Raising Concerns Over TCE Solution - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Raising Concerns Over TCE Solution

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SALISBURY, Md. - A public hearing held Monday evening gave residents of the subdivisions impacted by TCE a chance to speak their mind on the proposed plan to solve the problem.

It was about a year ago when the chemical TCE was discovered in some private wells in the Morris Mill and Colbourne Woods subdivisions in Wicomico County.  To date, nearly 80 of about 270 wells have tested positive for the chemical.  The well of Mike and Barb Gates has not had any issues yet, but they believe it is just a matter of time.

"I think eventually we are all going to have trouble here.  Personally, that's my guess because the poison is going to keep moving.  But I think city water would take a lot of stress off of it,"
 said Mike Gates of Salisbury.

The city water would be coming from Fruitland and all of the homes in the impacted subdivisions would be connected to this public water as past of the county's plan to solve the TCE problem.  What some are having an issue with, particularly those who have a well that has not tested positive for TCE, is the new water bill that comes along with public water.  However, Mike Gates has no problem with it.

"Our well went up a couple years ago and we had to have a new one drilled and it cost us $2600.  So, I mean you can buy a lot of water for that.  And also,  if you have a problem, you just call the county, or town, and you just tell them you have a problem with your water.  If you have a problem with your well, that's coming out of your pocket," said Gates.

Many of those opposed to the solution believe they should have the ability to choose whether or not they hook up to the Fruitland water.  However, county officials say in order to get the funding required for the eight million dollar project, all of the homes, not just those that tested positive for TCE, need to be connected.  Bob Spits is a homeowner in Morris Mill and while he is appreciative of a potential solution, he is not a big fan of the new monthly bill.

"I guess if I did know that this was coming, you know, like a crystal ball, I would definitely look elsewhere," said Spits.

If the plan is approved and moves forward, an urban services district would be created early next year which would allow the new water lines from Fruitland to be built.  Following a planning and bidding phase, construction would begin in August of next year and would conclude by February 2016, at the latest.

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