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Water Contact Alerts, Water Quality Advisories and Area Closings

Recreational Water and Public Beaches

July 29, 2014 11:35 PM

    

Current Alerts/Advisories

Water Contact Alerts Currently in Effect: 

None

Beach Area Closures:

None

Water Quality Advisories Currently in Effect:

A sanitary sewer overflow from the Essex Pumping Station on Riverside Drive in Essex on May 1, 2014 has resulted in a Water Contact Advisory for Back River. Water related activities may pose an increased health risk. Direct contact with these waters should be minimized. Normal precautions should be practiced such as avoiding contact with open wounds, and washing with soap and water after any contact with these waters.

Alert/Advisory Procedures

The Baltimore County Department of Health, Environmental Health Services (EHS) closely monitors and samples beach areas for water quality, posts sampling results, and issues beach closure notices, Water Contact Alerts and Water Quality Advisories.

When recreational water conditions exceed standards and sewage contamination is suspected or evident,sampling will occur and the results will be posted online, Water Contact Alerts are issued or public bathing beaches are closed. Contaminated conditions can be produced by storm water run-off from severe storms, sanitary sewage overflows, or marine accidents. After the storms have passed, local wind and tide conditions can result in the intermittent re-intensification of those conditions for extended periods in tidal waters. When water quality parameters are generally elevated or abnormal, but no sewage contamination is present, a Water Quality Advisory will be issued.

Recreational water users are reminded:

  • Be observant for cloudy or discolored water in streams, rivers, or the bay, and of waters that are laden with debris. Water quality may have been negatively impacted.

  • Do not drink stream water.

  • Avoid contact with potentially contaminated water if you have open cuts or bandaged wounds. If accidental contact with contaminated water occurs, wash any damaged skin areas as soon as possible.

  • Minimize hand to mouth contact and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before eating.

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