Water Testing Results - Spa Creek

Spa Creek water is tested every Thursday morning at eleven locations on the creek. Red indicates unsafe swimming levels.

2019 begins the forth year of regular water testing on Spa Creek. The first testing of the year begins the week before Memorial day and is weekly after that. 

 

2018 Water Testing

The map below indicates areas where water samples are taken on a weekly basis. Red indicates areas where bacteria levels are elevated and it is unsafe for swimming. The map is updated weekly.

September

We are switching to bi-weekly in September. Sample collection dates are September 13 and 27.

September 20

Sampling was delaying by a week because of impedending hurricane. Sept 20, no rain within the 48 hours prior to collecting samples, testing showed high bacteria levels at South Cherry Grove and the Chesapeake Children's Museum. Water temperatures are averaging 77 degrees F, which is lower than in August. pH is at the lower end of the normal range. Total Suspended Solids are at the higher end of the normal range. 

August 30

First with the good news, for the first time ever water samples taken under the foot bridge at the end of So. Cherry Grove are within safe levels for enterococci. The site of the spill last week near the Children's Museum, remains at elevated levels (200 cfu/100ml) although substantially reduced. It appears that a boat may have dumped it's sewage tank since there were elevated levels of bacteria at the end of Cheston, which normally tests within safe levels.

August 23

There was a very distinct sewage odor at the footbridge that crosses Spa Creek between the Children's Museum and Bates. Test results showed that enterococci levels were at 20,250 cfu/100ml. Anything over 104 is consider unsafe. The City of Annapolis was called Friday August 24 and again on Monday, August 27. A "Sewage Overflow" sign was eventually posted. There are also signs of a fuel oil spill closer to Bates. The county has been notified of that.

August 9

Samples were taken Thursday morning after a relatively dry week. The only areas with elevated bacteria levels are at South Cherry Grove and the Chesapeake Children's Museum. Heavy rain is predicted for the weekend which will most likely elevate bacteria levels and make Spa Creek waters unsafe to swim in.

August 2

Water samples were taken in Spa Creek on Thursday morning, Aug 2, before the afternoon and evening thunderstorms. At that time only 2 sites had elevated bacteria levels: Chesapeake Children's Museum and South Cherry Grove. There are also changes to salinity, pH, total suspended solids and dissolved oxygen, but on the whole the results aren't as bad as the huge amounts of debris released from the Conowingo Dam and settling in Spa Creek lead us to believe.

July 26

Heavy rain over the last week and the creek has elevated levels of enterococci making the water unsafe to swim in. 

June 21 

Average water temperature is now 78.8 degrees. That's up nearly 6 degrees from last week. And the rain has made the more shallows areas of Spa Creek unsafe for swimming. Red points on the map below indicate unsafe levels of bacteria. 

SCC6 21 18 

June 14

Average water temps in Spa Creek now at 73 degrees. Water samples taken on Thursday show unsafe levels of bacteria at the Children's Museum bridge and the footbridge at the end of So. Cherry Grove. Everywhere else tested within safe swimming range.

May 31

Samples taken before the rain. Anne Arundel County recommends staying out of the water for 48 hours after a rainfall.

SCCEnterococciMay30

May 24

High levels of bacteria in shallow areas of Spa Creek, including the Chesapeake Children's Museum, around Truxtun Park and Hawkins Cove and at the end of So. Cherry Grove. Water temperatures is now at an average 71.6 degrees.

WaterMay25 18

2018 begins the third year that there has been regular water testing on Spa Creek. May 3 was the first testing of the year and beginning May 24 the testing will be weekly. The map below shows all eleven sites being tested in 2018, and the first time since testing began that enterococci levels are at acceptable levels at each testing site. The water temperature is averaging 60 degrees throughout the creek.


The 2017 fall testing scheduled, implemented in September, went from weekly testing to twice per month.

