Just when you thought it was safe to jump into the water. (It’s not)

Recent rainstorms have washed all sorts of nasty stuff into Chesapeake Bay tributaries. Be careful where you chose to swim. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is very careful in how it points out that some of the streams and rivers are unsafe at times.

“We’re not saying don’t go in the water,” says the CBF. “But until we’re successful in cleaning up the pollution in our waters, we might want to heed a recommendation made by some local health departments, and state environmental agencies: consider waiting 48 hours after a big storm before swimming in any stream, river, or the Chesapeake Bay.”

Chesapeake Bay Foundation map of polluted tributaries
This is a snapshot of just one section of the Chesapeake Bay, north of Baltimore. The red dots mean there’s fecal matter and other pollution in the tributaries. (map created by Chesapeake Bay Foundation)

If you’re unsure about the water quality but really need to take a dip in the cool water on a hot day, make sure you wash off thoroughly after you get out of the water.

And stay out of the water for two days after a thundershower. That’s when the bacteria levels and fecal matter jump, after a rain washes everything into the Bay. Eventually, it’ll settle to the bottom or the current will disburse it.

The CBF has released the results of its testing through the summer in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The report cover spot checks on limited areas. 

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