Paris Mayor assures Olympic swimming in river seine: Confidence in water quality

Paris Mayor assures Olympic swimming in river seine: Confidence in water quality

PARIS-The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, expressed confidence that the water quality in the Seine River will meet Olympic criteria this summer. She even stated she would be able to swim in the river, perhaps even with President Emmanuel Macron, to demonstrate her point. The Olympic and Paralympic swimming marathons as well as the swimming portion of triathlon competitions are held in the Seine. When asked on Tuesday if she would keep her word to swim in the Seine before the Games, Hidalgo replied, “Definitely, because the water quality will be excellent.”

Assessing water quality standards

For many years, the Seine served primarily as a river for the transportation of people and goods or as a wet burial for abandoned bicycles and other debris because it was too poisonous for most fish and swimmers. With a few exceptions, swimming in the Seine has been forbidden since 1923. Hidalgo brought up the newly constructed, purpose-built facilities meant to purify the river, whose water quality was recently criticized by an environmental organization. Tuesday marked the opening of a water treatment facility at Champigny-sur-Marne, which lies east of Paris. A massive holding basin designed to lessen the need to dump untreated wastewater tainted with germs into the Seine when it rains will officially open next week. The colossal excavation at the Austerlitz train station in Paris will contain the volume of twenty Olympic-sized swimming pools of contaminated water. 

Mayor’s reassurance

This water will undergo treatment instead of being discharged into the river untreated through storm drains. Top authorities have been asked to participate in “the big dive,” an event that will take place around the end of June or the beginning of July, according to Hidalgo. She revealed that organizers of the Paris Olympics, Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, and Macron himself, who made a vow to swim in the river, had all been invited. The deputy mayor of Paris in charge of sports, Pierre Rabadan, dismissed the prior swimming prohibition, stating that utilizing the river was “ambitious” rather than “mad.” However, things took a terrible turn in August when a triathlon competition in Paris was called off by the organizers who said they could not jeopardize the competitors’ health and safety due to elevated pollution levels in the Seine. For the same reason, the Open Water Swimming World Cup had been postponed the previous month.bacteria levels were twice and in some cases three times higher than the maximum quantity allowed by international triathlon and open-water swimming federations, designing the organizers’ expectations that they would have moved past the issues. According to Surfrider, “it is therefore evident that the athletes competing in the Olympic and Paralympic events scheduled for the Seine will be swimming in contaminated water and putting their health at serious risk.” Tony Estanguet, President of the Games, acknowledged that if thunderstorms, which are frequent throughout the summer, have an adverse effect on the water quality, the triathlon may be postponed or rescheduled.

Environmental initiatives

The city’s sewer system, which must handle the two million cubic meters of wastewater produced by the more than nine million people who reside in the greater Paris area, may be the largest obstacle to making the Seine swimmable. Before sewage and stormwater reach wastewater treatment facilities, they are combined. In the event of excessive rainfall, the system may become overloaded, releasing tainted water back into the river, which had a volume of around 2 million cubic meters in 2022. 

The issue dates back to the earliest part of the 1800s, when there were hardly any sewers in Paris and trash was collected and then deposited on the surrounding farms. Since then, the river has developed a repugnant reputation as a repository for various types of trash; every year, 350 tons of garbage, including plastic, cigarette butts, and even electric scooters and bicycles, are removed from the water.

Collaborative efforts

Guillaume stated that when all of the new treatment facilities are up and running on June 1st, routine water testing would begin. He explained that water quality will be evaluated every day at 3 a.m. throughout the Olympics to decide whether or not to hold activities as scheduled. The Olympics’ organizers warned that in the worst case scenario, the triathlon’s swimming portion would be postponed and that events would be delayed if pollution levels were too high.

Boycott Pairs Olympics 2024

A poor sanitary system could badly affect the health of players and fans so this event should be boycotted. A drainage system was being constructed beneath Paris as it grew towards the end of the 20th century in order to handle the city’s increasing volumes of horse and human waste. The area where the garbage might spread was lessened because the city was still expanding, but the rubbish was still disposed of where it had previously been. Rainwater that collects on the rooftops of houses in communities situated upstream from Paris has also been cut off from the sewage network.


In conclusion, After tracking the amount of germs in the Seine for more than six months, the Surfrider Foundation referred to it as “a particularly polluted spot.” Athletes “will be swimming in polluted water and taking significant risks to their health,” the panel said.



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