Good news. Water in local creeks and rivers is mostly free of bacteria this week, thanks to continued dry weather.
Only four sites of hundreds of swimming areas where water was tested on Wednesday had unsafe bacteria levels. For a Google map of those sites check here. The areas are:
Mill Creek - 240
Dividing Creek - 188
Pine Wiff/Almshouse Creek - 146
Harbor Hills – 158
The acceptable bacteria level for swimming and other direct water contact is determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Maryland Department of the Environment and the Anne Arundel County Department of Health. For bodies of water that the Department samples weekly and biweekly, the acceptable level of enterococci bacteria is 104 or fewer bacteria colonies per 100 milliliters of water. For areas that are sampled monthly, the acceptable level is 158 or fewer colonies per 100 milliliters. See Water Quality Fact Sheet. All the spots on the list above exceed safety levels.
Both the county health department and a network of volunteers test over 100 public beaches and other areas around the county for bacteria. The results from the county tests are put online here, and for the volunteer tests here for Severn and Magothy rivers, here for South River, and here for Rhode/West River. All the sites listed above were tested by Watershed Stewards.
No significant rainfall is expected this weekend so the water should continue to be safe for swimming throughout Saturday and Sunday. Rain storms wash pollution from the landscape that contains bacteria. County and state health officials caution not to swim for 48 hours after a significant storm for this reason.
Have fun, stay safe.