Water Quality on Display

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In an ingenious meeting of form and function, a 50-foot-long floating “plus sign” in New York’s East River used LED lights to display water quality conditions. The floating art installation is titled + Pool Light. The system measures pathogen levels, turbidity, oxygen levels and pH. When conditions are within healthy ranges, the LEDs shine blue, but turn teal when conditions are less favorable and pink when considered hazardous.

The project was created by designer Jeff Franklin, a partner at PLAYFAB, which is working toward a more ambitious related project: a massive self-filtering floating swimming pool, also in the shape of a plus sign. The symbol was chosen for both projects to represent positive steps towards environmental clean up in the Big Apple’s waterways as a result of the 1972 Clean Water Act.

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“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 told patch.com.

The system has an online dashboard that interprets water quality test data, all part of an effort to educate the public about water quality conditions in previously polluted bodies of water that are new being revived.

“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,” says Kara Meyer, managing director of Friends of +POOL.

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