A pool floating in New York's East River?

Courtesy +Pool
A mock-up of +Pool in New York's East River.

Even though New York City is surrounded by water (Manhattan is an island, after all) New Yorkers don't seek respite from the summer heat by jumping in the nearby rivers. We lie on a pier, or go to a city pool, or nearby beaches like Fire Island, the Jersey Shore, or the Hamptons, but we don't hop in the Hudson or East Rivers because they're just…dirty. Gross.

Luckily, that could all change by next summer with the (hopeful) construction of +Pool, a pool that uses and filters the dirty river water it rests in. Created by Dong-Ping Wong, Archie Lee Coates IV, and Jeffrey Franklin, the pool essentially acts like a giant strainer dropped into the river with a filtration system that is designed to remove everything from large objects, like floating trash, to microorganisms, like bacteria and viruses. +Pool is not separate from the water or pumped full of chlorine; rather, it is the river…just clean.

The idea came about last year during a scorching hot NYC summer. Wong, Coates, and Franklin wanted to cool off in the water, but no one would take the plunge. So they came up with the concept to use the city's natural resource surrounding them and and provide a clean and safe way for the public to enjoy it. They refer to +Pool as a "floating pool in the river for everyone," which is why it's shaped like a + so it can accommodate four distinct types of swimmers and their pools—children, sports, lap, and lounge. And +Pool isn't limited to New York City; any city with a dirty body of water can have one.

The creators have teamed up with the global engineering firm Arup to try and make this pool become reality by summer 2012. (Arup is also the firm behind the Sydney Opera House and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.) But first, they need to raise a bit more money to test the filtration materials and methods before they can start construction.

Would you like to see +Pool in your local river? Tell us below.


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