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Plus Pool Designer Discusses Floating Pool for East River

One on one with the Dong Ping Wong, designer of the Plus Pool. An in depth look at the project.

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Plus Pool - Interview With Dong Ping Wong - Designer of the Plus Pool Concept in the East River in New York City

We report on our fair share of unique pool concepts at Pool Magazine. None so far this year, with the exception of possibly the Sky Pool in London, has managed to capture people’s imagination the way this project has. Plus Pool is a unique floating pool concept design that is shaped like a plus sign (+). The project has been discussed for a long time. For the past few months photos have of the pool concept have begun circulating on social media once again. After years and years of pushback from the city, the Plus Pool project finally got the green light. The 285,000 gallon floating pool will have a permanent address in the East River.

The Plus Pool Design Team

The minimalist pool design is the brainchild of four designers. Dong-Ping Wong and Oana Stanescu of the architecture firm Family and Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeff Franklin of the design firm PlayLab. The group originally conceived of the idea for Plus Pool back in 2010.

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The Plus Pool designers started a Kickstarter campaign to first generate interest.
The Plus Pool designers started a Kickstarter campaign to first generate interest. Photo Credit – CLAD

Wong, a New York state licensed architect with a Masters Degree in Architecture from Columbia University, first conceived of the project with his friends one hot summer night roughly ten years ago.

There has been a grass roots effort to get the Plus Pool approved for years.
There has been a grass roots effort to get the Plus Pool approved for years. Photo Credit – InHabitat

Pool Magazine had the chance to catch up with Dong Ping Wong, founder of the architectural firm FOOD New York and one of the lead designers behind the Plus Pool. We had a laundry list of questions for him from folks in the pool industry that wanted to know more about this project. Particularly, folks like Dave Penton of Ask The Masters, expressed interest in the filtration technology and how pool designers intend to safely filter a million gallons of water from the East River each day.

The four friends have been working on the Plus Pool concept for the better part of a decade.
The four friends have been working on the Plus Pool concept for the better part of a decade – Photo Credit: Bonobos

The floating pool concept is an Olympic sized pool at least in length explained Wong. The design is shaped like a plus which gave it the moniker “Plus Pool”.

Let’s Dive In: Plus Pool Fast Facts

  • Total Length & Width: 217 feet
  • Total Depth: 11′ to 6″
  • Total Area: 29,700 sqf
  • Pool Volume: 285,500 gallons
  • Pool Length: 164′ – 1 (Olympic)
  • Pool Width: 32′ – 8 (4 Lanes)
  • Pool Depth: 5′ to 0″
  • Max Capacity: 300 people
Wong and his team envision a natural body of water in the East River that will be clean enough to swim in.
Wong and his team envision a natural body of water in the East River that will be clean enough to swim in.

“Basically the whole idea is to find a way to swim in natural water around New York City,” said Wong, “In this case East River water, which as you would imagine is not what you would think of as the cleanest water. So how could we swim in that safely?” asked Wong, a question we wanted to know the answer to as well.

The space planned along New York City's East River will provide an instantly iconic backdrop for bathers.
The space planned along New York City’s East River will provide an instantly iconic backdrop for bathers.

The question itself has many skeptics wondering how designers plan to pull it off. Wong explained the basic premise behind what he plans to do. “In concept, the filtration system is a big strainer. Filtration is built into the walls of the pools. Water literally flows through the walls of the pool itself into the basin.” said Wong.

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The Plus Pool's filtration system will act as a giant strainer filtering over a million gallons of East River water each day.
The Plus Pool’s filtration system will act as a giant strainer filtering over a million gallons of East River water each day.

“In normal operation we expect to filter over a million gallons of water a day, but in comparison to the entire volume of the East River it’s really a drop in the bucket.” continued Wong.

Plus Pool's use of natural water from the East River will require a world class filtration system.
Plus Pool’s use of natural water from the East River will require a world class filtration system.

Plus Pool Filtration

“The filtration is a combination of technologies we’ve already found in place for other uses,” said Wong, “Industrial water waste treatment, municipal uses. We’re not really cleaning it to drinking water standards. We don’t really need to. It’s a combination of textiles, ultra-filtration membranes, some very rudimentary filtration as well.” explained Wong.

“The basic idea of a Brita filter is that it filters water in stages from the largest materials down to the smallest and what you’re left with is a pretty clean piece of water you can swim in.” said Wong.

