It has not been a good 48 hours for Australia’s public waterways, oh no. After yesterday’s announcement that Sydney Harbour is chockablock with quite nasty bacteria of the infectious variety, Perth’s shiny new Elizabeth Quay outlet has been nixed from a triathlon this Sunday over an elevated level of fecal bacteria in the water.
The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority’s chief Kieran Kinsella advised organisers to drop the planned 400-metre swimming section over “elevated levels of pathogens, particularly fecal coliform”. For what it’s worth, the MRA doesn’t seem to know where the hell the bugs came from, which may not bode well for the $440 million precinct.
The triathlon’s organisers have amended the race to include another running section, but if anyone was willing to make the dip, they’d have to contend with the fact the nastier coliforms can cause gastro and ear infections, all the way up to typhoid and cholera.
Oh, to make the matter shittier – heh – a high concentration of those nasties is a primary indicator of whether the water is likely to contain even worse shit, like giardia and cryptosporidium, which you really, really don’t want to get.
It’s worth noting at this point that there’s no evidence those particular nasties are in the water, but it’s enough to make you want to submerge yourself in bleach nonetheless.
Of course, elite triathletes looking forward to the Rio Olympics might not have the greatest time over there, either. Test results at some Olympic and Paralympic venues showed extreme water pollution, which is exactly what you want for the planet’s preeminent athletics meet.
The MRA is currently testing for the source of the bacteria, with suspicions it may have washed into the quay after heavy rainfall along the Swan River.
Photo: Chelsea B / Twitter.