Anyone who has visited the city of love has likely strolled Paris’ iconic River Seine. But now you can go for a swim!
It was recently announced that, after over 100 years, swimming would once again be allowed in the main waterway of Paris, France.
That wasn’t always the case. In fact, the conditions of the river have been so bad for so long that their first Olympic Games, hosted in 1900, banned swimming events from taking place in the river due to pollution.
Swimming was still allowed among everyday Parisians until 1923, where the pollution was so bad it was deemed a public health hazard to allow it.
Every since then, no one has been allowed in the historic river.
Why? Well, poop of course!
Yes, like many rivers that run through major cities (such as, infamously, the Chicago River), the River Seine was an easy an convenient place to dump waste and let the currents carry it away. While this could include all sorts of garbage, there’s one type of waste that likely did the most to muddy these once-pristine waters.
But now, the River Seine is no longer poopy
Spurred by the prospect of hosting the 2024 Olympic games, Paris put together a $1.2 billion plan to clean up the river, and at long last the project has been completed.
What does that mean for Paris?
Not only will the de-poopified waters allow Paris residents, and their millions upon millions of yearly tourists, to safely swim in the most romantic river in the world, it’ll also be open for aquatic events for next year’s Olympics.
Historically, rivers have found themselves polluted this way quite often, but of course now we know better. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to reverse the effects of poopy water.