This Olympic Pool Turned Green and Officials Are Stumped

This Olympic Pool Turned Green and Officials Are Stumped
Source: AP
Source: AP

Olympic officials can't figure out why one of its pools turned a murky green color. The pool, which was used Tuesday for the women's synchronized 10-meter platform events, was a crystal-clear, Olympic blue just a day earlier.

"The water quality at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre was tested and there were no risks for the athletes," officials said, according to CNN. "We are investigating the cause."

According to Rio spokesperson Marlo Andrada, the pool changed color because of a "proliferation of algae" that was caused by the heat and not enough air circulation.

Even though officials said the water was perfectly safe, Ralph Riley, vice-chairman of the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group, told the Independent that, if the problem is in fact a proliferation of algae, it "implies there's been a breakdown in the disinfectant process anyway."

"If there's not enough chlorine in the water, you don't know what bugs will be growing in there," Howard Gosling, an independent pool and spa adviser and former chairman of Pwtag said. "I would certainly ... be reluctant to go into it."

It's surprising, given the bad news surrounding the water quality in Rio for the Olympics, that an unscheduled water-color change wouldn't raise more red flags. News spread last week that you'd only need to ingest three teaspoons of Rio's water to obtain a virus and get sick. Last month, researchers discovered a "superbacteria" in Rio's water. And don't even get started on the danger of contracting the Zika virus.

On Tuesday, the water still didn't stop divers from competing: China's Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia won gold in the women's synchronized 10-meter platform. 

Hopefully whatever caused the pool to go green doesn't do the same to them.

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Max Plenke

Max Plenke is a staff writer at Mic, where he covers breaking news, climate science, health and the future. His work has appeared in Esquire, GQ and Wallpaper. Send story tips to max@mic.com.

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