Bacteria Results

Fall 2017
all values listed in cfu/100ml
Enterococci
Safe Level
Sept 15 Sept 28 Oct 12 Oct 26 Nov 16
Nov 30
Capital SUP  104 cfu 14  8 274

4

   
Hawkins Cove (Truxtun) 104 cfu 20  50 20,740 80    
Ches Children's Museum 104 cfu 750 450 17,350 200  
South Cherry Grove 104 cfu 1,400 200 47,000 200      
Silopanna 104 cfu  120 50  3,160 20    
Ego Alley 104 cfu  134 68 n/a 4    
EYC 104 cfu  18 10 32 6    

 

 

Spa Creek Watershed Water Quality
Bacteria Results
August 2017
all values listed in cfu/100ml
Enterococci
Safe Level
Aug3  Aug10 Aug17 Aug 24  Aug31
Capital SUP  104 cfu 20 28  14  576
32
Hawkins Cove (Truxtun) 104 cfu 88 100  192   190
96
Ches Children's Museum 104 cfu 800  400   900   550
1,600
South Cherry Grove 104 cfu 1900  15,700
 25,950   67,680
37,500
Silopanna 104 cfu 52 160
 72  50 60
Ego Alley 104 cfu 6 32  30  18 42
EYC 104 cfu 8 44  4   46 10

 Aug 1: Restoration work began on the headwater section of Spa Creek that runs under the bridge at the end of S. Cherry Grove and may effect the results.

July 27: Bacteria levels climbing into unsafe levels around Truxtun Park. With heavy rain on the way stay out of the water for at least 48 hours after the rain stops.

July 20: The water temperature in Spa Creek is now at an average of 84.65 degrees F. This isn't surprising since we've all been smoldering in the heat but that's up nearly 2 degrees in the last week and could mean an increased chance for algae blooms. The water at South Cherry Grove and the Children's Museum has very high levels of unsafe bacteria. Stay out of the water in those two areas.

July 6: The only place with safe bacteria levels this week is at Capital SUP, all other areas are unsafe to swim in. After heavy rain on Thursday it is best to stay out of Spa Creek for at least 48 hours.

2017

 Spa Creek Watershed
 Bacteria Results 2017
 all values listed in cfu/100ml
Enterococci
Safe Level
 July 6*  July 13 July 20 July 27
Capital SUP

104 cfu

20 cfu  8 cfu 4 cfu 46 cfu
Hawkins Cove (Truxtun) 104 cfu 1,220 cfu 80 cfu 84 cfu 200 cfu
Ches Children's Museum 104 cfu 560 cfu 400 cfu 7,700 cfu 600 cfu
South Cherry Grove 104 cfu 5,050 cfu 1950 cfu
2,150 cfu 1700 cfu
Silopanna 104 cfu 240 cfu 40 cfu
10 cfu 110 cfu
Ego Alley 104 cfu 5,760 cfu 6 cfu
4 cfu 36 cfu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* indicates rain within 24 hours of collecting sample

June 29 results: The only spot with unsafe bacteria levels this week is at the footbridge at the end of South Cherry Grove. Clean up of trash and debris around the Children's Museum and Silopanna is nearly complete. It's a holiday weekend and warm temperatures, perfect for being on the water but remember, if it rains stay out of the water for 48 hours.

June 15 results: There are unsafe bacteria levels at the foot bridge near the Chesapeake Children's Museum, where phragmites removal is about completed, and at the end of South Cherry Grove. Total suspended solids (TSS) are too high at all locations, except So. Cherry Grove, to allow for subaquatic vegetation to grow and survive.

June 8 results: Unsafe bacteria levels in Hawkins Cove (across from the Truxtun boat ramp), Chesapeake Children's Museum and at the end of South Cherry Grove. The project to remove phragmites near the Children's Museum is likely the cause of increase enterococci levels at that location.

June 1 results: Bacteria levels are back within safe ranges except near the headwaters and Silopanna where work is being done to pull out phragmites and create swales upstream.

