Public Health Authority Warns against Swimming in Sarajevo Rivers

Sarajevo authorities have warned against swimming in local rivers because of dangerous levels of pollution. As the daily air temperatures reach 40˙C, the Sarajevo Canton’s public health institute advised citizens against cooling off in rivers Željeznica, Miljacka and Bosna. The institute analyzed water from those rivers and said it was not clean enough for dipping in, reported Oslobođenje daily.

The public health authority said the Sarajevo rivers are polluted because the city sewage is not a closed system and not all wastewater goes into the purification collector. Also, some rural and suburban settlements in the city region don’t have sewage at all. There is also the issue of illegal waste disposal at riverbanks.

The river water analysis revealed new and old fecal contamination. Contact with water from Sarajevo rivers can cause fever, gastroenteritis, hepatitis, conjunctivitis and other viral and parasitic diseases. The organs at risk are intestines, genitalia, skin, eyes, ears and nose. The symptoms of an infection can be high temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and pain when urinating, as well as skin rash.

Persons with compromised immunity are especially at risk of getting seriously ill, said the public health authority.

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