“Harbor Heartbeat” Report: Baltimore Water Fecal Bacteria Levels Fell in 2017

The Healthy Harbor Initiative’s “Harbor Heartbeat” report showed a steep drop in the levels of fecal bacteria in Baltimore area streams from 2016 to 2017. In fact, it found that some portions of the Jones Falls and Patapsco River were swimmable last summer.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

They said the improvement could be linked to lower rainfall last year than in other recent years, but credit was also due to efforts in Baltimore City and Baltimore County to rehabilitate decrepit sewer systems and to reduce, capture or filter stormwater runoff from urban and suburban pavement.

As the article notes, while scientist cheered the news they aren’t yet sure if the drop is a quirk or a solid trend and will continue to monitor the progress. Baltimore City has been working towards coming into compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act by 2022 by addressing issues with their 100+ years old sewer system. High levels of fecal bacteria contamination are unsafe for human contact and contribute to the waterways not being swimmable or fishable.

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.

Learn more about how local governments are working hard to protect your health and welfare by keeping your water clean of harmful toxins and contaminants and what you can do to help at the 2018 MACo Summer Conference session, “Good to the Last Drop: Keeping Your Water Clean.” Themed “Water, Water Everywhere” the MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18, 2018, at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: