Is a floating swimming pool in Hoboken’s future?

By Flora Keim | FBW | August 24, 2016

Hoboken is not a city which is unfamiliar with the concept of a floating pool. Back in 2000, former Mayor Anthony Russo held a press conference explaining that The Neptune Foundation of New York would help create an Olympic sized pool that would sit at what is now Pier C. But when former Mayor David Roberts was elected into office, he put the plans for a pool on hold, out of concern that the pool would be too large to fit on Pier C, and that getting the state Department of Environmental Protection permits would be difficult. He also mentioned that the cost of maintenance would be very pricey, $300,000 in a year alone, when the entire budget for the parks was $500,000.

The time for Hoboken to accept the offer from The Neptune Foundation came and went very quickly and people were not happy with the outcome. They had decided to move the pool to the East River near Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach. Former Mayor David Roberts had been saying that Pier C wouldn’t be ready for another two years, and that The Neptune Foundation had been looking for a location for a pool. That since their plan is to put them in the New York Metropolitan area; there will possibly be another offer in two years when Pier C Park was ready. Even though Hoboken lost the opportunity to have a floating pool, former Mayor Roberts said that this might be better in the short term for costs, but that there will be more research to see if there could be the chance of getting a pool in Hoboken by 2005 or 2006. (Source: Hoboken Reporter.)

Hoboken 10 years later and still is no floating pool on our side of the river, but that might change soon. There’s an organization called + Pool, and their plan is to make a swimming pool using water from the Hudson River. Their idea is that the walls will have built in filters that will filter out any bacteria and contaminates to have safe river water that people will want to swim in. It will have no chemicals or additives in it, just clean river water. By doing this, not only will it give people the chance to swim in the river, but it’ll help the efforts to clean up the river’s waterways as well. The developers of + Pool see it as a filtering system to help clean the water and fix the ecosystem below it. Mentioning bringing oysters back so they can also help in waste removal, which would fit very nicely with the Billion Oyster Project. One member of the development team even said that when changing the filter, keep one of the used filters out to show people what is in the river and has been filtered out. Now, as gross as that sounds, that may be something that people will use as a motivation to help clean up the river water.

This organization also takes into account of storms and hurricanes. Being on a constantly moving body of water, dealing with waves, high and low tides, and anything related to that, they’ve done their research and are looking into the best remedies. For now, their idea is to just have the pool tethered to the riverbed. So the pool will move, but only with waves from the river and motions like that. They are looking for the best ways to secure the pool so that way, during any event, it will stay where it is supposed to be. Because, if by chance, another hurricane Sandy event occurs, someone could get a floating swimming pool in their backyard. How does one deal with a situation like that? To keep that from happening, the organization is going to continue their research on the best ways to keep a situation such as that from happening. (Source: + Pool.)

+ 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.

+ 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.

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

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

This project could benefit Hoboken’s waterfront because it would give a new extension to the parks that we currently have. The city will finally get that pool that was so wanted 16 years ago. It will help clean up the river water near us, so it’s not as gross and there could actually be some sort of ecosystem below the waves. It will be easily accessible to people, because no one wants to have to go to Jersey City, or North Bergen to go swimming in a public pool. It will have multiple uses, from a sports pool, to a lounge pool, to a children’s pool, giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy it. There is so much potential good that this pool could do that if we miss it, it’s something we might regret for years to come.

Related links

NY-NJ Harbor Estuary past & future home to a billion oysters
The Public Trust Doctrine
NJ-APA 2013 Great Places in NJ
Plan for the Hoboken Waterfont