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+ POOL, a proposed floating pool whose walls will filter millions of gallons of the East River daily, is all the rage with New Yorkers now as its Kickstarter gets over 40% funded in the past week. This isn’t their first Kickstarter either, with a campaign two years ago yielding $41,000 in under a week. These funds were used to perform filtration testing in the East River, with great results:

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.

+ POOL has partnered with engineers at ARUP, designers at IDEO, and consultants at Storefront for Art and Architecture and Architezer and have an impressive list of advisors, which range from senators to Olympic swimmers. Advisor Paul Kelterborn from the Municipal Art Society tells Untapped that “+ POOL is one of the most exciting new grassroots ideas for making NYC more livable. It simultaneously cleans the river–one of our city’s best assets–while creating an incredible new amenity that is fun and innovative. New York is a crowded place and so pushing ourselves to rethink boundaries is brilliant!”
+ POOL-NYC-East River-Filtering Pool-2 + POOL’s clever Kickstarter, which enables you to buy a tile of the proposed pool as an individual or as a group, also comes with options for preview “dips” once the pool is ready. New York City is no stranger to floating pools, with the city-supported Floating Pool Lady, a repurposed barge converted into a seven-lane pool in 2006. But this initiative is really a return to an earlier historical push, albeit less recreational. Floating pools were commonplace sites during the 19th century. Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall built 5 pools and by the end of the 19th century, there were more than 20 pools on the city’s shorelines. The New York Times reports that:

Women were allowed in the pools three days a week and half a day on Sundays. Men had their own separate three and a half days, and there were differences. The women wore bathing outfits; the men swam nude. But the pools were little more than enclosures that let the swimmers paddle about in brackish river water. In a city that was short on bathtubs — at first, anyway — cleanliness mattered more than exercise.In terms of design, Badeschiff in Berlin is one of our favorite barge pools but + POOL definitely takes cues from it. According to Brokelyn, “At a minimum, +POOL is looking to sell 1,400 tiles so that they can fund the construction of the test pool this summer. On the optimistic side, if they sell 5,000 tiles they say they can build their custom filtration system and test it early.”

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Get in touch with the author @untappedmich. All photos via the + POOL Kickstarter.