Waterway pools have been gaining popularity around the world. From New York City’s proposed floating + POOL to river pools already built in Zurich, Berlin, and Paris, people are working around the fact that many city rivers are polluted. One such waterway is the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia. Non-profit Yarra Swim Co. is working to make the river ‘swimmable’ once more, and one way they’re pursuing those goals is by working with Arup to develop a Yarra Pool.
According to Yarra Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly, typically the only people right now that swim in the Yarra are drunk foreigners. Once home to one of the largest swimming competitions in the world, The Three Mile Yarra Swim, the river has been polluted for decades. One of Yarra Swim Co.’s initial goals was to clean up the river so they could bring back The Three Mile Yarra Swim. Their Melbourne river pool could help change public opinion of the river.
Environmental scientist Michael O’Neill said of the Yarra Pools idea, “This project builds on decades of work to return the Yarra back to the people. We dine, ride, run, and row along the Yarra. Now it’s time to get back in.”
Not only would a pool provide a clean place to swim, but Arup and Yarra Swim Co. are looking into ways to filter the surrounding water so it can actually be used in the pool. Arup reports that a patent is pending for that technology.
In Australian dollars, the pool could cost between $6 and $8 million. Crowdfunding could help fund the pool, as could sponsorship or grants. Yarra Swim Co. President Matt Stewart said the pool could be open for swimming in 2019 or 2020.