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The 2016 Summer Olympics have passed, and while the world watched its home country compete every day in events near and dear to our hearts, the people on the ground in Rio dealt with an issue most of us take for granted: clean water.


From reports of ‘super-bacteria’ to the very obvious issue of trash and debris, officials in Rio have been dealing with dirty water since the bid was awarded in 2009. Back then, city officials promised to improve the appearance of their water, as well as work to reduce the viral and bacterial contaminants.

While many Olympians have been quoted as saying the water ‘wasn’t a big deal,’ most of them took precautions while training over the past year. Building an immunity to the possible viruses was key, as well as good hygiene practices, as would befit anyone traveling in a foreign country.

Guanabara bay polution

Guanabara bay polution

Despite the eyesore Rio’s waterways have presented to the tourists and media outlets that have flooded the city this month, there have been few reports of athletes falling ill. With the games over, the locals wonder if the water will ever reach the level of cleanliness that is safe for Rio’s residents.

Not that Georgia has succeeded in keeping all of our waterways clean, but we are fortunate enough to be able to paddle, kayak, or swim in local rivers without fear of serious contamination.



Hats off to Brazil for doing their best, with hopes for a cleaner future.