1st time in a century, Paris allows swimming in Seine river

Due to excessive water pollution, France banned swimming in the Seine River back in 1923, but after 100 years later, things have finally changed. 

As it prepares for the 2024 Olympic Games, Paris intends to permit swimming in the Seine River after an extensive cleanup campaign that has taken years, and it is expected that by summer 2025 that there will be three open-air swimming areas accessible to the public, as stated by Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and those places being: Central Paris near the Île Saint-Louis, and at both the eastern and western ends of the city.

This might come off as a surprise to most people, but maybe it shouldn’t be as Seine River will see three Olympic and Paralympic events held in it, namely triathlon, marathon swimming, and Para triathlon, so it makes sense that plans to open it up to the general public will be next. The last time France held Olympic events on that river was back in 1900, 23 years before swimming there was banned.

The ban on swimming and solutions



How did the ban begin you might ask? Well, Paris experienced its river quality going bad due to both industrial waste and the growing population. This also affected aquatic life very badly that by the 1960s only three species of fish were recorded in Paris.

Although the prohibition on swimming in the Seine has been in place since 1923, the last two decades have seen advancements in controlling bacteria from entering the river, resulting in enhanced water quality.

In 2018, the country formulated a $1.6 billion restoration project which addressed the current and future challenges the river may face, including restructuring of sewage plants, water quality tests, and more. It’s fair to say that the project is bearing fruit now.

Lots to look forward too



Nobody can deny that there is a lot to look forward to in Paris. First, on July 26, 2024, the opening ceremony of the Olympics will be held on the Seine River, instead of the traditional stadium, and an expected 600,000 people are going to be watching from the banks, according to organizers. And then soon the year after that, the river will be open for the general public to be used, making it the perfect location for both locals and tourists to take a dip and cool off during hot summer days.

There will be one more place to check out for those visiting France in the future, so make sure to add the beautiful Seine River to your list of must-visit destinations.

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