Outdoor swimming: 3 ponds opening for Brussels swimmers this Summer
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    Outdoor swimming: 3 ponds opening for Brussels swimmers this Summer

    Thursday, 06 June 2019
    Divers check one of the swimming areas to make sure it is safe. Credit: expedition swim

    Public swimming in Brussels is still set to go ahead after 3 ponds have been named as test sites for those looking to take a Summer splash.

    Of the five ponds initially laid out as potential swimming spots, only three ponds remain on the Brussels authorities’ shortlist, according to a report by Bruzz. These are the Neerpede pond in Anderlecht, the étang des Pêcheries in Watermael-Boistfort and the lac du Bois de la Cambre.

    Last February, Environment Minister Céline Frémault (CDH) announced that five Brussels ponds could open for public swimming during the summer. According to the Brussels Minister, discussions on how to launch “test days” were underway with the City, the municipalities and the Port.

    Three weekends will be used for swimming: July 19 and 20 for Neerpede, July 27 and 28 for La Cambre and August 3 and 4 for Les Pêcheries.

    “After the study, we consulted the authorities concerned. Not everyone has accepted the swimming zone test,” the outgoing minister’s spokesperson told Bruzz.

    In preparation for the swim, divers of ‘Plongeurs Professionnels Associé’ have already checked the swimming zone at Bois de la Cambre for debris on the ground which could pose a risk for swimmers, said the organiser in an update on its website.

    Outdoor swimming campaign group Pool is Cool are also involved in the project, and are currently looking for lifeguarding staff to ensure safety.

    “For the first time in decades, you can take a refreshing dip in some of the many ponds in Brussels,” the group says on its website. “The swimmers help POOL IS COOL to gather information for the development of sustainable natural swimming spots in Brussels,” it adds.

    Those wishing to participate in the project and swim must register on the website expeditionswim.be. Registrations will open in July, and the number of swimmers will be limited.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times