Olympics: Drop in alkalinity to blame for green pool - Rio organisers

Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:05pm EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The Rio Olympics diving pool will be back to its blue colour later on Wednesday, Games organisers assured, blaming a drop in alkalinity levels for an uninviting green hue during competition on Tuesday.

The water in the pool was bright green on Tuesday, baffling competitors in the women's 10 metre synchronised event, who said they could not see their partner underwater.

The mysterious shade of the water, which contrasted sharply against the blue of the water polo pool beside it, was also clearly visible on television to millions of viewers around the world, many of whom joked about algae and dye on social media.

The international swimming federation (FINA) blamed a lack of chemicals in the system.

"FINA can confirm that the reason for the unusual water colour... is that the water tanks ran out some of the chemicals used in the water treatment process," it said in a statement.

"As a result the pH level of the water was outside the usual range, causing the discolouration."

Organisers said tests at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre's diving pool were conducted regularly and the quality of the water was no threat to the divers' health.

"There was a sudden decrease of alkalinity," said Games spokesman Mario Andrada. "We probably failed to note that with more athletes the water could be affected."   Continued...

A general view of the Olympic diving pool and the pool for the waterpolo and synchronized swimming. The water in the Olympic diving pool appeared to turn a bright green hue on Tuesday, causing puzzlement among divers and audiences as the women's 10 meter platform final progressed, contrasting sharply against the still-blue color of another pool beside it. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic