SEAPORT DISTRICT, NY — An LED light installation just north of Pier 17 will tell you just how dirty — or clean — the East River’s water is.
From the creators of a filtering pool system, +POOL, the 50-by-50-foot installation will float in the East River and change colors depending on the water quality, based on data pulled from sensors set up at Pier 17.
“The design recognizes the “+” sign as a symbol of positivity, indicating the positive steps we have taken to improve water quality since the Clean Water Act of 1972,” said Jeff Franklin, a designer of +POOL Light and partner at PLAYLAB, INC.
“Conceptually, it is also a symbol of inclusivity in that the water that surrounds us belongs to no one single group, but to everyone,” Franklin said.
The installation illuminating water quality comes shortly after the Economic Development Corporation called for applications from pool operators who want to build out a filtering pool system somewhere between the Brooklyn Bridge and Pier 35, for which +POOL plans to apply.
The Friends of +POOL tested bacteria samples using a system that Paris uses to test for swimming water quality in the canals all summer long in order to build the water quality algorithm with Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.
There’s an online dashboard for the public to see the water quality in real-time.
“Water quality data is incredibly complex, so access to data means very little to everyday people. We wanted to figure out a way to empower people with the data and engage them visually with what is happening in the water in front of them,” said Kara Meyer, managing director of Friends of +POOL.
The lights, designed by PLAYLAB, INC. and Family New York, will be on display through Jan. 4.