“Our biggest concern is bacteria.” explained Wong “There’s I forget how many numbers of different parameters we’re looking at. There’s bacteria counts, pH, oxygen levels, color… but bacteria is the main one. Obviously the reason being that the coliform count is what the Department of Health and the state looked at as the main measure of cleanliness of any body of water that you’re swimming in.” explained Wong.

“In New York state there’s something known as a ‘Bathing Beach’ which is a man made pool. There’s a coliform count that we try to get under. I believe it’s 35 cfu’s per hundred million for bathing beaches.” said Wong, as he explained the requirements his filtration system needs to meet in order to adhere to state health guidelines.

A Concept in Good Company

Wong’s concept for a floating barge style pool is unique in design but has been executed to some degree before. There are similar style concept floating pools such as the Badeschiff in Berlin, La Piscine Josephine Baker in Paris, and Islands Brygge Harbour Bath in Coppenhagen. It’s the ultrafiltration membrane system Wong plans to use that may be unique for a project of this scope and magnitude.

Badeschiff Pool - Floating Pool in Berlin Germany is a tourist destination
Floating pool concepts like the Badeschiff have the potential to become revenue generating tourist destinations year round and can be converted to other uses in the off-season. Plus Pool hopes to do something similar.

Studies have been conducted on whether ultrafiltration techniques are a viable means of containing coliform counts in pools with higher than average bather loads. Wong along with his team conducted a trial on a smaller scale prototype to see if they could achieve the desired results in terms of maintaining required water sanitization standards.

Wong envision the floating Plus Pool will mimic the flow rate of the river to constantly refresh the water supply.
Wong envisions the floating Plus Pool will mimic the flow rate of the river to constantly refresh the water supply.

This pool’s water source and guestimated bather count make the project a unique challenge in terms of keeping the swimming pool within the mandated requirements. Wong elaborated on how he plans to accomplish the daunting task of using water from the East River and making it safe enough to swim in.

“We’re moving water through a series of geotextiles.” said Wong, “It’s really just smaller and smaller pore sizes that you’re passively passing water through and essentially all that’s doing is capturing particles.”

How Ultrafiltration Membranes Work
How Ultrafiltration Membranes Work – Photo Credit: Synder Filtration

“The good thing is that bacteria tends to ride on larger particles so it’s actually fairly easy to capture in terms of water filtration. The other aspect is we’re doing this completely without chemicals and one of the reasons is to maintain the natural quality of the water. It’s also for the effect of not swimming in a chemically chlorinated environment.” explained Wong.

“We’re maintaining a flow rate within the pool that mimics any natural body of water. So that the body of water is constantly refreshed.” said Wong.

Typically, ultrafiltration captures fine solids, colloids, bacteria, and viruses through a sieve-like structure which does not allow solids larger than the pore diameter to pass through. The technology of microfiltration and ultrafiltration has been used in numerous industrial applications; a science Wong and his team are confident will work in terms of making the water quality suitable for bathers.

Initially, Wong and his associates were able to raise $41,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to test drive the filtration system they plan to use for the real life Plus Pool. The feasibility tests were conducted in conjunction with the help of fellow researchers from Columbia University.

Arup, an engineering firm, approached the team and offered to give resources. They studied water quality, structure configurations, energy utilization, site potentials, and the filtration system throughout the winter. By May 2011, they had determined that the idea was feasible.

“We’ve been doing a lot of health modeling to show that flow rate combined with our filtration system can keep the cleanliness of the water compared to chemically treated bodies of water.”

The Plus Pool team conducting water quality tests at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The Plus Pool team conducting water quality tests at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Stigma of The East River

Wong’s plan seems solid given the current technology available. Perhaps it’s the reputation of the East River itself that has a bad rap. For decades in recent memory the East River was known as a polluted waterway that was unsuitable to swim in. However, in recent years, not only has the river become swimmable again, it’s actually the cleanest it’s ever been since the days of the Civil War.

Still, many New Yorkers themselves have trouble getting their mind past the stigma of swimming in the East River. Although it’s been twenty four years since the episode of Seinfeld first aired, folks still laugh at the notion of Kramer finding a new zest for life swimming in what was at the time still a very polluted East River.

