Those looking for a little refreshment by bathing along the rivers and canals of Adda, Lambro, Olona, Po and Seveso will have to give it up: there is a risk of contracting Covid-19 due to water contaminate.
The note from the Municipality
This was announced this morning by the Municipality of Rho, the metropolitan city of Milan, which published a note on its web portal (here the link) motivating the recommendation. “In this period of health emergency from COVID 19 it is highlighted that the waters of the Adda, Lambro, Olona, Po and Seveso rivers could be contaminated by discharges from civil and industrial wastewater treatment plants and become a means of transmission of the virus“, adding that”non-compliance with the bathing ban is punished with an administrative sanction, as required by current regulations and the formalization of a complaint to the police“. In the press release, the Municipality of Rho takes the opportunity to recall how dangerous it is to bathe in the waters of the surrounding rivers and canals where accidents are recorded every year, in some cases even fatal.
To prevent accidents and drowning by those who misuse canals and rivers, “citizens are reminded of the permanent ban on bathing in all watercourses within the municipal area, in particular in the secondary channels of the East Ticino Villoresi Consortium and the North West Scolmatore Canal (CSNO)“. Artificial waterways are characterized by the presence, in some stretches, of particularly insidious currents capable of putting even the most experienced swimmers in difficulty. The problem is also growing due to the manufactured goods for the hydraulic regulation and the structural configuration of the banks which make it difficult to escape from the channel bed and considerably increase the dangers for those who immerse themselves in it. “We recommend responsible behavior to citizens also with respect to transit on towpaths – continue note – Thanks to the favorable climate and the desire to return to normal with the progressive improvement of the ongoing epidemic, for several weeks we have witnessed the formation of numerous crowds near the canals: pedestrians, runners and cyclists who very often struggle to share the transit on the towpaths in a civilized way “.
The “forecast” of wastewater
“Wastewater can tell a lot about the presence of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, especially from there it can intercept the trend of the epidemic curve even 7 days earlier than with other surveillance methods, such as the clinical one. This means being able to implement prevention measures well before infections become evident in the population“: stated it to Republic Professor Sandro Binda, from the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the State University of Milan, explaining the project that, together with the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research, is being carried out on the black waters of Lombardy before they reach the purifier, from the very beginning of the pandemic. The study of urban waste has a great potential for use as it allows to “obtain a profile of infections by simultaneously including symptomatic and asymptomatic infections of an entire population“, explains Professor Binda. The same method has been applied for years also to estimate the consumption of drugs within a population.