Testing has revealed Ohio River water quality is not safe enough to have a scheduled annual mass swim Sunday in the waters between Cincinnati and Kentucky.
The Bill Keating, Jr. Great Ohio River Swim has been postponed until Sept. 19, according to a release from the organizer. Testing indicates a trend of increasing bacteria levels because of recent rains, according to the release.
The event is the only open water swim across the Ohio River and then a swim back. It's a half-mile distance.
A forecast of more rain over the next two days prompted the cancelation.
“The safety of swimmers is our top priority,” said Miriam Wise, associate director of Adventure Crew, which organizes the event. “In advance of the swim, we evaluate river stage, velocity, presence of debris, algae, bacteria and ambient weather. If river conditions do not meet our safety standards, we postpone the event.”
Caroline Keating, daughter of the swim’s namesake, still plans to walk the riverfront from the swim’s starting point at the Public Landing to Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park and back.
People are welcome to join Keating for the walk at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 29.
The swim is a fundraiser for Adventure Crew, a local nonprofit that offers outdoor recreation opportunities for city teens.
Founded in 2013, Adventure Crew serves all Cincinnati Public Schools high schools, seventh and eighth graders in select CPS elementary schools, and five schools in Northern Kentucky.
Students are challenged to outdoor adventures and to break out of their comfort zones as part of the treks, according to the release.