Paris Olympic swimming event could be canceled due to filthy water — RT World News

The swimming leg of the Paris Olympic triathlon may be postponed or canceled if water quality in the Seine River, which flows through the French capital, does not improve, according to event organizers.

The river was scheduled to host several Olympic events this summer, but it did “Worrying” Bacteria levels, according to a warning issued by international NGO Surfrider Foundation Europe on Monday. The group claimed that of 14 samples taken on the Alexander III Bridge over a six-month period, all but one sample showed poor water quality.

Tony Estanguette, canoeist, three-time Olympic champion and president of the Paris 2024 organizing committee, admitted on Tuesday that E. coli bacteria… “One of the biggest challenges” In the face of the organizers, he pointed out that the triathlon may be delayed or the swimming stage may be canceled if the water quality deteriorates.

“In sports, there is risk, there is always risk.” The Telegraph quoted Stanget as saying. He confirmed that there is “Only one location” And there is no question of finding a spare place.

The main danger comes from heavy rainstorms, when water pours into Paris's sewer system, causing the risk of flooding. Excess rain is then discharged into the river and may lead to pollution. Last summer, a sewage spill led to the cancellation of the pre-Olympic swimming event.

Measurements taken between September 2023 and March 2024 showed that levels of two bacteria – E. coli and enterococcus – were often two and sometimes three times higher than the maximum permitted in Europe, according to the Surfrider Foundation.

Pollution levels remained high even after Paris invested more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in an effort to provide safe swimming in the Seine for the first time in a century.

The €1.4 billion river plan included revamping infrastructure, including new underground pipes and pumps. Water quality specialists said concentration levels of two types of bacteria, enterococci and E. coli, both of which are used as primary indicators of fecal matter in freshwater, were low enough to safely swim in the river.

Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to swim in the Seine River in an apparent attempt to prove its cleanliness, ahead of the Olympics scheduled to be hosted in the country's capital in July and August.

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