• Famously filthy Mass. river hosts community swim


    BOSTON (AP) - The Charles River may be famous for its filth, but it's also clean enough now for its first public swim since the 1950s.

    The Boston Globe reports that on Saturday dozens jumped into the river near Boston's Hatch Shell.

    Over the past eight years, the river has hosted a mile-long race for elite swimmers. But Saturday's event was the first time in decades officials allowed a community swim.

    The water quality meets standards for swimming most days, a big improvement since the EPA gave the water quality a grade of D in 1995. But the bottom remains polluted, so swimmers Saturday had to avoid it.

    Some swimmers described the water as orange or resembling beef broth. Renata von Tscharner, head of the Charles River Conservancy, said she preferred to describe it as a tea.

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