Quantcast

Health Department bans swimming at Anne Arundel County beaches

High levels of bacteria detected

Laura Lee | 6/18/2013, 8:51 a.m.
The Anne Arundel County Health Department is warning people not to swim at several beaches due to high bacteria levels. Anne Arundel County Health Department

UPDATE: The Anne Arundel Health Department lifted the ban on Friday, June 21.

If you are planning to to take a dip at an Anne Arundel County beach, think again.

The Anne Arundel County Health Department is warning residents not to swim at three county beaches due to dangerously high bacteria levels in the water.

Authorities say Enterococci bacteria levels at the beaches are well above acceptable levels and could lead to health risks, including eye, ear and skin infections.

Water samples taken on June 13 indicated bacteria levels at Beverly Beach and Upper Magothy Beach at 244 and 336 colonies per milliliter of water respectively. Bacteria levels at Londontown at Arundel Beach are over 1,000. Normal levels range from 100 to 150.

Enterococci bacteria in water indicate the presence of fecal matter.

The health department is warning people not to swim in or have direct contact with water at these beaches until conditions improve.

As a general rule, officials say that after a heavy 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 due to predicted elevated bacteria levels from rainwater runoff and increased health risks.

It also warns residents not to swim in cloudy, murky water.

For more information on swimming advisories visit http://www.aahealth.org/beach-swimming-guide