September 08, 2017

Department of Energy and Environment Approves Water Quality of Potomac River for Swim Portion of 2017 Nation’s Triathlon to Take Place this Sunday, September 10

WASHINGTON D.C. – (September 8, 2017) Today, after a series of nine water tests taken over the past 30 days, the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment has approved water quality in the Potomac River as safe for the swim portion of the 2017 Nation’s Triathlon. The race will take place this Sunday, September 10, beginning at 7 a.m., with more than 2,000 triathletes hitting the waters of the Potomac River, starting at West Potomac Park.


According to the Department of Energy, the numeric criteria for Class A waters listed in 21 DCMR § 1108 were not exceeded in the samples collected between August 10 and September 5, 2017. Therefore, permission has been granted to allow this special swimming event to take place.


In years past, high levels of E.coli pollution in the river, caused by polluted runoff from heavy rains, have led to the cancellation of the swim portion of the race. Though overall pollution levels in the Potomac are decreasing, there is still a lot of work to be done, which inspired, for the first time, the Potomac Conservancy and the Nation’s Triathlon to join forces to fight for a safe clean Potomac River.


“The Potomac River is a local and national treasure. We’re excited to have the Nation’s Triathlon supporting our work to safeguard our local lands and waters,” said Potomac Conservancy President Hedrick Belin. “Sunday, when triathletes take to the Potomac, they should be proud of the progress our community has made and energized to continue the fight for a swimmable, accessible river every day of the year.”


The Nation’s Triathlon organizers recognize the Potomac River challenges with water quality and conservation and want to help make a difference by encouraging athletes to volunteer, donate and provide ongoing support to the Potomac Conservancy’s efforts, not just today, but year round.


About Nation’s Triathlon

More than 2,000 triathletes will take over the historic West Potomac Park and surrounding area for the 2017 Nation’s Triathlon. This year will mark the 12th year of this annual event which will take participants for a 1.5k swim in the Potomac River, a 40k bike ride and a 10k run winding past the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and more. An elite field of 21 professional athletes, including Olympian Sarah Haskins and 2016 Nation’s Triathlon Champion Michael Finney, are set to compete for a $20,000 prize purse. As of this morning, there are still approximately 150 race slots available at


About Potomac Conservancy

Founded in 1993, Potomac Conservancy is the region’s leading clean water advocate, fighting to ensure the Potomac River boasts clean water, healthy lands, and vibrant communities. The Conservancy improves local water quality through conservation and advocacy, and empowers a local clean water movement of 21,000 friends and supporters who fights for fewer chemicals in our drinking water, safe and pollution-free streams, protected forests and accessible parks, and healthy and thriving wildlife habitat. To learn more about how you can join “Team Potomac” in the fight for a cleaner, healthier Potomac River, visit



DeeDee Taft

Spin Communications

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