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Secret Swimming Spots: What's the hidden danger?
Yesterday, NewsWorks posted an article about the environmental hazards of the Devil's Pool in the Wissahickon Creek. This area has become popular in recent years thanks to videos on YouTube and increased media publicity, but it is illegal to swim there. Sergeant Mike Vassallo of the Philadelphia Police Department's 5th district has made it part of his mission to inform swimmers and risk-taking divers in this area about the state of the water quality there.
From the article:
Vassallo approaches individuals to explain that there are five wastewater treatment plants that dump into the Wissahickon Creek. He doesn't put it lightly—he basically tells them they're swimming in toilet water.
The spot, which includes a 30-foot cliff used as a diving board, seems to have a lot of allure for thrill-seekers. However, the water quality of this site is not as widely known by visitors, even though it is undeniably unhealthy for swimmers. I feel like Devil's Pool is just an example of this problem, and that there are many other locations with similar situations in the summertime.
Beyond the actions taken by the likes of Sergeant Vassallo, what should be done to inform visitors to these illegal swimming sites, if anything?