Water quality overview

2017 Water Quality Report Card

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with the Mystic River Watershed Association issues a water quality report card for the Mystic River Watershed each year. In 2014, the format of the grade changed from a watershed wide average to what you see below - a map offering waterbody by waterbody reporting. The grade is based on how frequently waterbodies meet bacteria standards for swimming and boating. You'll see that the Mystic River is a great place to go boating and the Mystic Lakes are a great place for a swim! The grade also shows that much work lies ahead in realizing the promise of the Clean Water Act in many of our waterbodies. See the 2017 grade below and read the EPA press release. Learn more about what impacts our water quality here.


The Mystic River Watershed Association has been collecting water quality data and studying this question for over a decade and has your answer! 

Water quality in the Mystic River Watershed is comparable to many other urbanized watersheds-including the nearby Charles River-where dense development on land is contributing pollutants to the water. The data tell us that the water is clean enough to safely boat in the Mystic Lakes and River more than 90% of the time. But many areas of the watershed do not support swimming, boating or fishing as required by the Clean Water Act due to high levels of bacteria.