Brazil sets up new project to clean Olympic waters

A small wave washes up along the shoreline of the polluted waters of Guanabara Bay on Jan. 21.

Mario Tama/Getty Images


Rio de Janeiro state officials have signed off on a new sewerage project aimed at stemming the flow of untreated sewage into the city’s Gloria Marina, where the 2016 Olympic sailing events are to be held.

Under the $6.2 million project, a 1 kilometer-long network of subterranean tubes built in Rio’s Flamengo neighborhood will connect area rainwater collectors to a sewage treatment plant in the Ipanema Beach neighborhood. With less than half of Rio’s sewage treated, rainwater collectors here are often contaminated with raw sewage.

At the signing ceremony on Tuesday, officials said the project could start as early as next week. Construction is scheduled to last one year.

Rio officials have repeatedly pledged the Olympics would lead to a massive cleanup of the city’s trash and sewage-filled waterways.