Thursday, October 12 2023

Tom and I love swimming outdoors, and there’s been a lot of news in the UK about raw sewage released into waterways. Which, righly, put a lot of people off wild swimming.

You should know the water before you dive in, and Tom pointed out that the UK Environment Agency has a water quality archive where they open source regular readings of water quality all around the UK. If only this was accessible!

Swim-free is our attempt to do that.

Oh dear, Hampstead Heath has some warnings popping up, and I swam there all summer.

We want Swim-free to be an easy-to-use way to check the water quality for sites in your area, or if you go somewhere new in England and want to know if there’s any risks to a wild dip. We can’t tell you if it’s safe but the data can better inform you of any risks.

Please email us with suggestions, or cool things you find. We’d love to hear from you.

Our intention is that Swim-free to be available and regularly updated for at least the next three years, with some minor updates and perhaps even a feature or two like user contributions. I’m excited about this maintenance challenge — most software rusts so fast these days.

This project was a challenge for me. I’m not a frontend dev and I knew absolutely no Svelte before diving in in earnest. I had a lot of fun, but I’m ready to go back to my wheelhouse of making things most people never see.