Concerns raised over potential impact of heavy rain on River Seine Events at Paris 2024 Olympics

Posted : 01 December 2023

Concerns have been raised about the potential impact of heavy rain during the Paris 2024 Olympics on events scheduled in the River Seine. The Seine is slated to host marathon swimming, triathlon, and Paratriathlon events, but an advisor to Paris' mayor suggests that continuous heavy rain could pose difficulties.


Paris aims to enhance the river's water quality, emphasizing that it's suitable for bathing on average two out of three days in the summer. Despite efforts to mitigate risks, the advisor acknowledges that non-stop rain for an extended period might lead to challenges, possibly necessitating event postponements.


Pauline Lavaud, the advisor on energy, climate transition, water, and public space maintenance for the Paris mayor, highlights ongoing initiatives to reduce risks and mentions the possibility of postponing events if swimming conditions become unfavorable due to weather conditions.


The cancellation of some summer sporting events, including the fourth meet of the Open Water Swimming World Cup and the swimming leg of the World Triathlon Para Cup, underscored concerns about the Seine's water quality. Lavaud attributes these issues to record-breaking rainfall not witnessed since the 1970s.


To address potential water quality challenges, a rainwater storage basin named the Austerlitz basin is under construction in Paris. This basin aims to collect rainwater, redirect it to a treatment plant, and, once meeting health criteria, discharge it into the Seine. The process includes daily testing during the Games to ensure the safety of the water for athletes. Lavaud emphasizes the importance of these efforts, stating that Paris has now reached water sanitation levels comparable to the pre-industrial era, and the Olympics have accelerated their project to make the Seine suitable for bathing, gaining a decade of progress.


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