Olympic Diving Pool Turns Green in Rio

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The Law Of... getting sick from swimming pools on holiday

The talking points of the Olympics tend to focus on the events and who has won which medals, but the question of the hygiene of the water in Rio has been of concern even before the games began. The issue of swimming pool hygiene has reached new heights, overshadowing the wins and losses of the competitors in the 31st Olympic games, as people begin to wonder what has turned the water green in Rio.

Green water in Rio

From Blue To Green

Newspapers such as the Guardian have been covering the story, and from comparison pictures taken of the diving pool in the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, it's clear that the water was once its intended aquatic blue, and at some point during the games in Brazil the water has changed to a far more concerning shade of green.

Currently experts, athletes and spectators are perplexed by what has caused the pool to change colour, although synchronised diving pair Tonia Couch and Lois Toulson have said that they're not bothered by green water.

Reports currently state that tests have yet to reveal the cause of the change in water colour, only to say that they don't believe that it's harmful to competitors, although many athletes are understandably concerned.

Why Is Pool Hygiene A Concern?

Swimming pools are one of those aspects of a holiday that few of us worry about. Many of us take it for granted that the water will be safe, and we'll only avoid it if it's clearly dirty, or maybe has turned a Rio shade of green.

Unfortunately most harmful pathogens in swimming pools are undetectable without running thorough tests of the water, meaning that whether you're an Olympic athlete or just on a package holiday you're at the mercy of the person in charge of maintaining the hygiene of the swimming pool.

What Could Make You Sick In A Pool?

There are many water borne pathogens that can be contracted from a swimming pool, with many of them being caused by people who might be spreading faecal matter in the water.

While the most obvious route to spreading infection through the faecal-oral route is to defecate directly into the pool, a trend that became popular due to the sequel to the Inbetweeners movie, infection can also be spread through smaller particles of faeces that might not have been properly cleaned by guests or young children.

Bacterial pathogens such as E. coli, Shigella, Giardia and Legionella can all be spread through unhygienic swimming pools, as can parasitic infections such as Cryptosporidium.

These pathogens can all result in debilitating symptoms such as diarrhoea, nausea, headaches, vomiting and more, regardless of whether you're competing in Rio or just enjoying a break abroad.

What Can I Do To Stay Safe?

One of the simplest ways to assess the hygiene of a swimming pool, aside from checking that it's not algae green, is to smell the air near the pool. If you can't detect the distinct smell of chlorine, it's possible that the necessary chemicals to keep the water clear of harmful pathogens aren’t being used and you could become ill if you dare to go for a dip.

What Are My Rights If I Become Ill?

If you are travelling on a package holiday and suffer an illness that you believe was caused by the swimming pool at your hotel, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 (PTRs) your tour operator could be held liable.

This is because the PTRs place the responsibility on your tour operator to take reasonable measures to ensure that you do not come to harm as a result of any of the facilities or services that they and their third party suppliers offer to you as part of your contract with them on a package holiday.

Regardless of whether dirty pool water made you sick, or you suffered food poisoning at a hotel that served high risk produce such as chicken undercooked or raw, your tour operator is still to blame, and because of this you might be able to claim compensation from them.

How Do I Make A Claim?

Making a claim through a travel law specialist such as our dedicated team at Simpson Millar is a simple and straightforward process.

All that you need to do is gather any evidence that you have and tell us what happened to you during a free no-obligation consultation in which we can advise you of the best way to pursue your claim and how much compensation you can expect to receive.

In choosing our travel lawyers to represent you we can provide you with 'no win no fee' terms, regular updates in plain jargon-free English and the reassurance that we'll do all the hard work for you, talking to your tour operator on your behalf.

To find out how we could help you please make a no-obligation enquiry or call freephone: 0808 129 3320.

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