The Olympic Diving Pool Turned Green, Baffling Officials

Interesting Engineering

pool[Image Source: Tom Daley]

Just a short while after the Olympics opened in Rio, the diving pool turned a bright green which perplexed officials.

The incident occurred on Tuesday where it became quite evident the pool turned a jello-like green. While officials were perplexed by the incident, they announced the green nature of the pool posed as no risk to the athletes.

"To ensure a high quality field of play is mandatory to Rio 2016 committee,"

organizers said in a statement.

"Water tests at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre diving pool were conducted and it was found to be no risk to athletes' health. We are investigating what are the causes of the situation but are pleased to say the competition was successfully completed."

Fortunately, competitors were not fazed by the incident and the competitions continues as planed. However, the change could not go unnoticed.

"When we were practising to get used to this venue (the water) was always sky blue,"

China's Liu Huixia, who won gold alongside Chen Ruolin, told abc.

"But we're always mentally prepared for unexpected situations."

American diver Jessica Parratto  made comment to the incident as well saying

"It's pretty green. It's so green, I don't know why. [We] got a personal best score so maybe we should ask for a green pool from now on. I kind of liked it."

However, as of yesterday, officials have finally released the cause of the green water.

FINA can confirm that the reason for the unusual water color observed during the Rio diving competitions is that the water tanks ran out of some of the chemicals used in the water treatment process.

As a result, the pH level of the water was outside the usual range, causing the discoloration. The FINA Sport Medicine Committee conducted tests on the water quality and concluded that there was no risk to the health and safety of the athletes, and no reason for the competition to be affected.

As it turns out, not enough pool supplies were stocked prior to the competitions. There are two likely main causes for the incident. The altered pH levels bring out minerals, if there was a large concentration of copper, it could be the cause. Alternately, increased pH levels could render the chlorine useless, resulting in a spontaneous increase in algae. Nonetheless, it is rather impressive that in just a day, an entire pool went from crystal clear to bright green. As of now, the pools have been re-stocked and should return to normal colors shortly.

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