Parisian Swimmers Feel the Heat

La Baignade

With temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius, Parisians hoping to enjoy new swimming pools were turned away because of poor water quality. The pools, which opened less than 10 days before they were closed to the public for safety concerns, were hugely popular as crowds lined up to get in. Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris called the pools "a dream come true" for Parisians who are unable to leave the city on holiday.

Hidalgo is not the only one who finds the scenic floating pools a spectacular success. For the past decade the city of Paris has worked to purify the Seine so that Parisians can take a dip during the summer months. Crowds arrived early to secure their spots on opening day and take in the sun and water. The facility, called La Baignade, is open on weekdays only, from 11am until 11pm. Parisians can spend an entire day at the urban beach.

The pools are located along the banks of the Canal de l'Ourcq, with one pool for toddlers, another for older children and a third for adolescents and adults. The pools can hold up to 300 swimmers and the beach area is available for 500 people. The city has provided the pool with deck chairs, umbrellas and bathrooms. There are also lifeguards. And the water is Seine River water which is duly tested each day.

Despite the water not passing the current test, officials believe they have found a likely cause. Heavy rain carried the bacteria enterococci into the river water. It is uncertain how long it will take to rid the water of bacteria. But it should be clean by 2024, when Paris hopes to host the Olympics.

In 2024, Olympic planners envision locals swimming in the Seine, floating past the Eiffel Tower and taking in a view that hasn't been available for over 100 years.

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