Social Media News Release

MDE Secretary Summers & Caroline County students celebrate Groundwater Awareness Week at Colonel Richardson Middle School in Federalsburg


FEDERALSBURG, MD (March 16, 2012)
- Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers met with Caroline County sixth-graders for a demonstration and discussion on the importance of groundwater in Maryland. A clean and abundant supply of groundwater is crucial to virtually every aspect of our lives; including drinking water, household purposes, irrigation, business and industry. About 30 percent of Maryland’s population relies on groundwater for their daily use. Today, the students at Colonel Richardson Middle School in Federalsburg learned how groundwater is created, how it can be potentially contaminated and what we as citizens of Maryland can do to protect it and our entire freshwater supply.  

More Information
In recognition of groundwater being one of the earth's most valuable and limited natural resources, Governor Martin O’Malley has joined with dozens of other local, state, non and for-profit businesses to highlight and celebrate National Groundwater Awareness Week and has proclaimed March 11 through 17 as Maryland Groundwater Awareness Week. Maryland Groundwater Awareness Week is the kickoff of several events that MDE will take part in this year in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Clean Water Act.

Core Facts
  • Groundwater originates as rain that soaks into the ground, which absorbs it like a sponge. Water that soaks into the ground is filtered as it passes through various layers of sand, clay or rock and remains stored in underground in geologic formations called aquifers until it is pumped out or naturally flows into springs, streams, rivers or the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Every day, Americans use 79.6 billion gallons of fresh groundwater for public and private use, including for irrigation, livestock, manufacturing, mining and more.
  • Groundwater is vulnerable to pollution by anything we spill or dispose of on or under the ground, including waste from livestock, drainage from abandoned mines, salted roads, agricultural and industrial areas.  Homeowners also contribute to groundwater contamination by dumping household chemicals down the drain if they have a septic system or by pouring them on the ground. 
  • Groundwater contaminated with bacteria, chemicals, pesticides, gasoline or oil can result in serious human health problems.  Those who consume contaminated groundwater may suffer bacterial diseases, nervous system disorders, liver or kidney failure, cancer or other ailments depending on the type and level of contamination.
  • Groundwater can be protected by making simple changes to your everyday activities such as using less water and disposing of hazardous materials and chemicals correctly. You can also protect groundwater and your health by maintaining your septic system according to manufacturer standards and having annual check ups for your water well.


“Groundwater is a precious and finite natural resource and is essential to the well-being of all Marylanders.  I encourage every citizen to do their part to protect Maryland’s groundwater.”

           --Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment 

“Too often, groundwater is taken for granted because it cannot be seen. But everyone should know that a clean and abundant supply of groundwater is crucial to virtually every aspect of our lives.  When we keep our groundwater clean we help to protect and restore our waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay.  Clean water and a healthy economy go hand in hand."                 

           --Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment 

Addtional Information on Groundwater

Images and Video


Samantha Kappalman

Jay Apperson

(410) 537-3003

MDE Mission
Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water, and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.