What is +POOL?

+ POOL is a plus-shaped, water-filtering, floating swimming pool, designed to filter the very river that it floats in through the walls of the pool, making it possible for New Yorkers and its visitors to swim in clean river water. + POOL strives to reclaim the river as a recreational resource for the city, while educating the public about issues affecting our water quality.

Why a pool?

New York is an incredible place to live. You can do almost anything here. Anything, except swim in the river. Manhattan is an island —  literally surrounded by water — but we haven’t been able to swim safely in the river for decades. It started with a simple idea: instead of trying to clean the entire river, what if you started by cleaning it piece by piece? And what if you could change how New Yorkers see their rivers, just by giving them a chance to swim in it? + POOL will clean more than 600,000 gallons of river water every single day. No chemicals, no chlorine, just natural river water.

Why a non-profit?


When + POOL opens, it will be the first time New Yorkers have a safe space to access their river since 1938. That experience needs to be available for everybody. Following the footsteps of innovative public/private projects like The High Line, we created Friends of + POOL, a 501c3 non-profit, to ensure that it benefits the public in the best way possible.

Our nonprofit supports the development and eventual operation and maintenance of + POOL, but was also founded to support the preservation, restoration and conservation of natural bodies of water; promote water stewardship; and educate the public about the importance of clean water.


How is it designed?

+ POOL is for everyone, which is why it’s designed as four pools in one: a Kid’s pool, Sports pool, Lap pool and Lounge pool. Each can be used independently to cater to all types of swimmers, combined to form an Olympic-length lap pool, or opened completely into a 9,000 square foot pool for play. Its universally recognizable shape and unusual offshore siting immediately position + POOL as an iconic piece of public infrastructure.

Like a giant strainer dropped in the river, + POOL filters river water within its walls, removing bacteria, contaminants and odors, leaving only safe, swimmable water that meets local and state standards.

What have we done?

We’ve worked with engineers at Arup to study the structure, mechanics, and filtration systems, and ecological consultants at One Nature to maximize + POOL’s benefit to the environment. We’ve 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’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. We’ve worked with innovation designers at IDEO and naval architects Persak & Wurmfeld to design + POOL’s floating structure.  We tested the full filtration system in the harbor for five months and proved our filtration concept works. We filed a provisional patent. We studied the feasibility of various sites with marine engineers at McLaren Engineering throughout the harbor to understand what physical conditions are ideal for + POOL.  And we gained the support of city and state agencies, open-water swimmers, waterfront advocacy organizations, and over 5,000 incredible supporters who pledged money through Kickstarter, events, and our nonprofit! + much more!

Where are we now?

After years of advocating for access to the river for swimming, we received a notice to proceed with due diligence on the project in the waters north of the Manhattan Bridge from the City of New York through the New York City Economic Development Corporation (I.e. NYCEDC). This historic advance has created a pathway for a private public partnership to open up the East River for the kind of river swimming + POOL has long proposed.  We are now working on next steps with NYCEDC including project piloting and permitting. They’re still a lot to do with a ton of government agencies, but now that we have a home, we can work on site-specific details for the project in collaboration with the City.

Follow our timeline to learn more about our past and present!

A swim meet is an opportunity for a swimmer to compete in various different strokes and distances, while attempting to drop time.

A free swim is leisurely swimming without any specific goal.

Quick Facts

Total Length 217′
Total Width 217′
Total Depth 11′-6″
Total Area 29,700 sf
Pool Volume 285,500 Gallons

Pool Area 9,500 sf
Pool Depth 5′ – 0″
Pool Length 164′-1 (Olympic)
Pool Width 32′-8″ (4 Lanes)
Summer Operation May 25 – Sept 7
Hours of Operation 10am – 7pm

Weeks/Season 15
Days/Season 105
Max Pool Capacity 300
Max Capacity/Day 1,800
Max Capacity/Season 189,000

Monthly Donation

  • American Express

Quarterly Donation

  • American Express

One Time Donation

  • American Express

Your donation qualifies you for a tile!

We’ll engrave your name (or any message up to 80 characters) on a + POOL tile and send you a mockup to display and show off to your friends.

Would you like to add a name or message to the walls and deck of + POOL?