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Open-air swimming in six Brussels locations this summer

09:52 05/03/2019

The Brussels region will allow open-air swimming in six locations this summer, for a trial period.

Instead of waiting for one of the outdoor swimming pool projects to be built, Brussels environment minister Céline Fremault has had her team working since last spring identifying potential swimming spots areas and testing the water quality in various bodies of water in the region.

The team has come up with six locations where swimming is possible: the Pede pond and a portion of the canal, both in Anderlecht, the Rouge-Cloître pond in Auderghem, the Pêcheries pond in Boitsfort, the lake in the Bois de la Cambre and the Jardin des Fleuristes pond in Laeken. They tested for everything from E.coli to salmonella and were pleasantly surprised to discover that the waters are quite within acceptable and legal limits.

The swimming this summer will be a test period. Temporary pontoons will be erected to protect the banks, water quality testing will continue, and the effect of human bathers on the ecosystems will be carefully monitored.

Limited numbers of bathers will be allowed (people will have to reserve), for instance at the Pede they expect to allow 300 bathers per afternoon.

The test period will be for a total of six weekends in July-August. As a result of these trials, they expect to open three areas permanently with facilities such as pontoons and showers.

The canal, with its commercial barge traffic, is a special case. The swimming will always be limited to the weekends when traffic consists of pleasure craft, and swimmers will not be allowed to cross the canal.

Written by Richard Harris