Watch CBS News

'Devils Pool': Swimmers Unfazed By Diving Into Treated Waste Water

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Wissahickon Valley Park is a place of tranquility, peace and relaxation.

But there is a popular pocket of the park known as Devil's Pool, where anything goes.

Kevin Barkley said, "I'm just swimming and having a good time. You know? Staying cool. "

He has been coming here for years every summer at least three times a year.

For many like him from the Northwest, it's a summertime tradition. Grab some brews and a bathing suit and head for the cliffs.

Officials Warning About The Dangers Of Quarry Swimming

Problem is swimming here isn't' even allowed. Swimming is illegal; it's really dangerous.

Maura McCarthy is the executive director of a conservancy group, Friends of the Wissahickon and she showed CBS 3's crew to the remote location with spotty reception and a rocky bottom.

Beneath these rocks is bedrock and there are no soft landing in the Wissahickon Creek.

And it's easy to see why swimming here is illegal because of the physical dangers.

The Wissahickon Creek is fed by four wastewater treatment plants upstream, presenting a potential health risk to brave souls that dare to get near it.

Up to 90 percent of the water in the creek is treated waste water. But that didn't seem to bother the dozens gathered here for a dive and a dip.

It's hard to tell people to stay away from a place that is beautiful, free, and with just one small sign warning of fines and fees, it's hard to imagine that Devil's Pool will ever be empty.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.