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Wittenham

is it possible to test river water for wild swimming?

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as above, some of us do a bit of swimming in the Thames and the like, including all through the winter.  A few newspaper stories about Thames "Water" overflow and the like has me wondering if it is possible to get an over the counter kit that will test for - well, i am not sure.  Stuff I would not want to be swimming in?

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31 minutes ago, Wittenham said:

as above, some of us do a bit of swimming in the Thames and the like, including all through the winter.  A few newspaper stories about Thames "Water" overflow and the like has me wondering if it is possible to get an over the counter kit that will test for - well, i am not sure.  Stuff I would not want to be swimming in?

There have been several cases of Weil's disease from our rivers - one who died was an Olympic rower practising.

 

Rowers are particularly susceptible to pollution carried in the water. Earlier this year, Andy Holmes, a double Olympic gold medal winner, died after catching Weil's disease or Leptospirosis in a river. This bacterial infection is spread by animal urine and has infected 58 people and killed nine in the last few years.

 

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You need a sense of humour to swim in the Thames, but Little Britain star David Walliams's mad notion to spend eight days swimming its entire 140-mile length to raise money for Sport Relief should be stopped before it ends in a hospital.

Just a few hours with the bugs has almost finished him off. This week he went down with what the doctors diagnosed as "Thames tummy" - a quaint phrase that suggests he had a bit of an ache and nothing to worry about.

Actually, it was horrid. He spent a whole day throwing up, has had a high temperature and he has been unable to eat. It's probably a mild dose of E Coli or Cryptosporidium enteritis but in those sewage-infested waters he could also catch dysentery, meningitis, or legionnaires' disease.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2011/sep/09/david-walliams-thames-pollution

 

Some of the things you could test for (read down to the bottom)  The problem is you could test the bit you plan to swim in but then the water moves on and you are now swimming in a non-tested area.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2015434/From-E-coli-Weils-disease-perils-outdoor-swimming--avoid-them.html

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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6 minutes ago, rusty69 said:

thanks, that is what I was looking for.  I wasn't planning on drinking any of it, and my searches were turning up results for that.  I did the Windsor Triathlon 3 or 4 years in a row back in the 90s.  The last year i had - by my standards - a good swim, which meant i was in the thick of the rolling fistfight that passes for a triathlon swim.  I got a few mouthfuls down and was seriously ill for the next week.  After that, I decided to not race at Windsor again.

Edited by Wittenham
minor addition

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I'd definitely avoid swimming after heavy rains as sewage is washed into the river. 

 

I've swam at Henley for a tri and that was fine. 

 

I always have a can of coke - never diet after OW swimming.  The story is that the acid kills any bugs. It's probably an old wives tale but it can't harm. Oh and antibac your hands after. I've never been ill from that. 

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I read threads like this and think to myself that for all I complain about living and the backend of beyond, it's a place that should never be under estimated or taken for granted. I would be more frightened to catch a mouthful from a public swimming pool than any of our local rivers. 

 

 

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I would imagine there is nothing in your local rivers (apart from water) except perhaps a few drops of sheep piss. No human sewage, anyway.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

I would imagine there is nothing in your local rivers (apart from water) except perhaps a few drops of sheep piss. No human sewage, anyway.

 

 

I hope you're right, but some authorities seem to hold a different view:

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-46653684

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39352755

 

I read somewhere [which prompted this query] that sewage spills do not include the overflow from heavy rain.  Fortunately there has not been much of that lately.... oh wait.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Wittenham said:

I hope you're right, but some authorities seem to hold a different view:

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-46653684

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39352755

 

I read somewhere [which prompted this query] that sewage spills do not include the overflow from heavy rain.  Fortunately there has not been much of that lately.... oh wait.

 

 

I believe that Machpoint was answering Tumshie (who lives near Inverness) and suggesting that the Highland burns will be fairly uncontaminated.

We all know the further South we go the more polluted the waterways

  • Greenie 2

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Indeed. I'd happily drink water from a highland burn (well, I'd put a drop in my dram anyway) but in the comparative south of Greater Manchester I'll stick to Corporation Pop.

 

In the Deep Sarf I'd only risk water from a bottle!  

 

 

 

  • Greenie 1

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2 hours ago, cougie said:

I'd definitely avoid swimming after heavy rains as sewage is washed into the river. 

