Swimming in the Baldeneysee Essen will only rarely be allowed

  • From the end of May you can swim in Lake Baldeney
  • An early warning system ensures that it is not harmful to health
  • You have 35 to 50 days of swimming
  • Only: They are mostly in cool May and September

Eat. It could all have been so beautiful: It’s midsummer, the temperatures climb to well over 20 degrees and instead of having to refresh yourself in a sterile concrete pool in a full outdoor pool, you just jump into the Baldeneysee. Water. Fun. Nature. Quite legally. At the 150,000 euro bathing area in Sea-Side-Beach. But: thought wrong, because it won’t be that easy.

On Wednesday the city of Essen presented the final details of its prestige green capital project “Baden in der Ruhr”. The good news: Construction work on the bathing area is on schedule, and at the end of May the 50 x 15 meter swimming area in the middle of Lake Baldeney could open to bathers for the first time.

The problem: “The Ruhr is still susceptible to health-endangering substances in the water,” explains Norbert Jadin from the Ruhr Association. He is the one who is familiar with the subject of health risks in Ruhr water. And that dampens expectations of the first river bathing area in Essen for over 40 years.

Bathing in the Ruhr can be harmful to health

Because even though the water quality of the Ruhr has steadily improved in recent years, it remains difficult to be able to operate a natural swimming pool without risking the health of bathers.

This picture will soon be history – that is how far the construction work on the bathing area at Lake Baldeney has come

This picture will soon be history – that is how far the construction work on the bathing area at Lake Baldeney has come

A little arithmetic problem shows why this is so: Imagine if the bathing area at Lake Baldeney had already existed last year. Then bathing in the lake for eight days would have been harmful to health and therefore prohibited. An outdoor swimming season runs from May to the end of September. So how many days would you have been allowed to swim in the lake? 35! 35?

No, you didn’t mistake your finger count. The reason for the low number of possible bathing days is the early warning system, which checks the lake for health hazards and has been tested by the city for three years.

Water quality is related to precipitation

It says: You can always bathe if it doesn’t rain for three days in a row. en.gravatar.com More precisely: there was no more than five millimeters of precipitation per day.



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Jardin: “The water quality is related to the precipitation. Heavy rain floods the sewer system. Uncleaned wastewater then ends up in the Ruhr.”

Then six measuring stations near the bathing area sound the alarm. And there is a ban on bathing.

If it doesn’t rain for three days, the water quality is examined – to be on the safe side. It takes the lab two days to deliver the results. If there is no longer any health hazard, bathing is permitted again. But: if it rained in the meantime, the procedure starts all over again.

“No matter how sunny the days are, we may simply not be able to allow bathing,” says Jadin.

35 to 50 bathing days remain – in theory

So there are almost 50 potential bathing days in dry summers and around 35 in rainy summers. Theoretically.

Because the test measurements of the last three years show: You would only have been able to really go into the water continuously in May and September. Bathing would only have been allowed on a few days in midsummer.

And let’s be honest. Could you imagine going into the unheated outdoor pool at the current temperatures?

Bathing area no substitute for outdoor swimming pools

“We know that the pilot bathing area at the Baldeneysee is not a substitute for an open-air swimming pool. You shouldn’t have pictures of hundreds of people in the former natural baths in the Ruhr in your head. It is only intended to supplement what is already available at Sea-Side-Beach,” says Simone Raskob, Head of Environment and Project Manager for the Green Capital Year.

Nevertheless, in the worst case it could even be that even after forty years you won’t be able to jump into the Baldeneysee again on a warm summer day. issuu.com

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