Hearing that the Charles River has been given an A- for water quality was good news for the people who have been working so hard to improve the standards and make it safe to use. The award comes from the Environmental Protection Agency in a presentation that was recently held in the Museum of Science in Boston and shows that with the right people involved it is possible to get the results that are required.
This award is based on the quality of the water in 2013 and the research has shown that it was safe for swimmers 70% of the time and for boater 96% of the time. As these are the best figures that have been received in 19 years it was clear that work has been varied and extensive.
It was explained that rainfall played a large part in the score for swimmers and also the part of the river where the activity was taking place. The Charles River Water Association check the river regularly and there are 10 locations along the length that are monitored to the extent that boaters can see from day to day which part of the river is safe for them.
This grade A- report has been such good news, as at the beginning of the reporting, it was classed as a grade D, before moving to grade C a few years later where there was still a lot of work that needed to be done It went up a grade again and seemingly was then lodged at grade B from 1999-2012. It has not been by chance that this has happened and the people involved are aware that if they let their standards slip, it will be just as easy for the River to fall back down the scale meaning that its use could be limited and residents would not get the same level of enjoyment out of it.
A lot of this good news is thanks to the Clean Charles River Initiative who have spent nearly 20 years clearing the river of pollution and checking storm overflows and sewers were not a problem. It should also be noted that the River has benefited from a share of $5 billion worth of projects carried out by the Metropolitan Water Resources Authority. Boston Harbour also received a share of the funding, but it was vital to the success of the Charles River grading.