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Flow outdoor pool reopens after water safety concerns

15:42 25/07/2023

Brussels’ outdoor public swimming pool, Flow, is back in business after a bacteria scare forced its closure earlier this month.

The pool in Anderlecht had been closed since 7 July but its operators said the problem had now been resolved and it has reopened.

Paul Steinbrück, a spokesman for the Flow operator Pool is Cool, said the issue was thought to be linked to an old water pipe.

Following water quality checks, a subsequent laboratory test showed that levels of a bacteria, called pseudomonas aeruginosa, were deemed to be too high in the pool.

On its reopening, Steinbrück said: "This is good news. We have taken the necessary measures and we can open to the public again."

The owners organised a public information session to outline the problems with people using the pool.

The pool was fitted with a new filter system earlier in the year which means water in the pool is no longer treated chemically with chlorine but with biological filters where plants and microorganisms guarantee good water quality.

Even so, it appears that this did not prevent bacteria finding its way into the pool.

Steinbrück added: “We still believe that biological water treatment is the more sustainable and economical solution in the future.”

The site, located along the city’s canalside, also serves as a seasonal cultural venue.

Open seven days a week, the 17-metre by seven-metre pool is available to the public every afternoon, while the sun terraces and kiosk with its refreshment stand are open all day.

The pool remains free for swimmers who reserve at the pool or who drop in for a last-minute dip if there are free places. But for online reservations of a 45-minute time slot, a booking fee is charged.

The morning sessions are reserved for a variety of aquatic activities, including fitness classes and swimming lessons. It is also possible to swim on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8.30-10.00. On Saturdays, there is a reserved session for women only.

Pool is Cool is a non-profit initiative by campaigners who are promoting outdoor swimming in the capital. Flow also has a partnership with sustainable energy platform Bolt for a 100% green electricity supply.

Written by Martin Banks