There is still a lot of conflicting information pertaining to whether the East River is safe to swim in. In the days of a bygone era, the East River was once a very popular swimming hole for New York City locals.

A glance at the topic on Wikipedia flat out tells readers that the East River may be dangerous to swim in. Not particularly because a large percentage of the city’s sewage runoff winds up in the East River, but because strong tidal currents of up to 5 knots that can make swimming unadvisable for most recreational swimmers.

It’s impossible for many folks to ignore raw sewage and gloss over the ‘yuck’ factor associated with the idea of swimming amidst the city’s flotsam and jetsam. Although the biodiversity has come back incredibly, and you can fish and boat in the river – many still struggle with the notion of eating fish from the East River. In years past odds were good one could fish an old boot out of the river just as frequently as they would a bass.

Can you swim in the East River? Yes. Should you? Well, let's just say that the jury is still out.
Can you swim in the East River? Yes. Should you? Well, let’s just say that the jury is still out.
Photo Credit – Brooklyn Paper

The CSO (combined sewage overflow) annually accounts for roughly 26 billion gallons of raw sewage and polluted storm water discharging into New York Harbor via 460 combined sewage overflows throughout the city. Experts say that as little as a twentieth of an inch of rain can overflood the city’s antiquated sewage system and cause the CSO’s to kick in and begin dumping sewage into the river.

Those issues and the structural engineering challenges of stabilizing the pool are ones that we addressed with Wong. He and his team envision a safe space in the East River dedicated for recreational swimming. “During non-rainy times the water seems to be ‘cleanish’.” said Wong, however he agreed that during rainy times, the Enterococci levels of the water made it unsuitable for swimming.

Plus Pool Designer Dong Ping Wong conducted two small scale prototype tests thus far.
Plus Pool Designer Dong Ping Wong conducted two small scale prototype tests thus far.

Wong’s team has performed 2 in water tests to confirm the notion of whether they could use the filtration technology to keep the water clean. “The first one in 2013, we were just testing all these different textiles.” said Wong, “We built a tank and put it onto a pier in Brooklyn Bridge Park and pumped raw water though it just to see the effects of the filtration. It showed some promise but certainly at that point it wasn’t hitting the mark yet.”

“In 2015, we built ‘Float Lab’ a very small, very DIY version of Plus Pool. It allowed us to swap materials in and out and we sat it in the river and just kind of let it passively filter, and had an additional sort of mechanical system to pump through much more dense filtration material to see what the effects were.” said Wong. “That was the one where we said ‘We can actually clean this, we can actually hit consistent clean water quality levels we need to hit.'”

Dong Ping Wong conducting his water quality experiments in the East River.
Dong Ping Wong conducting his water quality experiments in the East River.

The East River may not be ready to swim in… yet. Backers like Heineken have sponsored the project and have faith that Wong and his associates can pull it off. During our conversation with Wong, we mentioned some other force factors such as strong tidal currents that could make this a particularly challenging endeavor from an engineering standpoint.

Heineken has sponsored the Plus Pool project with $100,000 towards getting the project off the ground.
Heineken has sponsored the Plus Pool project with $100,000 towards getting the project off the ground. Photo Credit – Seamus.co

Dong Ping Wong responded to questions regarding his plans to stabilize the structure for the choppy conditions. “One of the site constraints as we’re looking for sites was trying to find pockets along the East River where those currents were a little bit more mitigated. The location we’re looking at now is shielded by a pier structure to the north a little bit of the footing of the Manhattan bridge to the south.” explained Wong.

Wong explained some ways the team plans to stabilize the pool. “There is still a lot of current let alone wave action from boat traffic that passes up and down the river.” said Wong, “There’s 3 things we’re doing. One is just the size of the thing itself. It’s quite large and wide. That alone gives us some stability you find in larger barges. The second thing is how we anchor it. We’re using pre-tension anchors that can ride the currents and tides and weather those hundred year storms we anticipate. The third is and we’re still determining if we need this or not, but adding a layer of wave attenuation to the outside of the pool towards the center.” explained Wong.

Why The Plus Pool?

“We wanted a way so that people who are there for athletic reasons can swim. People who there just to hangout can get a suntan. People who are there swimming for the first time feel comfortable. So basically like 4 pools kind of stuck together in one, that’s the idea,” said Wong “There’s a lap pool, and a sports pool, a lounge pool and a kids pool.” explained Wong as he broke down the various quadrants of the intended design concept.

