President Theorde Roosevelt with John Muir
President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir


  • The United States Public Health Service reports that "... at certain times of the year the [Potomac] river is so loaded with sediments as to be unfit for bathing as well as for drinking and cooking purposes. It contains fecal bacilli at all times..."


  • The first biological survey is conducted on the Potomac River.


  • President Theodore Roosevelt focuses national attention on protection of the nation's water and forest resources in his first State of the Union address.


  • United States Geologic Survey reports that the turbidity in the Potomac River is 3000 parts per million (ppm) during floods and 15-20 ppm during a normal low flow.


  • Eighty-four species of fish are found in the Potomac River and its tributaries


  • The Washington, D.C. sewer system carries wastes from 340,000 people to the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.
  • The United States Public Health Service study of pollution in the Potomac finds the river in "generally good condition" with "ample dissolved oxygen."


  • A survey of the Potomac notes that submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) covers the Potomac along both banks, except for the central channel.


  • The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, serving Prince George's and Montgomery counties, connects its sewer system to the Washington, D.C. sewer system.
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway opens to preserve natural areas along the Potomac River.