Health Concerns Grow over Tokyo Olympic Venue Smelling like a ‘Toilet’


Tokyo Olympic organizers are scrambling to clean the local Odaiba Marine Park before its use as an official Olympic venue starting July 26 after local residents and Olympic athletes complained this week the park and its surrounding bay emit a “foul odor,” Australia’s Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

“A foul odour has been reported at the swimming venue for triathletes and open water swimmers, raising concerns about elevated levels of the dangerous E-coli bacteria,” according to the newspaper.

“Heavy rain is forecast in Tokyo from July 27, which raises the risk of sewage leakage into the bay,” the Daily Telegraph added.

Water tests from Odaiba Marine Park periodically show high levels of E. coli due to the site’s location within the greater Tokyo Bay, which receives excess water runoff, including untreated sewage, during periods of heavy rainfall and flooding in the area.

“The bay water smells like a toilet,” some athletes participating in pre-Olympic events staged at Odaiba Marine Park in the summer of 2019 told Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

Greater Tokyo is home to 38 million people and is the largest metropolis in the world. Despite its massive population, the Tokyo metro area lacks separate drainage systems for sewage and rainwater. This means Tokyo’s “waste water and sewage … combined with runoff that feeds seven rivers and dozens of subterranean streams and canals all has to be treated before entering … [Tokyo] bay,” Fortune explained on July 13. – READ MORE

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