A Thames Fit To Swim

Earlier this month a group of Charlton Lido swimmers gathered in the lido cafe on a sunny Wednesday evening to learn more about the Thames Fit To Swim campaign.


Theo Thomas, the London Waterkeeper, talked about the campaign and led a lively discussion.  Theo writes:

The charity London Waterkeeper wants the city to make the most of the River Thames and see its waters become truly swimmable. Copenhagen made its harbours swimmable in 15 years by cutting pollution, setting up real-time bathing water quality monitoring and creating new swimming areas. Their new urban beaches and ‘Harbour Baths’ are now the most popular open spaces in the city.

Svanemolle Beach 1

Svanemollen is a new urban beach built by Copenhagen.  There are screens displaying real-time bathing water quality information.

Swimming in the Thames upstream of Putney Bridge is allowed. But we’re a long way from seeing thousands of people getting into the river on a regular basis. Some days the Thames will meet swimming standards while on others it is dirty. Sadly no one knows when this is. That information doesn’t exist – but it should.

A Thames Fit To Swim paddle steamer Danny Burrows

A swim in the Thames at Twickenham in May. The water quality was excellent.

The ‘A Thames Fit To Swim’ campaign wants to see swimming zones designated and live bathing water quality information displayed online. We can give people a deeper connection with nature and boost our mental and physical health.  

To find out more, visit  http://londonwaterkeeper.org.uk/a-thames-fit-to-swim

We need the support of swimmers and swimming clubs around London so the campaign has a strong voice. For example we want Thames Water to tell us when its sewers overflow and meet its legal duties.

Theo Thomas, London Waterkeeper. theothomas@londonwaterkeeper.org.uk






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