Swim warning issued for Pasadena beach

Unsafe bacteria levels measured at Venice on the Bay

August 04, 2010|By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun

Anne Arundel County health officials warned Wednesday against swimming, wading or jet-skiing at Venice on the Bay beach in Pasadena after tests found unsafe bacteria levels in the water.

The county issued the warning after finding high levels of potentially disease-causing bacteria Friday and Wednesday in water samples taken at the Patapsco River beach. Bacteria levels can increase after heavy rains wash pollution off the land, but officials noted that other factors, including waste from waterfowl, water temperatures and tidal action can also elevate bacteria readings.

The swimming advisory will remain in effect until water samples show acceptable bacteria levels for at least two consecutive days, officials said.

This was the first warning issued this summer for Venice on the Bay, but no-swimming advisories of a few days to a week were posted for two other beaches in the Pasadena area, according to the health department's website. There is also a standing warning against swimming or other direct water contact in Rock Creek in Pasadena because of persistent high bacteria levels measured there.

Signs have been posted in the affected area, officials said, and the department issued warnings by e-mail and text message. Health officials advise people who do touch contaminated water to wash well with soap and warm water immediately, and to wash their clothing as well.


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