New Report by Group of Local Nonprofits Find the Schuylkill is Clean, But Most People Do Not Know That

The Schuylkill River.
Image via Thomas Hengge, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Schuylkill River at dusk.

A new study by a group of local nonprofits found that the Schuylkill is clean enough for recreation on most days, including boating or organized swim events, but not many people are aware of this, writes Frank Kummer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area partnered with several organizations from the region, including Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, to examine the water quality for 71 miles of the main stream of the river from Reading to Southwest Philadelphia. They also surveyed 300 people, including from Chester and Montgomery counties, to see how the river was perceived.

They found that while the river is mostly clean, the majority of people believe it is too polluted to go in or near. One of the reasons is visible trash along the banks.

“For better or for worse, there’s a tendency that when people see trash, they think unhealthy, polluted, and dangerous,” said John Jackson, a senior research scientist at Stroud.

However, now is when “people should turn toward the river rather than from it,” said Elaine Paul Schaefer, executive director of the SRGNHA.

Read more about the Schuylkill River and its cleanliness in Montgomery County in The Philadelphia Inquirer.