That Floating East River Pool Is Inching Closer to Reality

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The idea for +Pool—the floating pool in the East River that’d render a small corner of a notriously filthy waterway safe and swimmable via an elaborate filtering system—has been kicking around for a while now, having launched its Kickstarter back in 2011 and embarked on a meticulous testing process in the time since. But everyone’s favorite “Sure, why the hell not?” civic project takes an important step this summer, and will soon launch a prototype pool near Brooklyn Bridge Park to test out their water-filtering system over the next several months.

The 35-foot pool is a collaboration between the original +Pool team, the architecture firm Family New York, the design firm Playlab, and most crucially, structural engineering firm Arup (they also worked on the Sydney Opera House), which has helped them create their signature filtering technology.

It seems promising! But let’s not get our heart sets on this magical river-pool just yet; the structure that’s going up this summer is purely a means of testing—you do want them to be sure that water’s clean, don’t you?—and if all goes well, we’ll still have to wait for 2016 for this thing to officially get off the ground. Still, it’s exciting to think about, especially when you can watch all this science at work from the comfort of the pool that already exists in Brooklyn Bridge Park. For at least one neighborhood in Brooklyn, an embarrassment of riches.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.