Canal Saint-Martin in Paris is being drained after a span of 14 years. Workers who emptied the scenic canal for cleanup came across numerous items that revealed the love of biped transportation.
The systematic process involves draining sections of the canal for cleanup. The last time the canal was cleaned in 2001. After draining just three miles of the Canal-Saint Martin in the City of Love’s trendy 10th arrondissement to refurbish the clogged waterway, civic workers discovered a lot of rubbish and obscure objects. Awaiting their removal were a lot of odd objects, but the most common things found were bicycles.
The Canal Saint-Martin is quite popular with Parisians and visitors alike for its arched bridges, locks, and well-connected surrounding neighborhood. It is now being emptied. Workers have begun the process of draining the canal and will get down to the messy task of removing the waste. Since the canal is located in the heart of a neighborhood, there’s no way that the debris can be removed, other than by emptying the canal and physically getting to the bottom of it.
Fortunately, despite being a popular water transport, with water taxis frequently plying the waterways, the canal isn’t deep or long. However, the canal’s shallow depth also means there’s very little fencing along the borders, and the restrictions are abysmally short. As a result, a lot of waste has been building up throughout the years and is currently sitting among the thick mud, along with rubbish and obscure objects that are awaiting retrieval, reports the International Business Times.
The canal was last cleaned about 14 years back in 2001, and even back then, those in charge of its waste removal ended up hauling over 40 tons of waste, which included at least one car, reported Yahoo News. Back then, workers had found an assortment of waste, including bicycles, motorcycles, two empty safes, gold coins, a pallet truck, two wheelchairs, a toilet bowl, and two shells dating back to World War I, reported People.
Now the workers are once again tasked with the rather dirty job of clearing away the debris and refurbishing the canal. Local residents have long complained not just about the poor maintenance of the scenic Canal Saint-Martin but also about tourists who flock to the area. The neighborhood is quite popular with out-of-towners who are attracted to the area for its active and attractive nightlife.
So far, authorities have drained the canal until it was only 50 cm (20 inches) deep. Before the workers began trudging through the muck, authorities relocated about 4.5 tons of fish, including carp, trout, and bream, and transferred them to a different portion of the canal. Among the first interesting finds was a pistol, which the workers promptly handed over to the police, reported the Daily Mail.
The canal has been deemed one of the filthiest in Paris and isn’t fit for humans to swim in. Célia Blauel, deputy mayor in charge of the environment and canals, has strongly urged the citizens to respect the canal. She further added that after the cleanup, the canal might be fit to swim in provided people kept it clean and avoided dirtying it.
“If everyone mucks in and avoids throwing anything in the water, we might be able to swim in the canal in a few years, as in numerous other European cities.”
Canal Saint-Martin was completed in 1825 on the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte. Interestingly, he wanted the canal to serve as a clean source of drinking water for the people of Paris.
The 191-year-old canal will remain shut for the period of three months. Even as draining of the Canal Saint-Martin is going on, remnants of hundreds of bicycles, among other modern items like shopping carts and office chairs, are beginning to emerge.
[Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images]