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Baltimore County to expand recreational water monitoring

Baltimore County is set to resume testing certain recreational waters for harmful bacteria, two years after budget cuts ended the monitoring.

The county is mandated by the federal government to sample water at public bathing beaches — those with lifeguards and shower and restroom facilities, county health department spokeswoman Monique Lyle said. Now, it plans to expand testing to recreational waters that are not required to be monitored, including Back River, Bear Creek, Bird River and parts of the Patapsco River.

The county had stopped sampling waters that weren't required to be tested in 2010 because of budget constraints. County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, a Middle River Democrat, appealed to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to find funds to resume additional testing, Lyle said. The testing will cost about $20,000 a year, Lyle said.

The additional sampling is scheduled to start by the end of August and conclude in November, Lyle said.

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