Chesapeake Swimming: Week of July 14th

| July 14, 2017

The Chesapeake Bay beach swimming guide has been released for the week of July 14th. Although no beach closures are reported, there are a number of beaches with higher than average fecal material counts. The EPA acceptable level for fecal counts is 104, which is the level necessary to cause a beach closure.

The below chart is published weekly by Anne Arundel County Department of Health. Know what is in your community water! Beaches with fecal counts over 20 have been highlighted in orange. Beaches with fecal counts over 30 are highlighted in red.

Chesapeake swimming Evolve Medical ClinicsFind out where you are, then scroll past the chart to read more about Chesapeake Bay swimming safety, including Evolve Medical’s 7 tips for safe swimming in the bay. If you follow their 7 simple tips, you will lower your risk for getting a water-related disease dramatically. 

Recreational Water Quality Reports as of 7.14.2017
Sample Locations Sample Taken Frequency of Samples Enterococci Count EPA Acceptable Level
Chesapeake Bay  
  Arundel on the Bay 7.11.2017 biweekly 26 104
  Bay Ridge at Bay Drive 7.10.2017 weekly 2 104
  Bay Ridge at Lake Ogleton 7.10.2017 biweekly 2 104
  Bay Ridge at River Drive 7.10.2017 weekly 14 104
  Beverly Beach 7.12.2017 biweekly 1 104
  Cape St. Claire at Persimmon Point 7.11.2017 biweekly 2 104
  Cedarhurst on the Bay 6.29.2017 biweekly 4 104
  Chesapeake Bay Foundation 7.10.2017 biweekly 21 104
  Fairhaven 6.29.2017 biweekly 20 104
  Franklin Manor 6.29.2017 biweekly 2 104
  Herrington Harbor South 6.29.2017 biweekly 1 104
  Highland Beach 7.11.2017 biweekly 3 104
  Oyster Harbor 7.11.2017 biweekly 2 104
  Sandy Point (East Beach) 7.10.2017 weekly 2 104
  Sandy Point (Middle Beach) 7.10.2017 weekly 2 104
  Sandy Point (South Beach) 7.10.2017 weekly 56 104
Saunders Point 7.5.2017 biweekly 4 104
Magothy River  
  Bayberry 7.11.2017 biweekly 2 104
  Camp Whipporwhill 7.10.2017 weekly 2 104
Cape Arthur 7.11.2017 biweekly 12 104
  Cape St. Claire at Lake Claire 7.11.2017 biweekly 33 104
  Hunters Harbor 7.12.2017 biweekly 1 104
  Magothy Manor 7.11.2017 biweekly 22 104
  Moorings on the Magothy 7.11.2017 biweekly 12 104
  Mountain Point at Gibson Island 7.12.2017 biweekly 1 104
  North Shore 7.12.2017 biweekly 1 104
  Shore Acres 7.11.2017 biweekly 28 104
  Sylvan View 7.12.2017 biweekly 39 104
  Tar Cove at Sillery Bay 7.12.2017 biweekly 4 104
  Twin Harbors 7.11.2017 biweekly 2 104
Upper Magothy Beach 7.11.2017 monthly 8 104
Patapsco River  
Atlantic Marina Resort 7.5.2017 biweekly 15 104
Bayside Beach 7.5.2017 biweekly 1 104
  Ft. Smallwood Park 7.10.2017 weekly 2 104
Venice On The Bay 7.5.2017 biweekly 2 104
Rhode River  
  Camp Wabanna 7.10.2017 weekly 1 104
Ponder Cove 6.29.2017 biweekly 22 104
  YMCA Camp Letts 7.10.2017 weekly 5 104
Rock Creek  
  Pine Grove Village 6.19.2017 monthly 1 104
Severn River  
  Annapolis Sailing 7.10.2017 weekly 2 104
  Arden on the Severn at Oakview 7.11.2017 biweekly 34 104
  Arden on the Severn at Pullen 7.11.2017 biweekly 18 104
  Arden on the Severn at Shore End 7.11.2017 biweekly 15 104
  Arden on the Severn at Valentine Creek 7.11.2017 biweekly 4 104
  Carrollton Manor on the Severn 7.10.2017 biweekly 22 104
  Colchester on the Severn 7.11.2017 biweekly 1 104
  Epping Forest 7.10.2017 weekly 1 104
  Herald Harbor 7.11.2017 biweekly 22 104
  Hollywood on the Severn 7.11.2017 biweekly 1 104
  Linstead on the Severn 7.10.2017 weekly 1 104
  Olde Severna Park 7.10.2017 weekly 1 104
  Palisades on the Severn 7.11.2017 biweekly 2 104
Pines on the Severn 7.5.2017 biweekly 19 104
  Round Bay Main Beach 7.10.2017 weekly 2 104
  Round Bay at Round Bay Road 7.10.2017 biweekly 1 104
Sherwood Forest Beach 7.5.2017 biweekly 7 104
  Sherwood Forest Pier 7.10.2017 weekly 1 104
  West Severna Park 7.10.2017 biweekly 2 104
  Whitneys Landing 7.11.2017 biweekly 15 104
Winchester on the Severn 7.5.2017 biweekly 1 104
South River  
  Cape St. John 7.10.2017 biweekly 5 104
  Chestnut Hills 7.12.2017 biweekly 15 104
  Edgewater Beach Sunny Section 7.12.2017 biweekly 36 104
  Glebe Heights 6.15.2017 monthly 1 104
  Glen Isle 7.10.2017 biweekly 7 104
  Hillsmere Shores 7.11.2017 biweekly 26 104
  Loch Haven Beach 7.11.2017 biweekly 8 104
  Londontown at Arundel 7.12.2017 biweekly 1 104
  Londontown at Delmar 7.12.2017 biweekly 4 104
  Londontown at Highland 7.12.2017 biweekly 3 104
  Londontown at Midland 7.12.2017 biweekly 5 104
  Londontown at Silver Run 7.12.2017 biweekly 2 104
  Mayo Beach Park 7.10.2017 weekly 7 104
  Selby on the Bay 7.11.2017 biweekly 19 104
  South River Heights 7.10.2017 biweekly 12 104
  Turkey Point at Selby Bay 7.11.2017 biweekly 22 104
Stoney Creek  
  Elizabeths Landing 7.11.2017 biweekly 4 104
  Sunset Beach 7.12.2017 biweekly 4 104
Weems Creek  
  Admiral Heights 7.11.2017 biweekly 3 104
West River  
  Avalon Shores 6.29.2017 biweekly 4 104
  West River Methodist Camp 7.12.2017 monthly 4 104
  Westlee 6.15.2017 monthly 2 104
The EPA acceptable 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, the acceptable level of enterococci bacteria is 104 or fewer bacteria colonies per 100 milliliters of water. See Water Quality Fact Sheet.

