The Inner Harbor in Baltimore has had a pretty bad reputation for a while. Only a few years ago, experts said jumping into the water was the same as jumping into a toilet full of poop.
However, according to a recent study, the fecal bacteria levels in the water "met the standard for swimming 80 percent to 100 percent of the time" during dry weather conditions. The samples that lead to this claim were from water samples taken between May and September of 2018.
There are a few theories as to why there was a significant improvement in bacteria levels occurred between 2016 and 2017 and remained steady between 2017 and 2018. One of them being that the Baltimore region saw a record amount of rain which may have diluted the amount of bacteria in the Inner Harbor. The high amounts of rainfall could have also "prompted a flushing action in the harbor," with all of the rainfall tributaries essentially displacing the polluted water in the Inner Harbor. Credit was also given to Baltimore City and Baltimore County for the rehabilitation of "decrepit sewer systems."
The Harbor Heartbeat, which evaluates the water in the Inner Harbor and other bodies of water nearby, says they have a goal of deeming the Harbor to be totally safe for swimming by 2020 and wants to hold a one-day swimming event should the water quality remain positive.
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