April 17, 2024
Annapolis, US 58 F

Chesapeake Swimming: Week of July 14th

Chesapeake beach guide Evolve Medical Clinics safe swimming

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 LocationsSample TakenFrequency of SamplesEnterococci CountEPA Acceptable Level
Chesapeake Bay  
 Arundel on the Bay7.11.2017biweekly26104
 Bay Ridge at Bay Drive7.10.2017weekly2104
 Bay Ridge at Lake Ogleton7.10.2017biweekly2104
 Bay Ridge at River Drive7.10.2017weekly14104
 Beverly Beach7.12.2017biweekly1104
 Cape St. Claire at Persimmon Point7.11.2017biweekly2104
 Cedarhurst on the Bay6.29.2017biweekly4104
 Chesapeake Bay Foundation7.10.2017biweekly21104
 Fairhaven6.29.2017biweekly20104
 Franklin Manor6.29.2017biweekly2104
 Herrington Harbor South6.29.2017biweekly1104
 Highland Beach7.11.2017biweekly3104
 Oyster Harbor7.11.2017biweekly2104
 Sandy Point (East Beach)7.10.2017weekly2104
 Sandy Point (Middle Beach)7.10.2017weekly2104
 Sandy Point (South Beach)7.10.2017weekly56104
Saunders Point7.5.2017biweekly4104
Magothy River  
 Bayberry7.11.2017biweekly2104
 Camp Whipporwhill7.10.2017weekly2104
Cape Arthur7.11.2017biweekly12104
 Cape St. Claire at Lake Claire7.11.2017biweekly33104
 Hunters Harbor7.12.2017biweekly1104
 Magothy Manor7.11.2017biweekly22104
 Moorings on the Magothy7.11.2017biweekly12104
 Mountain Point at Gibson Island7.12.2017biweekly1104
 North Shore7.12.2017biweekly1104
 Shore Acres7.11.2017biweekly28104
 Sylvan View7.12.2017biweekly39104
 Tar Cove at Sillery Bay7.12.2017biweekly4104
 Twin Harbors7.11.2017biweekly2104
Upper Magothy Beach7.11.2017monthly8104
Patapsco River  
Atlantic Marina Resort7.5.2017biweekly15104
Bayside Beach7.5.2017biweekly1104
 Ft. Smallwood Park7.10.2017weekly2104
Venice On The Bay7.5.2017biweekly2104
Rhode River  
 Camp Wabanna7.10.2017weekly1104
Ponder Cove6.29.2017biweekly22104
 YMCA Camp Letts7.10.2017weekly5104
Rock Creek  
 Pine Grove Village6.19.2017monthly1104
Severn River  
 Annapolis Sailing7.10.2017weekly2104
 Arden on the Severn at Oakview7.11.2017biweekly34104
 Arden on the Severn at Pullen7.11.2017biweekly18104
 Arden on the Severn at Shore End7.11.2017biweekly15104
 Arden on the Severn at Valentine Creek7.11.2017biweekly4104
 Carrollton Manor on the Severn7.10.2017biweekly22104
 Colchester on the Severn7.11.2017biweekly1104
 Epping Forest7.10.2017weekly1104
 Herald Harbor7.11.2017biweekly22104
 Hollywood on the Severn7.11.2017biweekly1104
 Linstead on the Severn7.10.2017weekly1104
 Olde Severna Park7.10.2017weekly1104
 Palisades on the Severn7.11.2017biweekly2104
Pines on the Severn7.5.2017biweekly19104
 Round Bay Main Beach7.10.2017weekly2104
 Round Bay at Round Bay Road7.10.2017biweekly1104
Sherwood Forest Beach7.5.2017biweekly7104
 Sherwood Forest Pier7.10.2017weekly1104
 West Severna Park7.10.2017biweekly2104
 Whitneys Landing7.11.2017biweekly15104
Winchester on the Severn7.5.2017biweekly1104
South River  
 Cape St. John7.10.2017biweekly5104
 Chestnut Hills7.12.2017biweekly15104
 Edgewater Beach Sunny Section7.12.2017biweekly36104
 Glebe Heights6.15.2017monthly1104
 Glen Isle7.10.2017biweekly7104
 Hillsmere Shores7.11.2017biweekly26104
 Loch Haven Beach7.11.2017biweekly8104
 Londontown at Arundel7.12.2017biweekly1104
 Londontown at Delmar7.12.2017biweekly4104
 Londontown at Highland7.12.2017biweekly3104
 Londontown at Midland7.12.2017biweekly5104
 Londontown at Silver Run7.12.2017biweekly2104
 Mayo Beach Park7.10.2017weekly7104
 Selby on the Bay7.11.2017biweekly19104
 South River Heights7.10.2017biweekly12104
 Turkey Point at Selby Bay7.11.2017biweekly22104
Stoney Creek  
 Elizabeths Landing7.11.2017biweekly4104
 Sunset Beach7.12.2017biweekly4104
Weems Creek  
 Admiral Heights7.11.2017biweekly3104
West River  
 Avalon Shores6.29.2017biweekly4104
 West River Methodist Camp7.12.2017monthly4104
 Westlee6.15.2017monthly2104
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?”

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”)

“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 Cyanobacteria

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.

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.

Mycobacterium marinum (M.Marinum)

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

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?”

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.
Previous Article

Hogan lays out plan to fight heroin addiction in Maryland with $22M in funding

Next Article

HERE a pop-up shop returning to State Circle

You might be interested in …