The Mystic River Watershed water quality earned a report card grade of “D” for calendar year 2013. The grade is based on bacterial contamination found in analyzed samples that were collected by MyRWA volunteers in 2013 at 15 monitoring sites throughout the entire watershed.
While water quality in the main stem of the Mystic River from Medford to Boston Harbor has been consistently good, a majority of the data collected in the tributary streams that feed the Mystic River indicate that water quality in those areas has remained poor. During 2013, the Mystic River Watershed met state water quality standards for boating 83% of the time, while swimming standards were met only 49% of the time.
“The U.S. EPA grade reflects the fact that environmental conditions in the Mystic River fall short of the expectations of the Clean Water Act. While the Mystic River is safe for boating more than 90 percent of the time, important tributaries of the watershed – Alewife Brook, the Aberjona and Malden Rivers and others – are severely impaired and contribute a significant amount of pollution into these waters. Our organization is asking U.S. EPA and MassDEP for their help in developing a clear plan and pathway to improved conditions within a reasonable time horizon. The Charles River and Boston Harbor have celebrated extraordinary improvements in water quality. We look forward to when we can include the Mystic River in this environmental success story,” said EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association.