Photo/IllutrationAthletes compete in a triathlon test event at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo’s Minato Ward in August. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

With concerns rising about the water quality in Tokyo Bay ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Tokyo metropolitan government is hoping a massive dump of sand into the sea will offer a quick fix.

Sources said the government plans to pour the sand into the sea at Odaiba Marine Park in Minato Ward from next month.

The dump will total about 10,000 cubic meters of sand, which were removed at a seaport on Kozushima island through dredging work.

Officials hope the water quality will be improved by attracting more sea creatures such as seashells to the bay.

The park's sea area will be used as a competition venue, including for the Olympic triathlon. However, when a test event was held there in August, the competitors complained that the water "smelled like a toilet."

In a test event of the Paralympic triathlon, levels of E. coli exceeded acceptable limits, forcing the swimming portion to be canceled.

Officials believe that overflowing sewers caused by heavy rainfall brought by typhoons possibly led to the elevated levels of coliform bacteria in the bay.

The metropolitan government will promote measures to recycle water, including setting up equipment for using collected rainwater for the toilets in buildings, to decrease the quantity of water flowing into sewers.

Officials are also considering increasing the number of cleanup efforts to remove trash floating in the sea during the Games.