2016 Rio Olympics: Green pools, standards & safety in question

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2016 Rio Olympics: Green pools, standards & safety in question

As the 2016 Rio Olympics progresses toward its first week, event organizers seem to struggle to keep up with the demands of games. In spite of the various shortcomings in Rio, people just want to know if the athletes are safe to compete.

Prior to the start of the Olympics, the standards of the Olympic village has been in question due to reported leaks in pipes, walls, blocked sewage, and a fire incident that was caused by faulty wiring.

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Apart from increasing reports of crime around the 2016 Rio Olympics and security concerns, the audience and diving athletes became concerned when the diving pool in the event suddenly changed its color from a sparkling blue to green.

Rio spokespersons explained the discoloration to have been caused by a proliferation of algae due to heat and lack of venue, but athletes are weary about its safety. The water was tested and reported safe, as algae is just a plant, just as in lakes.

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“We did an investigation and the causes are a decrease in alkalinity of the pool. The increased use of the pool in the last few weeks is the reason for the change in color. We have treated the pools and the alkalinity levels have already improved. We anticipate the alkalinity and color will return to normal very shortly.” The local Olympic committee said, as reported by Quartz.

But then after 24 hours since the diving pool turned green, the second adjacent polo pool discolors too, prompting further questions regarding operations standards and the welfare of the athletes.

Some competitors joked about not opening their mouths once in the water as it gives the impression of filth.

Now another report says the change in color in both pools were not due to algae, but a lack of PH due to the lack of certain chemicals used in it, which they had ran out of.

While officials maintain that the waters have been tested and that they’re safe, Ralph Riley, the Vice-Chairman of the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group isn’t completely sure about it.

“If it has gone green and it’s due to a lack of disinfectant, then that means there is some sort of implied threat or risk,” he said, as reported by the Independent.

Photo courtesy: Official Rio Olympics logo