 Spa Creek Watershed
 Bacteria Results 2017
 all values listed in cfu/100ml
Enterococci
Safe Level
 June 1*  June 8  June 15   June 23   June 29
Capital SUP

104 cfu

28 cfu  18 cfu  16 cfu  14 cfu  16 cfu
Hawkins Cove (Truxtun) 104 cfu 50 cfu  120 cfu   20 cfu  28 cfu  28 cfu
Ches Children's Museum 104 cfu 28,500 cfu  86,400 cfu  47,500 cfu  47,000 cfu  100 cfu
South Cherry Grove 104 cfu 550 cfu  250 cfu  800 cfu  1,200 cfu  550 cfu
Silopanna 104 cfu 13,100 cfu  50 cfu  20 cfu  5,506 cfu  50 cfu
Ego Alley 104 cfu 20 cfu  4 cfu  10 cfu  20 cfu  4 cfu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spa Creek Watershed 
Bacteria Results 2017
all values listed in cfu/100ml
Enterococci
Safe Level
Cutoff
 May 11
Actual


 May 25
Actual +


 June 1
Actual *


 
Actual
Capital SUP 104 cfu 4 cfu  1,228 cfu  28 cfu  
Hawkins Cove (Truxtun)
104 cfu 100 cfu  33,200 cfu  50 cfu  
Ches Children's Museum  104 cfu 420 cfu  21,700 cfu
 28,500 cfu  
South Cherry Grove 104 cfu 650 cfu  17,200 cfu
 550 cfu  
Silopanna 104 cfu 10 cfu  2,520 cfu  13,100 cfu  
Ego Alley
104 cfu 990 cfu  6,800 cfu  20 cfu  

Testing began on Thursday, May 11, 2017 and will continue weekly beginning May 25th. Results should be available on Friday afternoons.

Anne Arundel County, and many other agencies, recommend not swimming in the water for 48 hours after a rain event of 0.5 inches or more, especially for those that are immune-suppressed and those with open wounds. 

Results show Enterococci levels, the bacterial measurement that is an indicator of fecal contamination (found in the gut of all warm-blooded mammals and a number of birds including geese and ducks).

+ Rain event within 24 hours of testing

++ Rain event within 48 hours of testing.

 * Work being done near the Chesapeake Children's Museum site is underway


Fall 2016

Testing has moved from a weekly schedule to monthly for the fall and winter

Oct 13: No sample taken at Ego Alley because access was restricted due to the boat show. Chesapeake Children's Museum and South Cherry Grove had unsafe levels of enterococci.

Testing Site
Enterococci
Safe Level
Cutoff
values listed
in cfu/100ml
 Oct 13
Actual+

values listed
in cfu/100ml

 
Actual

values listed
in cfu/100ml

 
Actual

values listed
in cfu/100ml

 
Actual
 
Values listed
in cfu/100ml
 
Actual
 
Values listed
in cfu/100ml
Capital SUP 104 cfu 2 cfu      
Hawkins Cove (Truxtun)
104 cfu 50 cfu      
Ches Children's Museum  104 cfu 550 cfu      
South Cherry Grove 104 cfu 350 cfu      
Ego Alley
104 cfu No testing      

 

September 2016

 Testing Site
Enterococci
Safe Level
Cutoff

values listed
in cfu/100ml

 Sept 1
Actual+

values listed
in cfu/100ml

Sept 8
Actual

values listed
in cfu/100ml

Sept 15
Actual

values listed
in cfu/100ml

Sept 22
Actual
 
Values listed
in cfu/100ml
Sept 29
Actual
 
Values listed
in cfu/100ml
Capital SUP 104 cfu 152 cfu+  2 cfu  2 cfu  6 cfu  152 cfu+
Hawkins Cove (Truxtun)
104 cfu 5,400 cfu+  50 cfu  120 cfu  100 cfu   19,050 cfu+
Ches Children's Museum  104 cfu 11,750 cfu+  900 cfu  400 cfu 260 cfu  15,200 cfu+
South Cherry Grove 104 cfu 7,150 cfu+  700 cfu  1600 cfu 750 cfu  18,200 cfu+
Ego Alley
104 cfu 36 cfu+  2 cfu  6 cfu  10 cfu  2,280 cfu+

Sept 29: With heavy rains falling within 24 hours of collecting water samples, all of the sites showed very high and unsafe levels of enterococci. In addition pH levels dropped below what is considered healthy for marine life in our waterways. This is the last testing to be done on a weekly basis until next summer. Spa Creek Conservancy will now switch to bi-monthly testing. Check back to see what happens to the creek during colder seasons.