The Plus Pool concept has 4 separate unique quadrants planned for various types of bathers and swimmers.
The Plus Pool concept has 4 separate unique quadrants planned for various types of bathers and swimmers.

The second reason for the Plus Pool said Wong “I knew that we needed something that looked different. That looked iconic. That looked striking when you saw it in an image, saw it overhead and for the first time. I think it’s very exciting to do a pool in the East River that filters water but we also knew it needed to look incredible, like something you’ve never seen before. The plus gave us that, the shape gave us that.” continued Wong.

The Plus Pool project design concept has captured the imaginations of the general public and the pool industry.
The Plus Pool project design concept has captured the imaginations of the general public and the pool industry.

Wong and his associates have been trying to get this project approved for over a decade. The concept has been written about and discussed practically since it’s inception. There has never been a fizzling off point in interest. To be clear, New Yorkers want this pool, and it is evident by the number of independent backers and supporters the project has drawn.

This latest surge on social media and the news comes on the tail end of the project finally getting the green light for approval from the city. It’s a great sign that the project will go ahead as planned, but we asked Wong why this project has taken so long to get off the ground.

Plus Pool Lighting Up At Night in East River
Plus Pool Lighting Up At Night in East River

“It’s just something that’s never been done before,” said Wong, “Here or elsewhere. You know there’s obviously floating pools. There’s natural pools, but I don’t think there’s ever been one at this scale and one that’s filtering the water the way that we are for public use.”

“Additionally, I think as amazing as New York City is, it’s not the easiest place in the world to do innovative public work because it’s a very large city and legally very complicated.” continued Wong, “There’s definitions for good reason, on what a pool is and what a beach is. There is not a definition for what our thing is, which is sort of a combination of the two.”

Wong and his team definitely hit the nail on the head in that regard. The Plus Pool design concept has been shared all over the world and has been written about everywhere from CNN to Architectural Digest. People everywhere are eagerly anticipating the project.

Dong Ping Wong said that he’s open to a Q&A from the pool industry. If you’d like to learn more about how the actual nuts and bolts work, feel free to ask your questions in the comments.

Want to make an impact and contribute to the project? Buy a Pool Tile and donate to the Plus Pool concept.

Listen to the entire interview with Dong Ping Wong on the Pool Magazine Podcast

Featured Photo Credit, Interior Photos / Design Renderings: Plus Pool

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Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of PoolMarketing.com, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email info@poolmagazine.com or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to submissions@poolmagazine.com

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One Rockin’ Pool Project at the Hard Rock

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Hard Rock Pool - Hard Rock Seminole - Hollywood, FL - Pool Area

Jason Evans and Jeff Brown know a thing or two about taking on large projects like the Hard Rock pool. Industry veteran Evans has been indoctrinating his stepson Brown into the business over the past decade. Working side by side with his stepfather, the two have tackled their fair share of challenging jobs. For the south Florida firm renovating pools is a family affair. Their company, Pool Boy Plastering, has made a reputation for taking on some very visible and high-profile custom pool projects.

The Hard Rock Pool in Hollywood, FL

Recently Evans began posting photos of the Hard Rock Seminole pool they worked on in Hollywood, FL. The incredibly iconic guitar-shaped resort features a lush “Bora Bora” lagoon-style swimming pool which is just as stunning. A beach entry resort-style pool with actual sand, as well as a huge 4.5-acre lagoon for hotel guests that allows for paddleboarding, kayaking, and pedal boating, are just some of the world-class amenities you’ll find.

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The high-volume firm has taken on large jobs, having completed over 12,000 projects during its tenure in the business. Catering to pool builders and architects, Pool Boy Plastering performs over 600 pool plastering jobs a year.

It’s safe to say that Evans and Brown collectively plastered roughly 7.2 million square feet or 110 football fields worth of pools. That’s a lot of plaster and a ton of experience in the field. It’s no wonder they were awarded the bid to do the interior of the Hard Rock swimming pool. Still, the two weren’t shy about confessing that this was the largest project they’d ever undertaken.

A Challenging Pool Interior

In describing what working on this pool was like, Evans was straight to the point. “It was a doozy, there were some really rough work conditions and it was probably one of the toughest jobs we’ve ever had to do,” he said.

