Hood College, Chesapeake Bay Foundation To Test Frederick County Waterways This Summer

Volunteers will be looking for bacteria.

You could say they’ll be testing the waters this summer, literally. Volunteers from Hood College and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will be taking water samples from creeks, streams and other waterways in Frederick County after a rain storm. The samples will be taken to a lab for testing. “They’ll be looking particularly–the laboratories–for bacteria that indicates fecal matter in the water. That is either human waste or animal waste in the water,” says Tom Zolper, a spokesman for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

A lot of times, waste, sediment and other materials wash into waterways following a rain storm.

“Oftentimes, that kind of pollution is a canary about showing other types of pollution in the water,” he continues. “It’s also the type of pollution people can relate to.”

Zolper says a lot of the results from these tests will be available in July.

He says many local residents and some elected officials have said it’s unfair to require Frederick County to participate in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay because it’s no where near that large estuary. But Zolper says anything that gets into local waterways eventually ends up in the Chesapeake Bay. “It’s an effort to educate the public and elected officials about different kind of pollution, especially the kind that can wash off after a rain storm,” he says. Zolper notes that a lot of that pollution is human and animal waste.

“The little streams and creeks and rivers that run to the Bay have the same issues the Bay have. And people who live locally are experiencing the same dirty water oftentimes that people that live along the Chesapeake Bay have,” says Zolper.

He says these same water sampling tests are also being conducted this summer in Carroll, Howard and Baltimore Counties, and Baltimore city.