Rio de Janeiro’s endless beaches and lush tropical forest will be a photographer’s dream during the 2016 Olympics. But zoom in on the likes of once-pristine Guanabara Bay, and the picture is of household trash and raw sewage.
In the neon green waters around the site of the future Olympic Park, the average fecal pollution rate is 78 times that of the Brazilian government’s “satisfactory” limit – and 195 times the level considered safe in the U.S. Nearly 70 percent of Rio’s sewage goes untreated, meaning runoff from its many slums and poor neighborhoods drain into waters soon to host some of the world’s best athletes.
Unless Brazil makes headway in cleaning up its waters, experts warn the Summer Games could pose health risks to athletes and mar what officials hope will be their global showcase event. Instead of the soaring vistas of Sugarloaf Mountain, the world could instead see old couches in the bay and tons of dead fish floating atop a city lake.
Source: The Weather Channel