Press Release

Aquasco, MD (April 14, 2000) — The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), in cooperation with local health departments from Prince George's, Charles, Calvert and St. Mary's counties have assessed the potential for groundwater contamination in areas along the Patuxent River. Individual drinking water supplies or public water wells have not been impacted by residual accumulations of oil from the recent spill. Therefore, residents in this region can confidently rely on the fact that their water wells and community supplies remain safe to drink.

These individual and community well supplies remain unaffected principally due to the following factors:

  • MDE and local health officials have surveyed the affected reaches of the river and have not identified any wells that are close enough to warrant further concern. Most of these wells are geographically separated from the areas of serious contamination in the Patuxent River.
  • These water supplies are predominantly located in deep, confined aquifers that are not connected to surface waters. There is no evidence in areas along this portion of the river there is any interconnection to the Patuxent River's water with aquifers from which well water is drawn.
  • Shallow groundwater in the area moves away from the wells to the river and therefore does not carry contaminants to the wells.

Residents with individual water supplies that are not from deep, confined aquifers or that may have structural deficiencies such as cracks in the casing or an incomplete grout may call their local health department. Although the presence of contamination related to the oil spill is unlikely the departments are offering to sample wells to confirm the absence of any spill related contaminants. Residents in the following counties who want to request such sampling may call the following numbers:

  • Prince George's (301) 883-7681
  • Charles (301) 609-6751
  • Calvert (301) 535-3922
  • St. Mary's (301) 475-4321

Residents may call MDE's Office of Residential Sanitation toll-free in Maryland at 1-800-633-6101 x3778 or 410-631-3778 to obtain any additional information and services.