Gizmodo India reports: It’s almost time for another steamy, sweaty summer in the city-and nothing looks like it might cool you off more than that sparkling waterway winding through the center of your downtown. But can you really swim in it? In more and more cities, the answer is a refreshing yes.
Your grandparents might remember taking a dip in the local stream back in the day, but thanks to decades of environmental ignorance, gallons of industrial sludge and sewage runoff have been collectively diverted into our rivers. Now cities are getting their acts together and restoring their vital waterways for recreation.
Here are seven urban rivers that once were known as polluted, dangerous places, but are now (or soon will be) places where you can jump right in-the water’s fine.
Charles River, Boston
Last summer, the Charles River opened for its first public swim in 50 years, as a section cordoned off by buoys and manned by lifeguards was opened for two hours. Once given a D rating by the Environmental Protection Agency, environmentalists halted the flow of sewage into the Charles, and its rating has improved to a solid B, thanks to groups like the Charles River Conservancy and the Charles River Swimming Club, which is hosting a one-mile swim in the river this weekend. Even though the river has come a long way, advocates still have some work to do: “The bottom of the river remains a toxic mess, but if a swimmer can get in and out of the water without touching the squishy bottom, no tetanus shot is necessary.”
In Leicester the River Soar has been clean enough for swimming for very many years. Leicesters citizens were at one time encouraged to enjoy its waters. Aylestone Boathouse Lido, the swimming area created for workers at the gas works, The Bede House Bathing Station, Castle Gardens swimming area. Soar Lane Coal Wharf, North Bridge, Abbey Park and the Abbey Meadows bathing Stations are now all closed. Discover why…