“Not only did we have time constraints but it was during a really rainy season. Because it’s a Seminole reservation, OSHA is not allowed on the property, but they had their own safety team that was stricter than what a typical OSHA job site would be,” explained Evans, describing the working conditions.

“They would have lightning monitors, alarms would go off and we’d be suddenly forced to shut everything down and shelter. That’s tough, we’re out there mixing cement, pumping the Pebbletec. It was tough to just turn off the machine when it was full of cement and go hang out for an hour or two until we’re allowed to get back to work,” said Brown.

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“We’d have almost daily meetings with the contractors, Brightview Developers did the entire outside of the hotel and were the ones we were collaborating with. The construction was 24/7 but our crew only worked during the day. In a fast-paced production schedule, it was a tough job site to work on. One day there would be parking, the next day there would be sidewalks where there were none yesterday,” said Evans.

Hitting a Moving Target

A project of this scale with a moving target and constantly shifting priorities was definitely a new experience for the firm. “It was always throwing us a loop. We’d be there doing a section thinking we’d be able to finish it and the concrete foreman would come up and inform us that the next day we’d have to break everything down and move out of the way and set up on the other side of the hotel to work. This was a rush build with overlapping deadlines. I must say though for a job of this scale it went fairly smoothly,” stated Evans.

“Having to run a slick line to shoot 800 square feet through other workers was definitely a challenge. We worked well on top of other contractors until it came time to use chemicals and then we’d have to cordon off certain areas of the job site. That made us popular,” said Brown, “they weren’t too happy to have to clear out when we had to do an acid wash.”

When asked if they’d take on this job again, the pair chuckled and said that is one they’d have to seriously consider. Despite the difficulties working on this project, the Pebbletec interior in this swimming pool came out gorgeous. A tremendous undertaking, this project is a testament to their abilities and was obviously a true labor of love.

Certainly not the only high-profile resort pool Evans and Brown have worked on, the two have traveled as far as Dubai to work on the Atlantis resort pool. They’re also probably one of the only pool plasterers that can count Sylvester Stallone as one of their clients. With that said, this rockin’ pool still remains one for the highlight reel.

Photo Credit: Jimi Smith Photography

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National Water Safety Month Is Celebrated The Entire Month of May

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Celebrate National Water Safety Month The Entire Month of May

The month of May is a time to celebrate National Water Safety Month. The entire month of May has been officially dedicated as a time to bring awareness and education about water safety to the general community. The initiative is coordinated by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance in support with the American Red Cross, National Recreation and Park Association, and the World Waterpark Association.

Benefits of Water Safety

May is the perfect time to observe safer water practices. When school is out for the summer and the weather heats up across the country, poolside recreation is in. This summer, pools, hot tubs, and spas will have a tremendously positive impact on all of our lives.

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There are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools, and an additional 7.3 million hot tubs operating in the U.S. Over the summer 8 out of 10 Americans are planning to swim in a pool. For children and teens between the ages of 7 and 17, swimming remains the #1 most popular recreational activity.

Still, the Red Cross says more than 50% of Americans don’t know how to swim. This is where the disconnect lies and why this initiative is so important. Practicing better pool safety saves lives.

National Water Safety Month is helping by promoting better water safety practices as well as increasing water competency including what to do in an emergency. Drowning prevention lies at the core of the initiative.

Some of the core principles to educate the public about the importance of supervising children in or near water, fencing pools and spas with adequate barriers, learning water safety survival skills, using approved life jackets while boating, and swimming in a lifeguarded area.

How National Water Safety Month Got Started

National Water Safety Month’s history of highlighting water awareness and swim safety started in June 2003, when the World Waterpark Association launched its National Water Safety Week. People celebrated this water awareness week for four years.

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The origins of National Water Safety Month began in May 2007. The National Recreation and Park Association in coordination with the World Waterpark Association decided that a month-long water safety initiative in May would better serve the community. May is the month when swim activity begins to increase across the nation. It was at this point that National Aquatics Week evolved into National Water Safety Month.

The APSP (now the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance) joined the initiative in May 2009. Their involvement would add public pools, residential pools, and waterparks as part of the month long water safety campaign. The American Red Cross would join the National Water Safety Month coalition as a key partner the following year in May 2010.

Learn More About The Key Partners Behind National Water Safety Month

The water safety initiative reaches the community at large through a series of educational programs and public service announcements. In addition, there is involvement at the government level, as well as with dealers and businesses across the nation to provide access to a wide variety of swim safety materials.

