MDE Drills Monitoring Wells Investigating TCE Levels in Wells - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

MDE Drills Monitoring Wells Investigating TCE Levels in Salisbury

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Crews with the Maryland Department of Environment conduct monitoring well drilling in the Colburn Woods Community on Wednesday. (Photo: WBOC) Crews with the Maryland Department of Environment conduct monitoring well drilling in the Colburn Woods Community on Wednesday. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- Some people in Wicomico County are looking for answers about the safety of their drinking water.

Back in November 2012, the Maryland Department of Environment found concerning levels of Trichloroethene or TCE in roughly 25 homes in south Salisbury.

TCE is a commonly used industrial solvent and carcinogen.

Now MDE is drilling 10 monitoring wells in the Morris Mill and Colburn Woods subdivisions to see where the chemical is coming from. But even with this investigation, some people are still worried about using their water.

The drilling on Wednesday was something Jose and Sandy Carrion said they will have to get used to seeing and hearing for a while.

"They are moving but I wish they would do it faster," said Mr. Carrion.

Art O'Connell, who is the chief of MDE's Waste Management Administration Superfund, said people need to know that though the drilling is under way, it won't solve the problem right away.

"Once we finish with the drilling then we will be sampling and collecting samples to groundwater elevations," O'Connell explained. "We will be making water contour maps to show which way the water is flowing and where the chemical is coming from."

The Carrions' home was one of the homes tested positive for TCE back in November and since then the couple has been living on bottled water.

"Wouldn't it just be easier to put us on city water?" Mrs. Carrion said. "Have the City of Salisbury come down and put us on their water and we never have to worry."

The Carrions are not alone as Megan Outten's water now flows through a filtration system in her home that is two doors down.

Outten said that the system is a temporary solution that MDE was able to provide.

"I couldn't take any showers for a couple of days and I had to go over to friends' houses to get some showers," Outten explained. "It was a little difficult to first start out with."

The biggest worry that the Carrions and Outten said they have is what this problem could mean for the future of their home and neighborhood.

"We talked about lowering the price and moving somewhere else but now nobody is going to even touch our house," Mrs. Carrion said.

"Right now it really has changed how people see our neighborhood you know not as clean," Outten said.

O'Connell said that it will take MDE about 10 days to complete the well drilling. After that process, the department will share its reports in a public meeting expected to happen by the end of February.
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