Stab Magazine | The putrid state of Rio de Janeiro
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The putrid state of Rio de Janeiro

Words by Morgan Williamson  Is it too much to ask for clean water? Apparently; that shit’s hard to come by. World class surf spots are continually plagued by water quality. It’s a shame we’ve come to expect, and if you live in an area where dirty water’s not a problem; good on you. If not you […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Words by Morgan Williamson 

Is it too much to ask for clean water? Apparently; that shit’s hard to come by. World class surf spots are continually plagued by water quality. It’s a shame we’ve come to expect, and if you live in an area where dirty water’s not a problem; good on you. If not you just learn to deal with the sinus infections, the possibility of growing a sixth toe and may or may not take part in lending an environmentally helpful hand. It’s not like a little dirty water’s going to keep you dry, especially if the waves are pumping. After all the sandbars tend to get better after a rain, and it’s easy to convince ourselves that the risk is worth it. It is typically; I like to think it’s just a continuous strengthening of my immune system. Thank god for far-fetched rationalizations…

The folks in Rio are fed up with their ocean situation. Rightfully so; according to this video for petition: 53 percent of Rio’s sewer is dumped without treatment. In a city with a population of 6.32 million, it’s impossible for that not to have negative affects on the ocean. So if you want to sign the petition great, but this is really a call to higher action. Triple overhead dragon slayer Carlos Burle stars in this tastefully artistic display on the current state of Brazil’s ocean.

“We wanted to show the contrast between the beauty of surfing and the truth of some of the beaches next to big cities,” directing duo 300ml told Adweek of the above clip produced by Instituto E. “This is a problem not only in Brazil. We want people to be shocked with the reality, and sometimes you look at the ocean and just don’t see it.”

Quebra-Mar_Main

Raw sewage isn’t good for anyone. Photo:

Last year before the Rio event high levels of raw sewage were detected in and around Barra da Tijuca for weeks. “On low tides, all that putrid water from Tijuca Lagoon gets washed out to the ocean and depending on the currents, can end up in Barra or São Conrado,” said biologist Mario Moscatelli. “Based on our observations and government analysis, the water is clearly below safety standards.” After the event many of the competitors reported falling ill. The pollution was so bad Joel Parkinson said “I’ll never go back there in my life.”

After all the chatter over removing J-Bay from the tour; should Rio be reconsidered based on its overwhelmingly poor water quality? If we are talking odds and athlete safety, the risk of being harmed during (or after) competition is astronomically higher in Brazil.

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