The canals of Amsterdam - long the city's most important tourist attraction - also serve more practical purposes.
The canals of Amsterdam - long the city's most important tourist attraction - also serve more practical purposes. Apart from their aesthetic value, the canals still take some of the city's sewage. Pollution has become a problem, and the city fathers have taken action to ensure clean, pure water in the waterways.
The many sluices that from a vital part of the canal system are regularly opened, and fresh water pumped through. The polluted water is passed through the Oudezijdse Kolk sluice, and into the North Sea. Every six weeks, samples of the water are taken by scientists from the Municipal Health Board, and analysed to check the quality. Traces of carbon dioxide salt, ammonia and other chemicals are what they look for.
It's hoped that the operation will be unnecessary by the end of 1990.
Amsterdam is constantly up-dating its sewerage system, with a view to preventing sewage being emptied into the canals.
SYNOPSIS: Amsterdam - a city with an over-abundant supply of water, and one of the most famous canal systems in the world. A visit to the city is hardly complete without a peaceful cruise down the interwinding water-ways. But the once clear waters are increasingly clouded by sewerage waste.
The modern part of the city has not yet caught up with the old Amsterdam's sewerage system still partly empties that form a vital part of the canal system are regularly opened, and fresh water pumped through.
Scientists and their assistants from Amsterdam's Municipal Health Board check the water every six weeks, for pollutants. They're analysing its quality and finding out if it could affect the city's inhabitants. What they're looking for are traces of carbon dioxide, salt, ammonia and other chemicals which may get into domestic water supplies. Most pollutants have been flushed out into the North Sea during the sluicing operations.
The city fathers realise that prevention is better than the cure. So they're developing new sewerage systems, which, it's hoped, will separate any effluent from the canals. The work should be completed by the end of 1990.