By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Some of what’s best about a Maryland summer involves water.

But a new study reveals that harmful bacteria is being carried in some Maryland’s streams and waterways, enough in some cases to make people sick.

“Definitely not safe for contact recreation,” Chesapeake Bay Foundation senior scientist Doug Myers tells WJZ’s Alex DeMetrick. “And in some cases it can really make people sick.”

In urban areas like Baltimore, heavy rains routinely overwhelm sewer lines, polluting streams like the Jones Falls. Harmful bacteria is also entering some rural and suburban waterways after strong downpours, according to a survey of 40 streams by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

RELATEDOfficials Hope For A Healthy Harbor You Can Swim In By 2020

“This bacteria sampling and the publication of the results is helping us get the word out about that and put some real numbers behind it,” Myers says.

The sampling was done by volunteers who collected water after heavy rains. A lab then did analysis. For Bird River residents Robert and Janet Terry, the results from the river and the streams that feed it in Baltimore County were eye-opening.

“It’s alarming to see the amount of bacteria that is coming in,” Janet said.

Some of the most polluted water passes under Route 40.

“We’re finding extraordinary amounts of bacteria in the water, especially in the Honey Go Run and White Marsh Run higher up,” Robert added.

RELATEDLocals Disgusted After Video Of Tourists Jumping Into Inner Harbor Surfaces

After heavy rain, White Marsh Run is 400 times above safe levels for fecal contamination.

Glade Run in Frederick County is 324 times above.

Cascade Falls in Howard County is 304 times above.

“We’re concerned about our kids, we’re concerned about our kids in the tributaries, who love to play in those waters,” Janet said.

The sources of the pollution is believed to be a combination of human waste from septic or sewer systems, as well as animal waste washed off the land.

READ MORE: Water Tests Find High Levels of Fecal Material in Area Streams and Rivers, including Swimming Holes

Follow @CBSBaltimore on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
CBS All Access
Download Our App

Watch & Listen LIVE