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Great Ohio River Swim canceled due to harmful algal bloom

Posted at 6:51 PM, Oct 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 18:51:02-04

CINCINNATI — Postponing the Great Ohio River Swim from late September to mid-October didn’t help. Organizers canceled the event Tuesday evening, citing a harmful algal bloom that could endanger swimmers’ health if the race had taken place Oct. 13 as scheduled.

A notice posted on the event website reads: “Thank you for your patience through the rescheduling and cancellation this year. We invite you to join us next year for the 2020 Bill Keating, Jr. Great Ohio River Swim. We can easily forward your registration to next year's event.”

Would-be participants can also request a refund by emailing

The ongoing bloom of blue-green algae does not endanger Cincinnatians’ drinking water, according to the Greater Cincinnati Water Works, the Cincinnati Health Department said anyone swimming, boating or fishing could be at risk of exposure and subsequent illness.

Coming into contact with harmful algae can irritate skin and eyes, cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache and difficulty breathing.