May 30, 2012

Swimmers, beware

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation cautions swimmers and anyone coming into contact with tidal or fresh water that your health MAY be in danger 48 hours after significant rain storms . Neither state nor county officials may not have tested those waters since that heavy rain and runoff.  Bacteria from failing septic systems, pet waste, or manure can spike immediately after a storm. Yuck.

County health departments usually take water samples at public beaches as frequently as once a week and alert the public when bacteria levels are high.
For example, Maryland state officials counted 439 times last summer when Maryland beaches had high bacteria counts, but the number could have been far higher since officials don’t necessarily monitor after storms when bacteria counts are the highest.

Then there are the algal blooms later this summer that can cause liver disease, skin rashes, nausea and vomiting. Yuck again!