No funding available for Severn River testing
A $2,900 project to identify the source of bacteria in the Severn River has been postoned because of insufficient funds.
County scientist Sally Hornor, who coordinates water quality testing of the Severn River each summer, had planned to begin a second such program, Operation Clearwater II.
Ms. Hornor is beginning her fourth year with Operation Clearwater, the Severn River Association's 19-year-old swim-water testing program.
The association approved the new program March 16, but Ms. Hornor has not been able to obtain funding for the research.
Last year, she monitored 26 beaches and marinas along the Severn for bacteria called fecal coliforms. The bacteria itself is not dangerous but may indicate the presence of human waste, which is hazardous because it can transmit diseases such as hepatitis.
Operation Clearwater II would have analyzed the samples for both fecal coliform and for a second group of bacteria, called enterococcus.
Fecal coliform has been found in nature even when there has not been recent fecal contamination.
Last summer, Ms Hornor said, she found the cleanest water in the four years she's been testing.
So far, 17 communities have signed up for the program this summer.