slow and quiescent as a virtual trickle, leaving the exposed or “negative side” with a soothing, almost “wet wall” effect. The infinity edge can also provide a thundering water feature on the negative side, adding ambience and noise to the waterscape. Designers often utilize the lowered area adjacent to the negative side for seating or gathering when this space is available for usage.
The infinity pool can take many forms, all of them utilizing the same basic hydraulic principle. Some of these pools can take the form of perimeter overflow pools, or spillover pools. In these applications, water constantly overflows or floods the edge or edges of the pool into a slot or hidden basin. These pools, usually utilizing a darker finish, have some of the highest reflective qualities of any application.