What are the largest cities with major swimmable rivers?

The Charles River in Boston (yes, the river of Dirty Water fame) is now clean enough to be swimmable and they’re actually discussing opening a public beach (assuming it can get past NIMBY, of which there is plenty).

I figure most rivers in long-established cities are polluted. Which major cities have swimmable rivers? Are the Hudson or East Rivers in NYC clean enough? I understand that Paris has some canals with swimming spots but that fails my completely arbitrary requirement of being a river.

I assume the west coast has some newer cities (like Seattle) that have had less time to completely foul up their rivers. Are they swimmable?

The Moskva appears to be safe for swimming.

The Hudson River is usually safe for swimming in the last 10-15 years. This is between NYC & Jersey City so a huge city and a large city.

There are a few nice beaches on the Ottawa River. They sometimes close after major rain storms due to storm sewer overflow, but they’re (finally) working on a solution to that.

The East River is clean enough to swim in (most days).

There’s regular swimming events on the Ohio River in Cincinnati, so I assume it’s fine upstream in Pittsburgh and hopefully downstream in Louisville. I’m not so sure about the Mississippi River though.

The Seine in Paris and the Thames in London are clean enough, but the traffic on the one and the tides on the other make free swimming unsafe.

On the other hand, even when the Thames was at its filthiest, there was a deliberately created “beach” by Tower Bridge.

River swimming in possible in Munich, and one man swims to work.

Probably depends on what you consider swimmable. Shanghai, at or very near the top of the list, has the polluted Yangtze running through it (6th largest river in discharge). Chairman Mao once swam across the Yangtze as a publicity stunt, and they have commemorations of it in which people swim across it in various places, including Shanghai.

I wouldn’t, but plenty of people swim in the Ganges.

This would not be a good assumption. The worst pollution for most rivers occured in the last hundred years and cities like Seattle and Portland are older than that. Not too long ago, the Willamette River at Portland was not a good place to swim. However, that’s changed in recent years although there’s room for improvement. The Columbia (and not just in the Portland/Vancouver area) is questionable in places

Another one I was going to bring up. The Ganges is number five in volume, as opposed to number six for the Yangtze, but the biggest cities in India aren’t on the Ganges. Shanghai is at the mouth of the Yangtze.

I was on a business trip to Pittsburgh, and was told never to swim in the rivers, not because of pollution, but because there’s enough turbulence to make swimming unsafe.

Pity, because the water looked most inviting! (There were people on jet-skis on the water.)

The Sacramento/San Joaquin rivers empty out next to San Francisco, the water might be a bit cold but it’s clean enough to swim in …

The Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta (folks around here just call it “The Delta”) empties into the Suisun Bay something like 40 miles from SF. That’s quite a stretch to consider it to be in that city. The Suisun Bay is like an eastward wing of San Pablo Bay which might be thought of as the northern extension of the SF Bay.

Stockton, otoh, is on the river, and with a population of ~300K, that probably rates as a “a city”.

Minneapolis has several beaches alongside the Mississippi River, like White Sands beach just north of Lake Street, just beyond the Minneapolis Rowing Clubhouse. But they’re used more for canoeing or boating than swimming – the river current and the boat & barge traffic discourage most swimmers.

I imagine that swimming across the Detroit River is a bit of a no no.

It’s a summer party thing in the Central Valley (drained by the above rivers) to tie a whole bunch of inner tubes together, stick styrofoam coolers of beer in some of them, and float downstream all day. They say that sunscreen is kind of a must.

Yeah, the county issues boil water and no swim notices for the Willamette from time to time because of sewage overflow. And this is after a huge “big pipe” project some years ago.

I should know this since I’m from the PNW but, in Portland, are the Willamette and Columbia rivers swimmable? If they are, I would think they would be too cold even during the summer.

In Austin, Texas. The river is the Colorado. There is a big river culture in Austin. It’s a great party town any way.