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Swimmers flock to polluted waters by Ghent quay

Photo from Google Maps.

The Houtdok docks in Ghent at a former industrial site has become a hotspot for swimmers for the second summer in a row, even though swimming is forbidden there due to health risks.

There are dangerous objects at the bottom of the water in the quay, along with e-coli bacteria and a dangerous undertow current.

But none of that – nor the signs that explicitly say swimming is forbidden – stops large groups of people from taking a dip in the waters there, De Standaard reports.

On Wednesday afternoon, dozens or possibly even hundreds of people visited the site to swim, according to the newspaper.

Extra signage was even added to the site in the hopes of deterring people from diving into the water there, emphasising the presence of e-coli bacteria.

Last year, police and even the fire brigade were regularly called to the Houtdok site, but they’ve been too busy breaking up fights in nearby Blaarmeersen lately to pay much mind to the illegal swimming.

The Houtdok site is managed by a Flemish water agency, which has always said the water is too polluted to allow swimming.

They plan to eventually construct a marina there.

The Brussels Times