Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay

Associated Press
A worker fishes out trash from a garbage-collecting barge at the Guanabara bay, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. The green barge plies the polluted waters of Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay alongside wooden fishing boats but its catch consists not of grouper or swordfish but rather plastic bags, empty soda bottles and a discarded toilet seat. The barge is one of three so-called "eco-boats," floating garbage vessels that are a key part of authorities' pledge to clean up Rio’s devastated Guanabara Bay before the city – and the waterway itself – plays host to the 2016 Olympic games. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

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With limited trash and sewage services in Rio de Janeiro, a sprawling metropolis of 6 million people, tons of garbage and raw waste flow daily from sludge-filled rivers into Guanabara Bay , where Olympic and Paralympic sailing events will be held. At low tide, mountains of household refuse, old sofas and even washing machines are seen.

An Associated Press analysis in November of more than a decade's worth of Rio state government tests on waterways across the city showed fecal coliform pollution levels far above those considered safe by Brazilian or U.S. law. (AP)

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