Hot weather sends Amsterdammers into water

Hot, sunny day in Amsterdam, 24 Aug 2016 (Photo: Zachary Newmark/NL Times). (Hot, sunny day in Amsterdam, 24 Aug 2016 (Photo: Zachary Newmark/NL Times))

The continuing hot weather this week has Amsterdam residents looking for ways to cool down. More and more are heading to the water, and not only in official swimming spots - for many the water also beckons in the canals and the Amstel, Het Parool reports. 

This week has been a hot one for the Netherlands, with temperatures in the high 20's and low 30's. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow weather warning for persistent heat on Tuesday and that same warning is still in effect until Friday night. Health institute RIVM also , warning residents to stay cool and hydrated.

Today will also be warm and sunny. KNMI expects afternoon temperatures to range from 28 degrees in the northwestern coastal area to 34 degrees in the southeast. Amsterdam will reach around 31-32 degrees.

And with the high temperatures, the urge to swim in Amsterdam is also high it seems. "We do not keep count of the number of swimmers", Waternet spokesperson Danielle van Gerven said to the Parool. "But we recognize the image that swimming in open water is becoming increasingly popular in Amsterdam. A trend we saw last summer already."

Van Gerven partly attributes the increase to improving water quality due to the move of the sewage treatment facility from along the Amstel to the Westelijke Havengebied.

Officially there are only a few swimming spots in Amsterdam, including the Nieuwe Meer and the Gaasperplas. In these locations Waternet monitors the water quality and makes sure swimmers don't disrupt boating traffic. But swimming in unofficial locations, including the Amstel and the canals, is also popular. Though swimming in unofficial spots carries risks, like ending up under a boat or becoming sick from dirty water. "Annually Waternet fishes 12,000 bicycles out of the canals and daily 3,500 kilos of waste", Van Gerven said - so swim in the canals at your own risk.

Het Parool has a list of 12 places to swim in Amsterdam that you can see .