On Thursday, May 25th, twenty two community scientists collected water samples throughout Back River and beyond. Some were taken off of docks at homes, public boat launches, or by boat in Back River. These samples were brought to Blue Water Baltimore’s lab and processed in order to measure the levels of Enterococcus bacteria.
The Code of Maryland Regulations indicates that recreating in waterways with Enterococcus bacteria levels above 130 MPN/100mL carries a higher risk of getting sick from water-borne pathogens. Additionally, the State of Maryland recommends not coming into contact with natural water bodies for 48 hours after a rainfall event. The results from Community Science Days are meant to help individuals make a more informed decision about how to recreate in local waterways, keeping in mind that conditions change daily based upon many different factors including weather and nearby pollution discharges.
Nineteen of the twenty two samples were below the safety threshold for bacteria on that day, meaning that the water was likely safe for human contact. Remember that water conditions fluctuate, and these samples are only representative of a single point in time. There was some rainfall over the course of the week, which may have contributed to sewage overflows upstream. Here is the link to the map of all the samples from the May 25th, 2023 Community Sampling Day in the Back River. Thank you to everyone who participated, and we hope to see you, and new faces in the future!
Mark your calendars for the Herring Run Community Sampling Day on June 15th, and stay tuned for another event in the Back River this fall!