The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has partnered with Tecta-PDS for delivering ‘fast and reliable microbiological water quality tests in ITU sanctioned events.’ Tecta’s portable laboratory, already implemented in the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event in Tokyo, allows ITU staff to obtain results of E-Coli and Enterococci bacteria in the body of water tested, in less than 12 hours.
“For ITU, the health and safety of our athletes is our first priority, but also is a priority our commitment with the clean environments, sustainability and legacy wherever we go; and with this partnership we show once again that we are not only talking, we are taking actions,” said ITU President and IOC member, Marisol Casado.
She continued, “Partnering with someone that will help us swim in cleaner environments, work with LOCs to improve the water quality everywhere we go and leave that legacy to the host cities is something of paramount importance not only for our organization, but also should be a priority for all, to do our contribution to make the world a better and cleaner place.”
ITU Sports Director, Gergely Markus added, “For us, partnering with TECTA means that we are able to have results of the water quality tests in such a short period of time; [this] allows the technical team on site to take decisions in the last minute, always according to the quality of the body of water.”
He continued, “Working with the portable Tecta Lab in the Tokyo Test Event proved to be decisive for us, giving ITU the ability to take decisions by having the latest data available. The portable lab is really easy and simple to use and gave the ability to know if the water quality levels were above our threshold within 12 hours. The results were completely reliable and matched the ones we received from the laboratory used by the LOC, which came 48 hours later.”
During the four days of the Tokyo Test Event, as well as the week before, the ITU Team in Tokyo performed two daily tests of the water at Odaiba Bay. Both the tests performed on the Tecta Laboratory and in the LOC Laboratory showed low levels of E-Coli and Enterococci in the days leading up to the event.
But the Tecta results confirmed the breach of safe guideline levels on August 16-17. This provided valuable data for ITU to take the decision of cancelling the swim leg of the Paratriathlon event, as well as the swim familiarization for the Mixed Relay.
A release from ITU added, ‘The rapid E-Coli results from the portable laboratory proved to be crucial to maintain the health and safety of all athletes, preventing potential illness. The results from the LOC laboratory, which came back 48 hours later, confirmed the ones provided by Tecta.’
“We are thrilled to be partnering with ITU and have the opportunity to help identify issues in the water quickly and effectively, making their events safer for the athletes,” said Tim Adams, EVP of Tecta-PDS.
“Our technology was successful in ensuring the last Commonwealth Games in Australia went on without incident, and we were extremely pleased to be involved with the recent ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event in Tokyo as well. We truly believe there is not a better, faster or more accurate way to test the water, and we look forward to working closely with the ITU towards maintaining our mission of keeping everyone safe and healthy.”
TECTA-PDS was formed in 2003 as Pathogen Detection Systems as a direct result of the Walkerton (Ontario, Canada) disaster in which 7 people died and several thousand became ill as a result of faecal contamination of drinking water. TECTA-PDS today has evolved into a global organization having systems in over 35 countries.