Chincoteague Looking to New Land for Well Drilling - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Chincoteague Looking to New Land for Well Drilling

Posted: May 23, 2018 5:44 PM Updated:

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va.- An Eastern Shore of Virginia town surrounded by water is now looking for new ways to get drinking water. After a water contamination back in April 2017, NASA has been supplying Chincoteague with water from Wallops Island Flight Facility's drinking wells.

Both the town and NASA are working together to find a solution for Chincoteague's future water supply.

What may look like just another ordinary field in Accomack County, is actually the new, 32-acre plot of land the town of Chincoteague purchased to drill new water wells.

For years, Chincoteague got its water from wells at Wallops Island. But a chemical compound, called PFAS, which can cause health problems, was discovered there a little over a year ago.

"When the contamination first showed up, NASA of course informed us and our town manager immediately had those wells shut down," said Chincoteague Vice-mayor Denise Bowden.

Since then, Chincoteague has been drawing off NASA's wells. NASA says having the town on its water supply isn't a stress on their system right now, but it is looking to create a long-term solution for Chincoteague to get its own water.

That's where the new land comes in. Experts determined there is groundwater to be tapped. Now they're waiting on all the necessary permits
"You've got to have all these permits in place and make sure you're doing the right things, and have the test wells done. It's not going to happen overnight but we're working towards it," Bowden said.

But some neighbors who live directly across from the new well site are apprehensive.

"Our only concern is our water supply, but hopefully it's not going to affect it. And hopefully if it does the town will help us out," Margaret Fecteau said.

Others, like Michael Haugh, aren't too worried. Even though his parents live in a house only a quarter mile away from the new site.

"I don't see why there should be any concern about putting some new wells in different locations that have a cleaner supply," Haugh said.

The town and NASA both say the water being pumped over to Chincoteague is tested and is safe.
"We're just confident we're going to get this situation resolved and by being proactive like this, instead of waiting until something major happens, then we feel like we're on the right track," Bowden said.


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