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Tidal Monitoring in Back River

What do we test for?

During our routine monitoring, we test each location for the presence of fecal bacteria, specifically, E. Coli, in Back River.

What are fecal bacteria and why are they important?

Members of two bacteria groups, coliforms and fecal streptococci, are used as indicators of possible sewage contamination because they are commonly found in human and animal feces. Although they are generally not harmful themselves, they indicate the possible presence of pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria, viruses, and protozoans that also live in human and animal digestive systems. Therefore, their presence in streams suggests that pathogenic microorganisms might also be present and that swimming and eating shellfish might be a health risk. Since it is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to test directly for the presence of a large variety of pathogens, water is usually tested for coliforms and fecal streptococci instead. Sources of fecal contamination to surface waters include wastewater treatment plants, on-site septic systems, domestic and wild animal manure, and storm runoff.

According to the State of Maryland, it is considered unsafe to come in contact with surface waters with an E. Coli level greater than 235MPN/100mL.

The link below shows the location of each testing station in Back River and the most recent results.

Back River Water Quality Monitoring

Copyright 2020

Back River Restoration Committee, Inc.

Back River Restoration Committee, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

EIN: 26-2595058

Phone: 410.241.0259


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