Rio 2016 organizers claim water in competition area to be clean

The Rio 2016 Olympics Organizing Committee claimed that water quality in the competition area meets the requirements of the WHO.

Reuters| Updated: Oct 18, 2015, 14:17 PM IST
Rio 2016 organizers claim water in competition area to be clean

Rio de Janeiro: The Rio 2016 Olympics Organizing Committee claimed at a briefing in Rio de Janeiro on Friday that the water quality in the competition area meets the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The water in Guanabara Bay, where the sailing race will take place, has been seriously polluted because of industrial and domestic wastewater. An independent examination showed that high-risk virus exists in this sea area while the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) also harshly criticized the possible existence of virus in September.

In responsse Mario Andrada, executive director of communications of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, said that communication between the organizing committee and FINA has gone to a constructive phase and solutions will be worked out in the coming weeks. He also stressed that the water in competition area is clean according to the relevant international parameters.

The WHO has published a guideline Friday for examining the water quality in the competition area of the Rio 2016 Olympics, which requires regular detections of bacteria but has no requirement about detecting virus.

Compared with bacteria, virus is more possible to live for a long time in tropical waters like the sea area in Rio. The virus may cause stomach trouble and respiratory tract infection that will impact athletes.

The Rio 2016 Organizing Committee said that the percentage of rubbish cleaned in Guanabara Bay has raised from 12 to 13 percent in 2009 to 50 percent now, and will reach 80 percent before the summer games begins.

Rio will fulfill its promise given when bidding for the games. The organizers are carrying out monthly detections and taking proper measures to make sure the water quality meets international standard.