swimming in the city’s rivers is one thing that new yorkers are skeptical about. when asked if they would do it, most of them jumped to say no way. why? because — and I quote the video above — of the bodies, it’s filled with poo, and sewage overflow. what they don’t know is that in the early 1900’s nearly two million locals would use the floating baths and that today +POOL — a group of four friends — together with heineken are close to bringing it back. they already have the way to clean the water, they’re just missing a new set of laws that permits bathing again.

renderings by family new york, courtesy of friends of + POOL
read our 2013 coverage here



conceived in 2010, +POOL started as a simple idea: instead of trying to clean the entire river, what if you started by just cleaning a small part of it? this also brought up a second questions with a goal: what if you could change how new yorkers see their rivers, just by giving them a chance to swim in them? and this is how +POOL — a floating plus-shaped pool in the inner harbor of the NYC waterfront, designed to filter the very river that it floats in through its walls — began.



+POOL was the first capital project to launch through kickstarter, raising over $40,000 in seven days. with the funds, they tested the first layer of filtration at brooklyn bridge park in summer 2011. the research was used to approach city officials for the first time with the idea, which was incredibly well received.



in 2013, a second kickstarter campaign was launched, raising more than $300,000 and funding a scaled version of +POOL’s filtration system in the hudson river that was tested for 6 months in summer 2014. many were involved in this process, including brooklyn-based naval architects persak & wurmfeld, fabricators at olollo, filtration textiles and system specialists at mackworth, the marine science field station river project, scientists at columbia university’s lamont-doherty earth observatory and engineers at arup. together they proved that the +POOL technology is possible and that it can filter the water from the river without using chemicals.



today, 7 years later, +POOL continue its efforts to bring this dream to reality and now they have found a big partner: heineken. as part of the company’s cities project, they have said that they will donate $100.000 to the project if +POOL can get 100,000 signatures from new yorkers who say they will swim in the pool once the pool is finished.


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