Rio to treat sewage problem

Rio state officials are reported to 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. Work is to start within the week on building a new network of underground pipes in Rio's Flamengo neighbourhood, which will take area rainwater to a sewage treatment plant in the Ipanema Beach area.

Rainwater collected in Rio is often contaminated with raw sewage which is then dumped into the bay and marina area where the Olympic sailing events will be held in 2016. Some recently built treatment plants are still not connected to the collection system.

Rio officials have repeatedly pledged that the Olympics would lead to a massive cleanup of the city's trash and sewage-filled waterways, but competitors at recent sailing events have reported raw sewage and dead animals on the courses.

Despite over $700 million reportedly spent over the the last couple of decades there is little to show for it. The local environmental agency has classified nearly all the 13 bayside beaches it monitors as "terrible" for 12 years running due to the high levels of fecal bacteria.

Officials now claim that this latest construction is scheduled to be completed in one year.