Swimming prohibited? Not any longer: Yesterday an official bathing area at the Seaside-Beach at the Baldeneysee opened. Visitors are allowed to swim in the lake now, despite the strict bathing water regulations of the European Union.
Years of intensive research during the BMBF-funded project ‚Sichere Ruhr’ (Safe Ruhr) and the cooperation between IWW Water Centre, Ruhrverband, RWW, the Universities of Duisburg-Essen, Bochum, Bonn and Aachen, as well as a close collaboration with the city of Essen finally made it possible to reopen the first bathing area after 46 years of bathing prohibition.
After the official opening through Essen’s Lord Mayor Thomas Kufen the first swimmers directly used the opportunity to take a cool bath. A great success for all project partners and the Ruhr region.
Important scientific preliminary work was the analytical capturing of the hygienic situation, the risk assessment through pathogens for the swimmers as well as the development of an early warning system for short-term pollution. Short-term pollution can appear in running waters after a heavy rainfall event and for the approval as an official bathing area it was essential to have an early warning system for the swimmers and the possibility to close the area quickly if needed. Important success factors for the opening was the strong participation of the local population and the scientific evaluation of the costs and the benefits of the operation of such a bathing area.