The water of the Seine still polluted in Paris and swimming impossible, a few weeks before the start of the Olympics!

The water of the Seine still polluted in Paris and swimming impossible, a few weeks before the start of the Olympics!
The water of the Seine still polluted in Paris and swimming impossible, a few weeks before the start of the Olympics!
The triathlon and open water swimming events are to take place in the Seine in Paris during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Anthony Kaczmarek 22/06/2024 08:00 5 min

We would prefer to laugh about it, but the situation is becoming ridiculous, from now on 34 days from the opening ceremony Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The water of the capital’s river, the Seine, is still too polluted to be swimmable.according to the latest analyses… Will the planned tests be able to take place there? Will Anne Hidalgo be able to swim there without risk in mid-July?

Fecal E.Coli bacteria in large numbers!

Here, the latest samples taken from the Seine on June 16 revealed that the river was still too polluted to be able to swim in it and authorize triathlon and open water swimming events there during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The prefecture of Île-de-France and the town hall of Paris explain that this pollution is due to fecal bacteria present in large numbers due to the rainy weather of recent weeks. Rain, high river flow, insufficient sunshine and cool temperatures would be the elements of the cocktail constituting this “unfavorable hydrological and meteorological context”.

The high flow of the Seine does not promote good water quality: on the graphs, the level of concentration of fecal E.Coli bacteria exceeded 1,000 CFU almost every day (from June 10 and 16) (colony forming units) per 100 ml, the threshold limit authorized by sports federations so that triathlon and open water swimming events can be held.

Even crazier, this value exceeded 5,000 CFU on June 11, 15 and 16 : the town hall and the prefecture judge that this extreme rate comes from “upstream discharges linked to rain”. The prefect of the region believes that these samples do not “correspond to the standards that we will have this summer”. Or even…

Will Anne Hidalgo succeed in her bet?

The Organizing Committee is “confident” that the tests will be held at the end of July-beginning of August, taking into account the work in progress but also the swimming plan. Yet, the opening ceremony planned on the Seine is already in danger, since a rehearsal scheduled to take place on Monday June 24 has just been canceled due to the excessive flow of the river…

As for the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, her swim, already postponed, should take place, if she keeps her promise, “on July 15, 16 or 17 depending on the weather, or the week after.” A further decline cannot be ruled out, given the weather regime forecast in France for the first half of Julywith undoubtedly new cold drops and more precipitation.

Already in August 2023, the “test events” had to be canceled largely due to insufficient water quality: suffice to say that the holding of the Olympic events risks being compromised

As for a possible plan B in case of intense precipitation, this would involve planning “contingency days” to postpone the tests for a few days, but in no case changing location! Until then, the retention structures soon to be inaugurated should prevent the discharge of untreated water (a mixture of rain and wastewater) into the river. To be continued, in apnea…

Article references:

Olympic Games-2024: the Seine still too polluted currently, “due to rainy weather” – France Bleu

Paris 2024: Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo announces that she will finally swim in the Seine the week of July 15 – France Info

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