What is + POOL?
An initiative to build the world's first water-filtering,
floating pool, right here in New York's rivers.
New York is an incredible place to live. You can do almost anything here, but the rivers definitely aren't clean enough for everybody to swim in. We're surrounded by water, but it took us years to realize that no one actually swims in it. It seemed ridiculous that you have to leave one of the greatest cities in the world just to to enjoy clean, swimmable water.
It started with a simple goal: instead of trying to clean the entire river, what if you started by cleaning a small piece of it? And what if you could change how New Yorkers see the rivers, just by giving them a chance to swim in it?
Like a giant strainer dropped into the river, + POOL makes it possible for Everybody to swim in clean river water right here in NYC.
+ POOL is designed to filter the very river that it floats in through the walls of the pool, making it possible for New Yorkers to swim in clean river water for the first time in 100 years. The layered filtration system incrementally removes bacteria and contaminants to ensure nothing but clean, swimmable water that meets both city and state standards. No chemicals, no additives, just natural river water.
The pool will clean up to half a million gallons of river water every single day. In doing so, + POOL will make a measurable contribution to the rivers of New York City. The rivers are big, and this will be a great place to start cleaning them.
What's Been Done So Far
When + POOL first started it was just a simple idea amongst three friends. After launching our first Kickstarter campaign two years ago, we found out that we weren't the only ones that wanted this idea to happen. We raised over $41,000 from 1,203 backers, surpassing our goal of $25,000 in six days. It was overwhelming evidence that people wanted to see + POOL in the water.
Backers made it possible for us to test filtration materials along the East River and collect some of the most detailed water quality data the city has ever seen. We tested 19 different parameters for 10 weeks under the guidance of researchers from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University and saw a huge reduction in contaminants across all counts. The materials even cleaned on the worst days, right after big storms, proving that + POOL is starting to work.
We've continued working with some of the world's best engineers at Arup and some of the world's most innovative designers at IDEO. We're working with environmental consultants at One Nature and have teamed up with both Storefront for Art and Architecture and Architizer to ensure that the project is designed and implemented in the best way possible. We're proud to be working with such amazing people and groups and are honored that they share our vision in the design, engineering, development and implementation of + POOL.
We've been in hundreds of meetings with city, state and private organizations including NYC Parks and Recreation, DEC, Army Corps, Coast Guard, DOH, DCP, MWA, MAS, Riverkeeper, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Councilmembers Stephen Levin and Brad Lander. We've learned from competitive and open water swimmers as well as families that simply want their children to have a great place to take swimming lessons. We even got a call from a young girl who saw the pool online and wanted to know what time it was going to open in the morning. It completely caught us by surprise and further cemented the need for + POOL to become reality.
Following a second successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, we're currently preparing to launch a series of water quality and filtration tests in real-river conditions that will be an essential milestone for getting + POOL closer to the water.
In December we'll launch the most extensive water quality tests ever done in New York rivers. For an entire year we'll be real-time testing every necessary water quality parameter needed to make the + POOL filtration as efficient as possible. We've teamed up with incredible people and facilities at River Project on Pier 40 to help make this happen. And we'll soon be bringing the data we're discovering to the public in an easy to understand and educational way. For better or worse, everybody will know what's in these rivers.
In early 2014 we'll launch a test of + POOL's complete combination of filtration membranes in real-river conditions. This Winter we're building a floating science lab that will put our filtration system to the test. The lab will launch in early 2014 and run through the Summer to capture a wide range of data and help us understand how the filtration behaves during all seasons. We've teamed up with the guys at Brooklyn based naval architects Persak & Wurmfeld and the filtration textiles and systems specialists at Mackworth to get it done.
Now is the time for New York to swim in its own river again, and you can make it happen. Buy a tile, build a pool, and reclaim New York's rivers for Everybody.