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New Yorkers set to have a giant floating pool in the East River as +Pool receives full funding on Kickstarter

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Daily Mail Reporter


PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 13 May 2013


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UPDATED:

18:23 GMT, 13 July 2013

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The NYC +Pool, a giant, floating water filtration system that will enable New Yorkers to take a dip in the East River, is going ahead.

The project had received $273,114 in funding through Kickstarter at the time of writing – it was seeking $250,000 – and the construction of a Floating Lab, where testing of the project’s filtration system will take place before the pool is built, will soon begin.

The idea of a huge, cross-shaped pool in the East River may sound implausible, but since they first floated it a couple years ago, the +Pool team has added the massive global engineering consulting firm Arup to their roster, along with the expertise of a couple Columbia University researchers.

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Becoming a reality: The +Pool plans are now well under way thanks to its latest funding success

Becoming a reality: The +Pool plans are now well under way thanks to its latest funding success

The plan is called Everybody Plus Pool after its plus-sign shape that is meant to accommodate swimmers seeking all forms of the diversion
The plan is called Everybody Plus Pool after its plus-sign shape that is meant to accommodate swimmers seeking all forms of the diversion

Pool party: Sweltering New Yorkers will be able to cool down by swimming in clean river water in the +Pool

The guys behind the big idea are
architect Dong-Ping Wong, 31, of the New York architecture firm Family
and graphic designers Archie Lee Coates IV, 28, and Jeffrey Franklin,
28, of the design studio PlayLab, Inc.

The plan is called +Pool after its plus-sign shape that is meant to accommodate swimmers seeking all forms of the diversion.

One arm of the pool will be for kids, another for swimming laps, the third for water sports and the fourth for lounging.

But here’s the part that’s certain to make Mayor Mike Bloomberg swoon: The pool’s water will be filtered from the smelly, chemical-ridden river water surrounding it.

‘Like a giant strainer dropped into the rivers, +POOL will filter bacteria and contaminants through the concentric layers of filtration materials that make up the walls of the pool itself – leaving only clean, safe and swimmable river water,’ the founders write on their website.

‘The Olympic-size pool will filter over 500,000 gallons of river water daily, making a measurable contribution towards cleaning the city’s waterways.’

Everybody's pool: The plus-sign shape of the pool will create areas for different uses

Everybody’s pool: The plus-sign shape of the pool will create areas for different uses

Adding to the city: The pool will be privately funded but free to the public

Adding to the city: The pool will be privately funded but free to the public

Tile file: The +Pool creators sold off tiles to people on their Kickstarter site to raise the $250,000 needed to test their water filtration system

Tile file: The +Pool creators sold off tiles to people on their Kickstarter site to raise the $250,000 needed to test their water filtration system

The project status: In three summers time, New Yorkers could be swimming in the East River in a beautiful cross-shaped pool - for free

The project status: In three summers time, New Yorkers could be swimming in the East River in a beautiful cross-shaped pool – for free

In
its first round of fundraising in 2011, the startup raised $41,000. The
money was put toward testing the pool’s filtration system. 

‘We
spent six weeks on a pier in the East River testing different
filtration materials and learned about enterococci and fecal coliform
from professors at Columbia University,’ the website says.

‘We
gained the support of city and state agencies, open-water swimmers,
waterfront advocacy organizations and over 1,200 incredible supporters
who pledged money through Kickstarter.’

Filtration: The initial 2011 water filtration tests measured 19 different parameters for 10 weeks under the guidance of researchers from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University

Filtration: The initial 2011 water filtration tests measured 19 different parameters for 10 weeks under the guidance of researchers from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University

Archie Lee Coates IV told Huffpost that the idea arose after one really hot New York summer and a desire to bridge the Manhattan/Brooklyn divide.

The creators look to the New York Highline as a model for their project.

‘It’s both public and private in the sense that it functions like a public park – it’s free to the public… But it’s funded through a non-profit called “Friends of the High Line.” This allows for the design to be kept intact and keeps beautification at a high level. That would be our goal, so that the project is not a burden on the city… We are creating something that is a full-on part of the civic architecture of the city,’ said Coates.

Coates says the full expected cost of the project is $15 million. In order to raise its Kickstarter funding, tiles engraved with names or businesses are being sold off. People who donate receive a tile, and a second one goes into the pool. Once there are enough engraved tiles to pave the entire pool, +Pool will have received its $15 million funding.

The site for the floating oasis is planned for Dumbo, with a concrete walkway connecting it to the waterfront.

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