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Bois de la Cambre swimming cancelled this weekend

19:03 25/07/2019

An open-air swimming experiment in the Bois de la Cambre lake will not be going ahead this weekend, due to water safety concerns resulting from this week's hot weather.

About 900 people had registered to take part in the event, part of the Expedition Swim project in which three Brussels ponds and lakes were due to accommodate swimmers.

This weekend's event has been called off after tests revealed a high concentration of E.Coli bacteria in the water, caused by high temperatures.

Because it takes three days for the results of the water samples to come back, Wednesday was the deadline for deciding whether it was safe to swim at the weekend.

The first phase of Expedition Swim went ahead as planned last weekend in the Neerpede pond in Anderlecht. The next one is planned for the Pêcheries pond in Boitsfort on 3-4 August.

Thursday was the hottest day ever recorded in Belgium, beating Wednesday's record, with 40.7°C measured in Beitem, West Flanders.

The heatwave has put Belgium's transport networks under pressure, with damage to overhead power lines delaying trains.

The coast tram was suspended on Thursday afternoon. A Thalys train on the Paris-Amsterdam route was stranded outside Mechelen, prompting the rail operator to temporarily stop ticket sales and encourage passengers to rebook for another day.

Written by The Bulletin