Great Ohio River Swim organizers: Unsafe water prompts postponement

Swimmers start at the Serpentine Wall on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, to participate in the Bill Keating, Jr. Great Ohio River Swim.

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.”

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