The founders of Plus POOL, the world’s first water-filtering floating pool, gave the public an update on their progress during an Earth Day press conference.
Designers and founders, Dong-Ping Wong, Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeff Franklin introduced a group of advisors that include crowdfunders, Kickstarter, and Google app developers.
And they showed off drawings, construction and launch images and recent progress from Float Lab, a mini, temporary floating science-lab version of Plus POOL’s filtration system.
Plus POOL’s Float Lab was launched this April at Pier 40 and is now up and running, collecting some of the most extensive data New York City has ever seen on water quality.
Every 15 minutes, the Float Lab conducts a test combination which collects eight essential water quality parameters to determine swimmability.
A new dashboard set to go live May 6 will let the general public see the test results and stay educated on the quality of New York’s rivers and Plus POOL’s goal to improve it.
“Plus POOL will incrementally remove bacteria and contaminants. It will ensure clean, swimmable water that meets the city and state’s standards,” said Dong-Ping Wong. “The pool will clean over 500,000 gallons of river water every day. This type of filtration system has never before existed and we built it, and finally met our biggest milestone, getting it into the river for testing.
“We’ve worked closely with DEC and DOH to ensure we’re striving for the city’s standards. After all water testing is complete, we will tug the Float Lab over to the East River and dock it in Brooklyn in June 2016.”
Archie Lee Coates added, “Plus POOL is a like a giant strainer that will make it possible for everyone to swim in a clean river for the first time in 100 years.”
Coates hailed what began as a “simple idea amongst friends” that has turned into two successful Kickstarter campaigns.
The first campaign raised $41,000 from 1,203 backers and a second campaign, Tile by Tile, has raised $273,000 with more than 3,000 backers to build Float Lab for the testing phase.
The Tile by Tile campaign divided the pool into parts using tiles as measurements, so everybody could claim a piece of the pool for themselves. If all 70,000 tiles are sold, the entire construction budget of Plus POOL will be funded by the public.
Joining Kickstarter and Google as Plus Pool advisors are naval architects, Persak & Wurmfeld, engineers from Arup, fabricators at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Riverkeeper and River Project, Dynamic Rubber, Hudson River Park Trust, Google Drive, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New Museum, and a team of students at CUNY.
Yancey Strickler, the CEO of the crowd funding platform, said, “Plus Pool combines many of the elements that we see in great Kickstarter projects: it started with a great idea that people can relate to and get excited about, it showcases brilliant design, it makes use of innovative science and technology, and it builds community and brings people together.
“Friends of Plus Pool are people who have come together and rallied around a creative idea — and that’s what Kickstarter is all about. We know the creative process doesn’t end when a project reaches its funding goal, and there’s plenty more work to be done on Plus Pool — but we’re proud and excited to support Archie, Dong and Jeff at this step in their journey, and we look forward to seeing what’s next.”