Pool & Hot Tub Alliance

The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance advances the expansion of water safety initiatives through research and outreach-related activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming. The PHTA’s 3,600 members are helping advance this initiative by making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities.

National Recreation & Park Association

The National Recreation & Park Association is a non-profit dedicated to building stronger communities through the power of parks and recreation. Today, the NRPA’s 60,000 members propel this objective by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates

World Waterpark Association

The World Waterpark Association is the world’s premier water-leisure trade association. The WWA serves over 1,000 members in 50 different countries around the globe.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

Sponsor: Pentair

The initiative is sponsored by Pentair. “Pentair is honored to continue to support National Water Safety Month again this year,” says De’Mon Wiggins, President – Pool Business Unit at Pentair. “At Pentair, we know moments by the pool can only be magical, wonder-filled, and fun when experienced safely. That’s why we are committed as an organization to promoting water safety awareness not only during National Water Safety Month but always.”

Pentair Partnership With Pool & Hot Tub Alliance for National Water Safety Month
Pentair Partnership With Pool & Hot Tub Alliance for National Water Safety Month

How You Can Get Involved

For those that want to get involved, there are a number of ways for the general public and pool industry professionals to engage with their own community. Resources for consumers and professionals are available on the National Water Safety Month website.

Pool industry professionals perform a variety of outreach services that engage their local communities to learn more about water safety. Some examples are Joe Vassallo and his firm Paragon Pools which started their Float Like a Duck program in Las Vegas and Stephen Little, CEO of Claro Pools with his 55/5 campaign in Palm Desert. Those interested in getting involved have lots of options. Some advocates are planning a media event while others are doing a virtual event online. There are even those who are organizing a water safety fair to help get the word out.

Still one of the best ways to make a difference is by making a donation to the Red Cross and sponsoring National Water Safety Month as well as other drowning prevention initiatives that help promote awareness.

Featured Photo Credit: PHTA

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Top 10 Largest Swimming Pools in the World

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Top 10 Largest Swimming Pools In The World

When discussing the largest swimming pools on the planet, we’re certainly not talking about your average-sized watering hole. While there have been large man-made pools practically since civilization began, these swimming pools in particular defy the imagination in terms of their sheer scale.

You may have visited a few resorts in your time with large luxurious over-the-top pools, but trust me when we say that those pools are practically teacup-sized in comparison to these swimming pools. We’ve covered plenty of swimming pool Top 10’s in Pool Magazine, including the world’s most expensive pools. Today, however, we’re going to be looking at some of the largest pools on Earth. With that said, let’s dive right in!

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The Top 10 Largest Pools In The World

RankSwimming PoolCountryCityAreaOpenedWater
#1City Stars Sharm El SheikhEgyptSharm El Sheikh23.9 acres2015Sea water
#2San Alfonso Del MarChileValparaíso20 acres2006Sea water
#3MahasamutrThailandHua Hin17 acres2014Sea water
#4Ostrava Poruba – VřesinaCzech RepublicOstrava10 acres1962Fresh water
#5Diamante at Cabo San LucasMexicoCabo San Lucas10 acres2009Salt water
#6The Lagoon at EppersonUnited StatesWesley Chapel, FL7.5 acres2017Sea water
#7Piscina Las Brisas de Santo DomingoChileSanto Domingo5 acres2004Sea water
#8The Lagoon at Windsong RanchUnited StatesProsper, TX4.9 acres2019Sea water
#9Hayman Island Resort PoolAustraliaQueensland2.2 acres1950Sea water
#10Dreamworld Fun LagoonPakistanKarachi2 acres2008Well water
Largest Swimming Pools In The World by Size

Statistics are all well and good, but we’re dying to know more about these massive swimming pools and we’re sure you are too. Let’s take a closer look at each one of the swimming pools on our Top 10 Largest Swimming Pools list.

#10 – Dreamworld Fun Lagoon

The world’s largest well water swimming pool is located on the outskirts of Pakistan’s largest metropolis, Karachi. The Dreamworld Resort’s pool, which is filled with 2 million gallons of water pumped from neighboring wells, also has waterslides and an artificial sea with waves up to 4 feet high. This is a massive pool where scores of families gather together to have a good time.

