He blamed a contractor for mistakenly dumping hydrogen peroxide into the pool late last week, which caused an adverse reaction when it mixed with chlorine. The dirty water will be disposed of using the city’s sewage system, which has already come under intense scrutiny for dumping untreated waste into water that is being used for rowing, canoeing, sailing, triathlon and open water swimming.
There are two warmup pools at Maria Lenk, and neither was affected by the issues inside the stadium. The one used by water polo teams will be drained since it won’t be needed after Saturday, while the synchronized swimmers will continue to have use of their practice pool.
Some divers have said the green water actually helps them during competition by giving them a contrast with the blue sky when they’re spinning through the air. No one has complained of any problems diving into the water, though there have been plenty of snarky posts on social media. After the diving pool was closed for a schedule practice session Friday, Germany’s Patrick Hausding posted a couple of pictures, one holding his nose with the caption “Good morning from the green lake!”
Andrada stressed that Rio officials had been able to solve myriad issues plaguing the games, but conceded they were out of short-term options when it came to the green water. A day before, he attempted to explain trouble fixing the water by declaring that “chemistry is not an exact science.”
“This is probably the only problem we were unable to solve quickly,” he said. “The embarrassment won’t last forever.”
Rio officials are also dealing with another aquatics venue mishap.
The starting platform for the open water course broke into three pieces in bad weather, forcing the cancellation of practice Saturday at Fort Copacabana. A backup platform is set to be brought in for the women’s 10-kilomter race Monday.