Prague's water quality improving

But many natural water sources are still high in bacteria

Water quality has improved in Prague, but swimming in many areas is still not advisable, according to the Prague Hygiene Station.

Six of the city's seven monitored natural swimming sites are in operation, while one is closed. The Prague Hygiene Station monitors water at 38 locations.

Koupaliště Lhotka is out of service due to its poor water quality. Koupaliště Šeberák is open but has higher than optimal levels of cyanobacteria. Koupaliště Džbán and Koupaliště Hostivař both have cloudy water. Rybník Motol, Koupaliště Radotín and the concrete area at Divoká Šárka all had positive assessments.

Cloudy water is a safety issue as it can hinder saving a drowning person, as visibility under the surface is impaired.

Cyanobacteria can cause problems such as rashes for sensitive people, children and pregnant women.

People also swim at various parts of the Vltava river. The water in the Vltava is relatively clean throughout Prague until it meets Sázava and Berounka rivers, which discolor it. The quality of the Vltava as it flows through Prague is good, but it is not considered drinkable.

It is also not highly recommended for swimming. Experts from the Hygiene Station point out that the river can have high levels of bacteria resulting from sewage treatment.

People do swim in the Vltava at Žluté lázně, a recreation area in Prague 4–Podolí. Spa spokeswoman Hana Tietze told daily Pražský deník that an analysis of the water they had commissioned shows it is safe but can be a bit cold. She pointed out the water there does not have cyanobacteria, which is a problem at some of the more stagnant swimming areas.

Several Prague streams, which flow into the Vltava, are heavily polluted. People should avoid swimming in them as well as drinking from them.

Nine streams in Prague are listed as very heavily polluted, including Botič, Motolský, Běchovický or Cholupický. The least polluted are Lhotecký potok and also Rokytka after it joins Běchovický potok.

The Rokytka is popular with cyclists, as part of it is along a bike path.

People are advised to shower thoroughly with clean water after bathing in nature.

The most recent results of water testing can be found at www.hygpraha.cz.


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Outdoor swimming Prague
Indoor swimming Prague
Summer swimming outside of Prague

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