Dream World Fun Lagoon - Karachi, Pakistan
Dream World Fun Lagoon – Karachi, Pakistan | Photo Credit: Hotels.com

Address: Gulshan-e-Maymar, Super Highway
Adjacent، Block R Taiser Town, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh, Pakistan
Phone: +92 21 38692000
Website: https://dreamworld.pk/


#9 – Hayman Island Resort Pool

The pool at Hayman Island Resort has the size of seven Olympic-sized pools and has a surface area of nearly 78,000 square feet. The man-made lagoon was built in 1985 as part of the exclusive Hayman Island resort in the Whitsundays, on the Great Barrier Reef’s Whitsunday Islands. The pool, which is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, has a freshwater section surrounded by a bigger saltwater segment, as well as a sand bar in the center for relaxing. The largest of the four linked boardwalks, extending 165 feet, spans the water’s surface.

Hayman Island Resort has one of the world's biggest pools.
Hayman Island Resort has one of the world’s biggest pools. | Photo Credit: IHG

Address: Hayman Island Whitsunday Islands Hayman Island, QLD 4801, Australia
Phone: +61 7 4940 1234
Website: https://haymanisland.intercontinental.com/

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#8 – The Lagoon at Windsong Ranch

One of the largest pools on earth is actually in the United States. The Lagoon, a massive 4.9-acre seawater pool, is currently the centerpiece of Windsong Ranch. Guests of the ranch can unwind on the white sand beaches or participate in a variety of activities such as paddleboarding and kayaking in the crystal clear Caribbeanesque waters. The largest pool in the United States, this one must be seen to be believed!

Lagoon at Windsong Ranch is one the largest pools in the world.
Lagoon at Windsong Ranch | Photo Credit: Windsong Ranch

Address: 1001 Windsong Pkwy, Prosper, TX 75078
Phone: (972) 347-9270
Website: https://windsongranchliving.com/


#7 – Piscina Las Brisas de Santo Domingo

Piscina Las Brisas is a five-acre saltwater pool is part of the Las Brisas upscale condominium development in Chile. To give you a sense of scale, it’s roughly the size of 16 Olympic-sized swimming pools. This architectural achievement is one of the largest swimming pools on the planet. Two of the nicest aspects are that it has a view of the Pacific Ocean and its crystal clear water.

Piscina Las Brisas de Santo Domingo is the 7th largest pool in the world
Piscina Las Brisas de Santo Domingo is the 7th largest pool in the world | Photo Credit: Latte Luxury News

Address: Santo Domingo, Valparaíso, Chile
Phone: +56 2 2206 9188
Website: https://www.lasbrisasdesantodomingo.cl/


#6 – The Lagoon at Epperson

What was once a cow pasture just north of Tampa is now home to the largest swimming pool in the country. Swimming, paddle boarding, and kayaking are all possible on the man-made, sustainable body of water. It also has a swim-up bar, cabanas, a floating obstacle course, and other amenities. The lagoon spans 7.5 acres and has a perimeter of 4,200 linear square feet, with an average depth of 8 feet and some spots as deep as 12 feet.

The Lagoon at Epperson by Crystal Lagoons is the largest pool in the U.S.
The Lagoon at Epperson – Photo Credit: Tampa Magazine

Address: 31885 Overpass Rd, Wesley Chapel, FL 33545
Phone: (813) 444-5221
Website: https://epperson.metroplaces.com/#lagoons


#5 – Diamante in Cabo San Lucas

With views of Diamante’s signature sand dunes and the majestic Pacific Ocean, you’ll be in paradise. Sail, swim, stand-up paddleboard, and kayak, or simply relax in your own private cabana nearby. There are wide beach areas, a swim-up bar and jacuzzi, and other family-friendly amenities surrounding the lagoon, so grab your goggles and sunscreen and get ready for some serious fun. Tied with our #4 pick, the 10-acre saltwater Crystal Lagoons® at Diamante offers leisure and family-friendly activities at the heart of their resort.

