Mystic River Receives "D" Grade For 2011 Water Quality

Lynne Hamjian, US EPA, and EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, MyRWAThe Mystic River Watershed received a grade of "D" for water quality conditions for the calendar year 2011 as part of the US EPA's annual Mystic River Report Card. The announcement was made at the 2012 Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle held at the Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville. The grade is based on bacterial contamination, and the monitoring data is collected by MyRWA’s trained water quality monitors as part of the Baseline Monitoring Program. This grade indicates that water quality met swimming standards only 46 percent of the time, while boating standards were met 87 percent of the time.

“This year’s grade shows that persistent impairment of water quality caused by ancient sewer and stormwater systems continues to bedevil the Mystic River Watershed,” said EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association. “These water quality problems will be severely compounded by the increased flooding and larger numbers of severe storm cycles that are anticipated to occur as a result of New England’s changing climate. Fortunately the solutions to the problems we face are well understood and implementation of these solutions will produce honest work and good jobs for local residents. The Mystic River Watershed Association, through its Monitoring Network, is working to develop a clear understanding of the watershed’s current physical and environmental conditions.  This understanding will insure that precious financial and human resources engaged to restore our area infrastructure and the local natural environment will be deployed effectively.”