 

I've swam at Henley for a tri and that was fine. 

 

I always have a can of coke - never diet after OW swimming.  The story is that the acid kills any bugs. It's probably an old wives tale but it can't harm. Oh and antibac your hands after. I've never been ill from that. 

The can of coke was highly recommended in the canoeing circles if you had been canoeing and then swam in the Trent at Holme Pierre Pont on the white water course

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Aah. Yes. I've swam at HPP too. A lot of geese poo. Yuk. 

 

Much nicer in the Lakes !

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2 minutes ago, Tonka said:

The can of coke was highly recommended in the canoeing circles if you had been canoeing and then swam in the Trent at Holme Pierre Pont on the white water course

Good idea - Holme Pierrepont is only a couple of miles downstream of the Stoke Bardolph sewage works outlet.

Its surprising how 'frothy' it gets.

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I used to swim in the Gt Ouse quite a bit, and a lot in Wells Harbour every year. Never seen Dr Alice though.

 

 

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Calling it wild swimming always seems a little strange to me bit like wild camping - I always think that public swimming pools and campsites are the oddities. 

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8 minutes ago, Tumshie said:

Calling it wild swimming always seems a little strange to me bit like wild camping - I always think that public swimming pools and campsites are the oddities. 

perhaps offpiste swimming and camping?

 

  • Haha 1

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Used to boat on the Tideway with some Dept. of Env types... I mean, the sensible answer here is find somewhere else to swim.

 

As above you can't usefully test a river for e.g. Weils or sewage. The Thames definitely has both on occasion. Trying to get waterproof plasters that wd cover any bleeding bit of rower (e.g. callouses on hands) or finding anyway at all of preventing a cox swallowing the odd bit of spray... Probably prevented a few incidents but can't really eliminate the risk.

 

Possibly better to give up on the wild ambition if you're not interested in swimming in **** and go for known pond/lake swimming spots? There are a few (with varying degrees of 'cleanliness') around London... 

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8 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Good idea - Holme Pierrepont is only a couple of miles downstream of the Stoke Bardolph sewage works outlet.

Its surprising how 'frothy' it gets.

Are you confusing your upstream and down south again? 

Last time I boated that way Stoke Bardolph was definitely below Holme Lock. 

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8 hours ago, cougie said:

Aah. Yes. I've swam at HPP too. A lot of geese poo. Yuk. 

 

Much nicer in the Lakes !

I got poisoned in the Lake District, spent a day venting from both ends continuously, seriously ill, lost a stone in weight. But then we were living off the land a bit, water from streams lightly boiled, Outward Bound course. 

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14 hours ago, rusty69 said:

I used to swim in the Gt Ouse quite a bit, and a lot in Wells Harbour every year. Never seen Dr Alice though.

 

 

The chance to meet could be enough for me to take up wild swimming 

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7 hours ago, noddyboater said:

Are you confusing your upstream and down south again? 

Last time I boated that way Stoke Bardolph was definitely below Holme Lock. 

Yes - you are correct.

I thought it (Stoke Bardolph) was downstream but thought I check in Nicholsons and sure enough it was upstream (if you read the map from top of the page) however, now I have looked for the little arrow it shows that you read the page from bottom to top.

 

My mistake.

 

Stoke Bardolph is downstream of Holme Pierrepont.

 

I really should have known.

I went to school near by.

My Grandfather was Church Warden at Stoke Bardolph, he and my Mother are buried there.

I visited Stoke Bardolph Sewage Works as part of my HNC Electrical (they fed electricity back into the grid)

I used to sail dingies at Holme Pierrepont.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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47 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

The chance to meet could be enough for me to take up wild swimming 

Aw, Monkey, that is very sweet. I will meet you anywhere, and we will go swimming by the light of the silvery moon together. 

 

How about next Tuesday at the entrance to Braunston tunnel? I will wear my favourite speedos. 

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1 minute ago, rusty69 said:

Aw, Monkey, that is very sweet. I will meet you anywhere, and we will go swimming by the light of the silvery moon together. 

 

How about next Tuesday at the entrance to Braunston tunnel? I will wear my favourite speedos. 

You wore rubber for me.

 

Remember, or do I need to post the picture (again)

  • Haha 1

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