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Tokyo Bay sewage raises Olympian stink at 2020 swimming site

Heavy rains overwhelm outdated pipes and send untreated waste into sea

The swimming leg of the Paratriathlon World Cup at Odaiba Marine Park was canceled due to high levels of E. coli bacteria.    © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Is Tokyo Bay's water safe? The cancellation of a triathlon event in August has raised concerns about pollution at one of the venues for the 2020 Summer Olympics, and thrown the spotlight on problems with the city's sewage treatment system.

High levels of E. coli bacteria detected at Odaiba Marine Park forced the swimming leg of the Aug. 17 Paratriathlon World Cup to be called off. The problem is that Tokyo's sewer system sometimes discharges inadequately treated, or even untreated waste, into Tokyo Bay when the city is hit by torrential rain.

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