Recreational Water Advisories/Closings

Last updated: July 4, 2019

Closings and advisories are listed below.

Lab results from collected water samples take at least two working days to process. Closings and advisories remain in effect until results meet acceptable levels for one or more days. Acceptable levels are determined by the State, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Anne Arundel County Department of Health. Warning: There is always an associated health risk from swimming in any natural body of water. Natural water bodies contain bacteria, viruses and other harmful microorganisms. Disease-causing microorganisms, such as Mycrobacterium marinum or Vibrio vulnificus can enter the body through open cuts, scrapes and wounds. Fact Sheets on Recreational Water Illnesses.

Preemptive AdvisoryPreemptive Rainfall Advisory
After rainfall of 1/2 inch or more, all Anne Arundel County beaches are under a no swimming/no direct water contact advisory for at least 48 hours due to predicted elevated bacteria levels from rainwater runoff and increased health risks. Do not swim in cloudy, murky water. During the summer swim season, the Recreational Water Quality Monitoring Program will resume its routine sampling following the 48-hour period.
Water Closed SignEmergency Closing
The Department of Health issues a closure when a sewage spill, leak or other problem indicates human waste has impacted the water.
Water Advisory SignHealth Advisory
The Department of Health issues advisories against direct water contact when routine sampling results exceed the EPA acceptable standard for enterococci bacteria or a harmful algae bloom has been identified.

The Department of Health has ordered recent closings, issued advisories or conducted assessments for the County waterways listed below:


7.3.19 – Direct Water Contact Advisory For Lake Waterford Due to Harmful Algae Bloom

July 3, 2019 – The Anne Arundel County Department of Health has issued a health advisory against direct water contact for Lake Waterford in Pasadena due to harmful algae bloom. Signs have been posted at the lake, and the advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

The blooms of blue-green algae reported at Lake Waterford naturally occur in fresh waters and in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. The blooms are in nutrient rich environments and may become harmful when they occur in high concentrations or if they produce toxins.

When bathers see bright green waters, sometimes with a surface scum that resembles green paint, they are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Do not wade, swim or drink in areas where a blue-green algae bloom is evident.
  • If contact is unavoidable, wash body and clothes with clean, warm soapy water.
  • If there is skin irritation after contact, see a health care provider.
  • Keep pets away from bloom areas. Pets should not ingest or come in contact with water during a bloom. Questions regarding any suspected symptoms in pets should be directed to a veterinarian.
  • If you decide to eat fish caught from waters affected by a blue-green algae bloom, remove the fat, skin and organs before cooking. Be careful not to cut into the organs. Before cooking or freezing the fish, rinse the fillets with clean water to remove any contaminants from the cleaning process. Cook fish thoroughly.

More information about blooms can be found on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website: http://dnr.maryland.gov/waters/bay/Pages/algal_blooms/Algae-Bloom-FAQ.aspx. To report human illness from bloom water contact, call the Bay Health Hotline at 877- 224-4229.

For up-to-date information about the advisory status, visit the Department of Health’s website at www.aahealth.org. Subscribers to the Department’s Recreational Water Quality Email Alerts receive emails notifying them of county waterway advisories, closings and reopenings. To sign up for the free e-alerts, visit www.aahealth.org/alerts. Alerts can also be received by following the Department on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aahealth_water.


Previous Closings and Advisories

3.25.19 – Wharf Creek in Pasadena Emergency Closure (Reopened 4.1.19)

3.13.19 – Cabin Branch Partial Closure in Glen Burnie (Reopened 3.20.19)

10.18.18 – DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ORDERS EMERGENCY CLOSING FOR NORTH CYPRESS BRANCH IN SEVERNA PARK: Warns Against Direct Water Contact (Reopened 10.25.18)

9.25.18 – Waterway Warning for Cabin Branch in Glen Burnie (Warning Removed 10.2.18)

8.1.18 – Advisory Issued Against 5 Beaches Due to Bacteria (Reopened 8.8.18)

7.22.18 – Emergency​ Waterway Closure for Cox Creek in Curtis Bay (Reopened 7.30.18)

7.3.18 – Emergency​ Waterway Closure for a Section of Carr Creek in Annapolis (Reopened 7.10.18)

5.29.18 – Section of Patapsco River Closed to Swimming and Other Direct Water Contact Due to Sewage Overflows (Reopened 6.28.18)

4.8.18 – ​Glen Burnie ​Wastewater ​Overflow​, No Impact on Marley Creek​, Feeder Stream Affected (Reopened 4.15.18)

3.19.18 – Advisory Issued Against Swimming, Kayaking, Paddle Boarding and other Direct Water Contact for Carr Creek in Annapolis (Reopened 3.25.18)


Water Quality Alerts

Subscribers to the Department’s Recreational Water Quality E-mail Alerts receive an e-mail notifying them when county waterways are closed and reopened. Alerts can also be received via text messages by following the Department on Twitter. Furnace, Marley and Rock Creeks, click here for more information. For more information, call the Recreational Water Quality Monitoring Program at 410-222-7241.


For information on water quality and swimming or fish kills in Anne Arundel County rivers and creeks, see Emergency Numbers for Fish Kills, Algae Blooms and Pollution Issues.

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