Tips to Stay Healthy

Stay Healthy Chesapeake Bay Swimming: 7 Simple Rules

  1. After rainfall of 1/2 inch or more, all Anne Arundel County beaches are under a no swimming/no direct water contact advisory for at least 48 hours.
  2. Do not swim in the Bay before checking this site: Anne Arundel County’s Beach Swimming Guide.

  3. Never swim in cloudy, murky water or near storm drains.
  4. Look for trash and other signs of pollution, such as oil slicks or scum on the water.
  5. Do not swim in the Bay if you have an ear infection, a perforated eardrum, open cuts, scratches or skin lesions, or a compromised immune system.
  6. Do not swim in water areas where there is a fish kill or where there are any dead animals or known algae bloom.
  7. Try not to swallow water while swimming.

Of all the rules to live by, the most important is do not swim within 48 hours of a rainfall

“After rainfall of 1/2 inch or more, all Anne Arundel County beaches are under a no swimming/no direct water contact advisory for at least 48 hours” –Anne Arundel County Health Department.

If you follow these simple rules, you lower your risk for getting a water-related disease dramatically.

“Which Areas of the Chesapeake are Safest for Bay Swimming?”

Unfortunately, there is not a single area that is “always safe”. The possibility of sewage leak, or irresponsible boater pumping out, means that any river can suddenly develop high bacterial counts.

Local health departments test for bacteria from human feces (usually E. coli or Enterococci) once or twice per week.

Chesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

In Annapolis and surrounding areas, these results can be easily found on Anne Arundel Health Department’s website: Water Quality Report . These tests are performed by local health departments following guidelines set up by the EPA.

The EPA’s “acceptable” level of fecal bacteria is 104 or fewer bacteria colonies per 100 milliliters of water.   

If you are not checking this report, you would have no idea which beaches are near closure. 

Please note: the Water Quality Monitoring Program does NOT sample in the 48 hours after rainfall of 1/2 inch or more. The reason is that bacteria levels would be very high in nearly every location!

“What Diseases Can I Get in the Chesapeake Bay?”

Chesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

Chesapeake Bay, 2012.

The most common illness people get from dirty Bay water is diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by germs such as Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), Giardia, Shigella, norovirus and E. coli. 

In 2009, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation published, “Bad Water: The Impact on Human Health in the Chesapeake Bay Region”. In it, CBF states, “The Chesapeake Bay in summer is like a warm pond with a broth of nutrients at the right temperature to breed algae and bacteria.”

Vibrio (“Flesh Eating Bacteria”)Chesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

“Flesh-eating bacteria” as Vibrio is sometimes called, consists of several species of Vibrio. Vibrio vulnificus causes severe skin ulcers, gangrene, and deadly blood infections in people who expose cuts to warm saltwater containing the bacteria, as well as diarrheal illnesses in people who eat shellfish infected with Vibrio.

Another species, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, causes diarrhea, vomiting, and skin infections, but is seldom deadly. The best known is Vibrio cholerae which causes cholera.

Harmful Algal Blooms and CyanobacteriaChesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

One toxin-producing form of algae, called blue-green algae, is not really algae at all. It is actually a class of bacteria called cyanobacteria. There are at least 35 types of algae in the Chesapeake Bay that produce toxins. The most well known, Blue-green (Microcystis), is the cause of most blooms and fish kills reported.

A 2008 study reported that between 2000 and 2006, 31 percent of the waters tested with blue-green algal (cyanobacteria) blooms had enough toxins to make them unsafe for children to swim in.Chesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

According to the World Health Organization, Cyanobacterial toxins are classified by how they affect the human body.  Swimmers in water containing cyanobacterial toxins may suffer allergic reactions, such as asthma, eye irritation, rashes, and blisters around the mouth and nose.

Chesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

Ulcer from Mycobacterium marinum

Mycobacterium marinum (M.Marinum)

Chesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

Nodules

This infection can require 6 months of antibiotics. It usually occurs when people swim with an open skin cut. The average time between being in water and showing signs of infection was 21 days (range 5 to 270 days). Also known as “Fish Tank Granulomas,” they are slow growing and can affect the elbows, knees, and backs of feet and hands. The infection can look like either nodules (image left) or shallow ulcers (image right).

Cryptosporidium

Chesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.A protozoan organism comes from human and animal poop. Unfortunately it is NOT tested for by local health departments. 

Cryptosporidium can cause serious diarrhea. In 70% of samples from the Chesapeake Bay (near Baltimore), levels were high enough to infect people, according to Dr. Thaddeus Graczyk, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researcher. 

Nitrates

Nitrates are compounds found in polluted runoff from farms, lawns, and streets. They can seep into surface and ground water. Drinking water with excessive nitrates may raise the risk of cancer, nervous system deformities in infants and other problems.

“What About People with Younger Children?”

Children can certainly swim in the Chesapeake Bay, but with extra caution. They are at higher risk for ear infections, skin infections and diarrheal illnesses. 

Parents know that younger kids are just not as good about avoiding getting water in their mouths. Plus, a young child swallowing a bunch of bacteria is going to be a much bigger dose, relatively speaking, compared to an adult.

Michael Freedman, MD Chesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

Dr. Michael Freedman of Evolve Medical.

“As a parent myself of 2 kids ages 7 and 11, they almost always have some kind of scratch or abrasion on their shins or arms. It’s easy to overlook those open wounds,” says Dr. Michael Freedman of Evolve Medical. “Check them before swimming in the Bay. Open cut or sore? Keep them out.”

“Are Chesapeake Bay Crabs or Fish Safe to Eat?”

Chesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

If the water isn’t always safe, what about the seafood? Crabs, fish, oysters?

Eating crabs and fish are always ok as long as they are cooked thoroughly.  Just remember that after catching fish, they should be kept on ice or refrigerated after being caught.  And never put cooked crabs or fish back in the containers they were kept in before cooking. 

Note that raw oysters always carry risk, particularly with infections such as Vibrio. 

If you have any questions or have been experiencing one of the above symptoms after Chesapeake Bay swimming, see your doctor immediately or call Evolve Medical. Same day scheduling on-line here or call 844-322-4222. Or email them at [email protected]

If you find these health and wellness updates helpful, follow Evolve Medical on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Chesapeake Bay swimming from Evolve Medical, Maryland's Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

Evolve Medical, Maryland’s Direct Primary Care, provides the highest rated primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Crownsville, Severna Park, Arnold, Gambrills, Crofton, Waugh Chapel, Stevensville, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

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