High pollution in the seine river threatens Paris Olympics

Analyses conducted on June 16 showed that the pollution levels in the Seine River in Paris are very high, preventing the hosting of triathlon and open-water swimming events during the Olympic Games scheduled for next month.

Marc Guillaume, the prefect of the Paris region, announced that “samples from the Seine River do not meet the standards set for the Olympic Games scheduled from July 26 to August 11.”

According to the weekly bulletin of the Paris municipality and the Île-de-France prefecture, bad weather in France in recent days has led to increased bacteria levels in the river.

Local authorities explained that “the water quality remains poor due to unfavorable hydrological and weather conditions: heavy rain, high flow, lack of sunlight, and temperatures below the seasonal average.”

They pointed out that the high flow of the river due to the rainy weather does not help improve water quality.

According to the published graphs, the concentration level of E. coli bacteria exceeded 1,000 units, which is the minimum limit used by the International Triathlon Union and open-water swimming federations for testing.

On June 11, 15, and 16, the levels reached or exceeded 5,000 units. The Seine River is scheduled to host the opening ceremony and the triathlon and marathon swimming races.

If heavy rain occurs, untreated water, composed of rainwater and sewage, may flow into the river. The alternative plan is to postpone the competitions for a few days without changing the location.

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