The +POOL project has been in the works for years, and received an official “confirmation to proceed with due diligence” from the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) after two years of review with the city organization in May of 2021.
Now, two more years later, the nonprofit has made major steps towards the final design and construction.
+POOL — taking its name from the proposed shape, which will offer four different pools for “kids, lap swimmers, loungers, and splashers” — is a floating pool that will contain over 600,000 gallons of fresh, clean, water filtered directly from the East River.
You can see more details and plans on their very thorough website here, but the pool will filter river water right through its very walls (acting almost like a “strainer” dropped in the river) to leave only safe, swimmable water in the pool (that meets local and state standards, of course).
They hope to allow New Yorkers to “swim” in the East River again like decades past, without having to wait until the entire body of water is decontaminated. It hopes to “reclaim the river as a recreational resource for the city, while educating the public about issues affecting our water quality.” The pool would be the first accessible, safe river space since 1938.
Recently, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams shared that access to pools is “a matter of justice.” +POOL intends to be accessible to everyone, similar to previous NYC projects like the High Line.
Though there are still many next steps to address — the complicated engineering of the filtration systems, regulations around building within the river, and funding (total cost is $20-25 million) — the project has continued promoting the preservation of natural bodies of water and hosted many exciting events across the city like CitySpalsh! on World Water Day this past March 22nd.
+POOL is currently in the project piloting and permitting phase. Though the project’s completion will take time, they’re working on site-specific details in conjunction with the city to make this dream one step closer to a reality.