Water Quality Advisory issued for part of Back River

Posted on July 2 by Chris Montcalmo

TOWSON, MD —The Baltimore County Department of Health has issued a water quality advisory for tidal Back River in the vicinity of Cox Park.

Recent sampling in that area indicates high levels of bacteria that could prove harmful with direct contact.

“In response to recent public health concerns around water quality in sections of Back River, County Executive Johnny Olszewski directed the county’s environmental health specialists and natural resource specialists to coordinate enhanced monitoring of Back River in the areas adjacent to and downstream from Baltimore City’s Back River Wastewater Treatment plant,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Baltimore County Health Officer. “As residents prepare to observe the Fourth of July holiday, we want to be sure they are taking every precaution in and around these waterways.”

Residents are always encouraged to:

• Avoid direct contact with waterways for at least 48 hours after rainfalls;
• Watch for cloudy or discolored waters;
• Avoid exposing open cuts or bandaged wounds to the water;
• Avoid getting water in your nose and mouth;
• Always shower immediately after swimming and wash your hands thoroughly before eating.

 In addition to routine seasonal sampling conducted by the Department of Health’s Environmental Health Services (EHS), biologists from the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability’s (EPS) Watershed Management and Monitoring section are monitoring additional locations in upper Back River.

Results are posted weekly as available on the Department of Health’s Water Sampling Results webpage. Note that EPS results are posted at the top of the page, and EHS results are at the bottom of the page, under the “Tidal Recreation Waters” section.

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