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Is the River Sihl really as dirty as it sometimes looks?

Some readers are sure to have noticed that, after heavy rain, the colour of the River Sihl changes from blue to brown. As is often the case at the confluence of rivers, the colour of the water from one river does not mix immediately with that of the other. Indeed, after precipitation, it can be seen how one side of the river of what is now the Limmat is blue, while the other half, from the Sihl, remains brown, especially in the area behind the Main Station.
At other times, for example when it has not been raining, the water of the River Sihl is also blue, so does this mean it is safe to swim in? According to this article in the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, the Zurich Cantonal Laboratory does not test the bathing quality of the River Sihl, as it is not known as river to bathe in. However, what is known, is that waste water fed into the Sihl can lead to higher levels of faecal bacteria, hence Hans Peter Füchslin, a head of department at the afore-mentioned laboratory, advises against anyone bathing in it.
Anyone who does swim in it is strongly advised not to submerge themselves totally, i.e. not to put their head below the surface, and to have a thorough shower afterwards.
When the canton of Zug examined the water after taking a sample from Sihlbrugg, it was described only as moderately clean. Indeed, the Swiss Federal Office of the Environment also confirmed that a post-bathing health issue resulting from a swim in the River Sihl could not be excluded.  

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