The £1.2bn plan to turn Paris’ river into a swimming pool | World | News

French people will soon be allowed to dip once again their toes in his country’s most famous river.

Swimming in the River Seine has been banned since 1923 due to boat traffic as well as the filthy state of the water running through Paris.

But a plan launched in 2015 to prepare the Seine for swimming is now in its final stage – in time for the river to be front and centre during the opening ceremony of the upcoming Olympic Games.

The river will also be used during the Olympic triathlon and open-water races, as well as during the Paralympic Games that will follow later on in the summer.

Getting the Seine back into a swimming shape was no cheap feat, as the cleanup project cost around €1.4billion (£1.19bn). 

The cleanup project involved a major crackdown on homes and houseboats emptying their wastewater into the river as well as boosting sewage treatment plants.

Moreover, to prevent wastewater from spilling into the river when it rains, the plans have taken into account the creation of the Austerlitz rainwater storage basin, with a capacity equivalent to 20 Olympic swimming pools.

Over the next few months, the Seine will remain off-limits to everyday citizens. 

In the summer of 2025, however, Parisians and visitors to the city will be able to take a dive into swimming areas along the Seine.

These spots are in central Paris and are Bras Marie, Bras de Grenelle – not far from the Eiffel Tower – and Bercy.

Pierre Rabadan, deputy Paris mayor in charge of the Olympics, said last year, as plans were still in full swing: “When people see athletes swimming in the Seine with no health problems, they’ll be confident themselves to start going back in the Seine. It’s our contribution for the future.”

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