Charles River open for swimming on Saturday


By Garrett Quinn,

Duck Boat in the Charles!

A Duck Boat crosses the Charles River in Boston. (LISA POOLE, AP)

BOSTON — Dirty water no more.

Boston’s famed Charles River will be open to the general public for swimming on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for the Second Annual Charles River Community Swim.

The annual swim is organized by the Charles River Conservancy, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Esplanade Association and the Charles River Bistro.

In order to participate you need to register onlinehere. Only 30 swimmers will be allowed in the river at a time and swimming will be limited to 30 minutes.

Recreational swimming in the Charles River has been banned since 1950s according to a release from Charles River Conservancy but efforts to promote swimming in the river’s famed “dirty water” have been ongoing since the Clean Charles River Initiative was launched in 1995. The river received an overall grade of B+ from the EPA as recently as 2012 though the water only met state water standards for swimming67 percent of the time.

Today general swimming by the public is still not allowed but organized and permitted swimming events like swim meets are.

Fortunately, this swimming event doesn’t require you to be in by twelve o’clock and that’s not a shame.

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