+ Rain event within 24 hours of testing

Sept 22: Safe swimming levels in Ego Alley, Capital SUP and Hawkins Cove.

Unsafe levels were measured at the end of South Cherry Grove Avenue in Annapolis, and at the bridge by the Chesapeake Children's Museum. The high limit for water that is regularly used for swimming is 104 cfu/100 ml.

+ Rain event within 24 hours of testing

++ Rain event within 48 hours of testing.

Testing Site
Enterococci
Safe Level
Cutoff
values listed
in cfu/100ml
 Aug 4
Actual 

values listed
in cfu/100ml

Aug 11
Actual

values listed
in cfu/100ml

Aug 18
Actual

values listed
in cfu/100ml

Aug 25
Actual
 
Values listed
in cfu/100ml
Capital SUP 104 cfu 6 cfu  4 cfu  600 cfu+
 4 cfu
Hawkins Cove (Truxtun)
104 cfu 50 cfu 100 cfu       3450 cfu+  20 cfu
Ches Children's Museum  104 cfu 340 cfu
460 cfu
 5550 cfu+
 1250 cfu
South Cherry Grove 104 cfu 1800 cfu
 1200 cfu
7050 cfu+
 3950 cfu
Ego Alley
104 cfu  4 cfu  56 cfu  96 cfu  8 cfu

 

The Total Suspended Solids (TSS) are 2 times higher in all parts of Spa Creek than what is needed for SAV growth and survival.

Dissolved oxygen (DO) at Hawkins Cove is near the levels where the cove area is considered very hypoxic.  Dissolved oxygen is necessary for the survival of many marine animals.

pH levels at Hawkins Cove are also high and at levels that will not permit marine life.

 

Testing Site
Enterococci
Safe Level
Cutoff
values listed
in cfu/100ml
 July 7
Actual 

values listed
in cfu/100ml

July 14
Actual

values listed
in cfu/100ml

July 21
Actual

values listed
in cfu/100ml

July 28
Actual

values listed
in cfu/100ml

Capital SUP 104 cfu 2 cfu 220 cfu+   4 cfu++  6 cfu
Hawkins Cove (Truxtun)
104 cfu 40 cfu 5520 cfu+ 250 cfu ++       50 cfu
Ches Children's Museum  104 cfu 390 cfu
2100 cfu+ 100 cfu++
 240 cfu
South Cherry Grove 104 cfu

1200 cfu

2425 cfu+   1300 cfu++  1250 cfu
Ego Alley*
104 cfu  12 cfu  10 cfu  24 cfu   34 cfu

  *(site added on June 30, 2016) testing done near Fleet Reserve

+ Rain event within 24 hours of testing

++ Rain event within 48 hours of testing

 

Testing Site
Enterococci
Safe Level Cutoff
values listed
in cfu/100ml
June 9, 2016
Actual Value

values listed
in cfu/100ml

June 16
Actual Value

values listed
in cfu/100ml

June 23
Actual Value

values listed
in cfu/100ml

June 30
Actual Value

values listed
in cfu/100ml

Capital SUP 104 cfu 16 cfu 4 cfu 20 cfu++ 4 cfu+
Hawkins Cove (Truxtun)
104 cfu 20 cfu 130 cfu 1600 cfu++ 300 cfu+
Ches Children's Museum  104 cfu 220 cfu
990 cfu 650 cfu++ 100 cfu+
South Cherry Grove 104 cfu

1680 cfu

400 cfu 4750 cfu++ 1700 cfu+
Ego Alley*
104 cfu       50 cfu

 *(site added on June 30, 2016) testing done near Fleet Reserve

+ Rain event within 24 hours of testing

++ Rain event within 48 hours of testing

 

 

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