Water Quality

ITU Water Quality Rules


Since 2010 ITU adopted the EEC standards 2006/7/EC of bathing water quality. Especially for international competitions it is absolutely necessary to get a clear view on the water quality of such competitions. Since in some countries there is risk for some very serious disease causing health problems (Migliorini S,2009). Water quality tests submit to ITU - According to ITU rules, the LOC must submit water quality tests : - Two months before the competition - 7 days before the competition - On the first competition day of the event for statistical purposes only. Samples of the water collected from three different locations on the swim course will be separately analysed and the poorest results will determine if the swim can take place. The swim will be allowed if the following values are below the level of tolerance in the different types of water.

      a) Sea and Transitional waters:

          - PH between 6 and 9 - Enterococci not more than 100 per 100 ml (ufc/100ml)

          - E. Coli not more than 250 per 100 ml (ufc/100ml)

          - Absence of positive visual evidence of Red Tide Algal bloom.

      b) Inland waters:

          - PH between 6 and 9 - Enterococci : not more than 200 per 100 ml(ufc/100ml)

          - E. Coli not more than 500 per 100 ml(ufc/100ml)

          - The presence of Blue-Green Algal bloom/scum (cyanobatteria) with more than 100.000 cells/ml.

          - This test is only acquired in case of positive visual evidence of Blue Green Algal bloom. Because of the potential for rapid scum formation daily sanitary inspection is mandatory by the LOC Medical Director in the two weeks before the competition in the area prone to scum formation. Where not scums are visible, but the water shows strong greenish discoloration, turbidity and the transparency is less than 0.5 m the cyanobacteria test must be performed.


ITU recommend to organize only triathlons in swimming water that falls in the Excellent water quality category. If the water quality test shows values out of the tolerance limits as indicated above the swim will be cancelled, unless the ITU Medical Committee permits the Good Water Quality category.