Seine River Pollution Soars Ahead of Olympics

The Seine River’s water quality exceeds the thresholds set for triathlon and marathon swimming events, according to recent analysis, mere weeks before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Regional prefect Marc Guillaume expressed confidence that measures will be taken to address the issue during a press conference, citing poor weather conditions as the primary cause.

A recent report from the Paris mayor’s office and regional prefecture attributed the rise in concentrations of fecal bacteria to unfavorable meteorological and hydrological conditions.

The high levels of enterococci and E-Coli bacteria, attributed to rain, high river flow, lack of sunlight, and cooler temperatures, exceeded the maximum limits set by the triathlon and marathon swimming federations for competitions in the Seine’s waters.

Between June 10 and 16, E-Coli concentrations exceeded 1,000 CFU/100ml, the maximum threshold, in almost every day, despite previous investments of €1.4 billion to enable bathing in the Seine and Marne.

The uncertainty surrounding the hosting of triathlon and marathon swimming events along the Seine River is growing with the approaching Olympic Games, with experts predicting continued rain until July 5.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has postponed her symbolic bath due to the poor water quality, and Plan B involves postponing the swimming events for a few days rather than altering the location.

The strong flow of the river following the rains may also affect the opening ceremony scheduled for July 26 along the Seine, the first Olympic ceremony not held in a stadium.


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