Cities aiming to reclaim once-polluted rivers for swimming

Jul 18, 2017

Intrepid swimmers are taking a dip in the once notoriously filthy Charles River as the event host pushes for a permanent feature that would allow visitors to enjoy the water without coming in contact with any leftover contaminants

BOSTON — Bostonians are loving that dirty water.

Intrepid swimmers are taking a dip in the once notoriously filthy Charles River as the event host pushes for a permanent feature that would allow visitors to enjoy the water without coming in contact with any leftover contaminants.

Nearly 300 swimmers were participating in the "City Splash" on Tuesday. The event is one of the few state-sanctioned days for public swimming in the river, which gained notoriety in the Standells' 1960s hit "Dirty Water."

Boston and other cities are hoping to follow the model of Copenhagen, which opened its first of five floating baths in 2003.

Paris opened swimming areas in a once-polluted canal earlier this month. Comparable efforts are in their early stages in New York, London, Berlin and Melbourne.

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