Here’s why you SHOULDN’T swim in Amsterdam’s canals over the next few days

With warmer temperatures returning this week, you may be ready to take a refreshing dip in the canal. Helaas, for health reasons your canal swim will have to wait.

Health reasons? Ja hoor, you read that right! Due to heavy rainfall on Sunday, excess sewage and rainwater overflowed into Amsterdam’s canals.

This means that the water quality will remain poor until the end of Wednesday, reports Het Parool.

The municipality of Amsterdam has issued advice that you don’t go swimming during the 72-hour period between the overflow and return to normal water quality.

A crappy Sunday

The heavy rain didn’t only ruin Pride Weekend, it’s also temporarily ruined the water quality of Amsterdam’s canals. (However, rather the canals than the city, right?)

READ MORE | Swimming in Amsterdam’s canals: what you need to know

The reason for the poor water quality? Well, sewage was purposely discharged into the canals to prevent flooding in Amsterdam city. Phew! That saved us from having a rather “shitty” experience. 💩

No swimming 🏊‍♂️❌

While the Dutch capital’s streets are poop-free, the canals aren’t. Due to the overflows, the water quality has deteriorated in many places, including the Amstel.

@kennie.tatis plz don’t swim in the canals 😭 people will judge u #amsterdam #netherlands #canals ♬ original sound – Kaptin.Kennie

“Swimming in this polluted water is not healthy and we therefore advise against it,” said the municipality in a press release.

You know all the pathogens that happily live in wastewater and that we usually don’t have to think much about? Well, now they’re in Amsterdam’s canals and other open water.

READ MORE | The ultimate guide to the best swimming pools in the Netherlands

These pathogens could lead to health problems if you swim in the infested water. Enough said, we definitely won’t be taking that risk. 🤢

So, if you’re dying for a swim in a canal, rather check the current water quality and official swimming spots on

Do you usually swim in Amsterdam’s canals? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Simone Jacobs
Simone Jacobs
Originally from South Africa, Simone is having fun navigating the Dutch language, steep stairs, and bicycles (which she still manages to fall off of with her short, non-Dutch legs). An animal lover at heart, Simone can typically be found under her (growing?) mound of cats, where she uses the opportunity to read, write, and watch video compilations of creatures.


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