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Water Quality Check Up

While many people go to their doctor for a medical exam every year, Baltimore County waterways are getting screened even more often to make sure our environment is safe and healthy.

In Baltimore County, streams, rivers, lakes, inlets, shorelines and other surface waters receive a check up from the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS). EPS is charged with the task of assessing and maintaining the water quality in local streams. Just like a check list that the doctor may use during your annual physical, the waterways are evaluated for a particular set of physical, chemical and biological conditions.

Those three factors are evaluated using methods and frequency that help provide a picture of the waterway’s health and give EPS an opportunity to identify trends. This helps to answer questions about whether the waterway’s health is improving, remaining consistent or deteriorating. View the Water Quality Dashboard, which displays waterway monitoring results collected routinely by the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability.   

How the Data is Used

Baltimore County combines the data from chemical monitoring with information gathered from observing the physical conditions of the stream and from biological surveys to help provide a more complete picture of the condition of our waterways. All the data together can help identify the streams that are at risk and contribute to creating an informed plan to reduce pollutants and improve water quality.

To help further understand the health of waterways, EPS measures temperature, pH and the volume of water flowing in the streams. All of these test results are examined along with results of biological monitoring and studies of the physical conditions of the streams. 

Monitoring Programs

Additional Resources

Watch our “Watershed Moments" series of short documentaries:

  • "Keepers of the Stream” gives a bird’s eye and underwater view of EPS natural resource specialists sampling tiny aquatic creatures to determine the levels of pollutants in streams. This technical monitoring data drives targeted watershed restoration and outreach programs.
  • "The Pond Down the Road" satisfies your curiosity about that stormwater retention pond in your neighborhood, explaining how it works and what you and your neighbors should know to help it reduce flooding and slow the flow of pollutants into our waterways.    
  • “Pollution Detectives” takes you underground to see how natural resource specialists and utilities crew members locate and fix hidden sources of waterway pollution. Learn why it is important to keep our storm drains clean since they feed directly into local streams. 

Explore Watersheds

Contact Us

Watershed Management and Monitoring

County Office Building
111 West Chesapeake Avenue
Room 305
Towson, Maryland 21204





Horacio Tablada