Diamante at Cabo San Lucas - 10 acre salt water pool - Photo Credit: Crystal Lagoons
Diamante at Cabo San Lucas – 10-acre salt water pool – Photo Credit: Crystal Lagoons

Address: Diamante Blvd., 23473 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone: +52 624 144 2900
Website: https://diamantecabosanlucas.com/amenities/crystal-lagoons/


#4 – Ostrava Poruba – Vřesina

The Ostrava Poruba, a seasonal community pool that first opened in 1962 is the largest open-air swimming pool in the Czech Republic at 10 acres. The massive fresh water pool is designed to look like a lake. Tied with our #5 pick in terms of size, the municipal corporation Sareza (Sports and Recreational Facilities of the City of Ostrava) operates swimming pools of various sizes (indoor and outdoor) in Poruba, Ostrava-Jih, Moravská Ostrava a Pvoz, and Bartovice.

Ostrava Poruba - Vřesina is the 4th largest pool on the planet
Ostrava Poruba – Vřesina – Photo Credit: 80bvod on YouTube

Address: Rekreační 236/74, 708 00 Ostrava-Poruba, Czechia
Phone: +420 596 977 611
Website: http://www.sareza.cz/letni-koupaliste-ostrava-poruba/


#3 – Mahasamutr

The MahaSamutr pool is home to Asia’s largest man-made lagoon. It has a surface area of 72,000 square miles and a maximum depth of 2.4 meters. The lagoon, surrounded by an artificial sand beach, is the focal point of the MahaSamutr development project, an upscale country club and residential complex in Hua Hin.

Mahasamutr Pool - Photo Credit: Fernando Fischmann / Founder & Chairman of Crystal Lagoons
Mahasamutr Pool – Photo Credit: Fernando Fischmann / Founder & Chairman of Crystal Lagoons

Also by Crystal Lagoons, this massive pool is the first major project in Thailand and sits proudly on our top 10 list as the #3 largest pool in the world.

Mahasamutr Pool in Thailand is the 3rd largest pool on Earth
Mahasamutr Pool in Thailand is the 3rd largest pool on Earth

Address: 70/152-153 Soi 112 Huana Tuptai Road
Prachuapkhirikhan, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand
Phone: +66 32 907 900


#2 – San Alfonso Del Mar

San Alfonso Del Mar Resort in Chile is currently the second largest swimming pool in the world and sits on a private resort in Algarrobo, Chile, located roughly 60 miles west of Santiago. With a length of over nine football fields, this enormous saltwater pool is filled with over 66 million gallons of water. At the time of its completion in 2006, San Alfonso Del Mar Resort captured the record for the world’s largest pool and held it for almost a decade. A builder of some of the largest pools on the planet, we can thank Crystal Lagoons for this one as well.

San Alfonso Del Mar - 2nd Largest Pool in the World
San Alfonso Del Mar – 2nd Largest Pool in the World

Featuring swimming, sailing, kayaking, and a host of world-class amenities, San Alfonso Del Mar Resort is a must-see travel destination for pool lovers and an incredible achievement in aquatic engineering.


#1- City Stars Sharm El Sheikh

The City Stars Sharm El Sheikh lagoon, which opened in 2015, is officially the world’s largest man-made body of water. Aside from its enormous size, this massive pool located in the Sinai desert is a sight to behold. The saltwater supply is drawn from aquifers and takes several weeks to replenish. The $5.5 billion project is also the most expensive pool in the world.

City Stars Sharm El Sheikh – Photo Credit: Crystal Lagoons

Address: 29HV+8HH, Qesm Sharm Ash Sheikh, South Sinai Governorate, Egypt
Website: http://www.citystars.com.eg/project.php?id=6&active=page_Sharm

City Stars Sharm El Sheikh – Largest Swimming Pool in the World

At 23.9 acres City Stars Sharm El Sheikh by Crystal Lagoons; is officially the largest swimming pool project in the world.

In conclusion:

You may have asked the question “what is the largest swimming pool in the world” and gotten 100 different answers. Unfortunately, there is a lot of conflicting information out there and statistics have a tendency to be copied & pasted without much fact-checking these days. Stats also have a way of changing quicker than human beings tend to update their websites.

In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records even still lists the 8.9-acre Orthlieb Pool in Casablanca, Morocco as the largest pool on the planet. Unfortunately, that pool was demolished back in 1986 and hasn’t been around for quite some time. There are also plenty of places that still list the San Alfonso Del Mar as the world’s largest swimming pool, but it was supplanted back in 2015 by the #1 pool on our list. City Stars Sharm El Sheikh is officially the largest swimming pool on the planet – for now.

5/5 - (46 votes)

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