On Aug. 12 and Nov. 6, the entire Jones Falls—from Greenspring Valley down to where it empties into Baltimore's Inner Harbor—was contaminated with high-risk levels of poop-loving bacteria. Thus, anyone coming into contact with virtually any stretch of the river (save Lake Roland, where the bacteria count was less risky on Nov. 6) was playing Russian roulette with such maladies as staph infection and gastro-intestinal illness. The same was true on July 1, though on Oct. 21, nearly all of the Jones Falls was in the low- or moderate-risk range for fecal contamination.
Thanks to Blue Water Baltimore's new mapping website, anyone can learn such details. The water-quality advocacy group's data, gathered by periodically testing water samples taken from rivers and streams across the Baltimore-area portion of the Patapsco River watershed, including the river's main stem as it enters the Chesapeake Bay, is now presented in an interactive mapping site. Go check it out before you let your dog or kids get in the water.