the waters of the Seine are still not clean enough to swim in, according to an NGO

the waters of the Seine are still not clean enough

Of the 14 samples taken near the venue of the tests, 12 would be unsuitable for swimming according to the French Agency for Environmental and Occupational Health Safety, up to seven times higher than the regulatory thresholds. For its part, the Paris prefecture assures that it will indeed be possible to swim this summer.

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Since September, the SurfRider foundation has been carrying out these measurements twice a month under the Alexandre III bridge, from where swimmers will set off this summer. Analyzes which reveal concentration levels of escherichia coli and enterococcus bacteria, higher than what the thriathlon and swimming federations recommend to authorize swimming.

There are health risks that can be linked to this, gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis. Often, when we swim, we swallow water… If you have a sore on your body, you can catch staphylococcus aureus…», Lists Lucie Ségalas, sports and environment project manager of the NGO.

The prefecture reacted to its results. According to her, they are the consequence of the heavy rains of recent months. She adds that the disinfection units of the treatment plants are not in operation outside of the bathing period. The retention basin is also not in progress because its construction will not be completed until the end of April. It will therefore be possible to swim in the Seine this summer, according to the authorities.

Analyzes every day from June

The NGO SurfRider wants proof of this and is asking for guaranteed access to the banks of the Seine during the events. The area will be closed from mid-May for developments linked to the Olympics.

On the side of the organizers, we defend ourselves: the goal is to be able to swim in summer and not in winter, explains Claire Grisez, the deputy regional director for the environment at the Île-de-France prefecture: “ the swimming plan was developed to allow swimming during the summer period, namely from June to September because these are particularly favorable climatic conditions and the analyzes which could be carried out between the end of September and the end of March correspond to a period which is not suitable for swimming and therefore we have a water quality that actually does not meet the standards. But we are not in the period dedicated to swimming. »

Analyzes will be carried out every day in the Seine from June, promises Claire Grisez, and two analyzes per day during the Games.

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