The Investigation of Groundwater Contamination in Wicomico County’s Morris Mill Community


In 2012, the Wicomico County Health Department began investigating groundwater contamination in the Morris Mill community. The contamination was due to high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is a colorless nonflammable liquid that has a sweet odor and a burning taste. Exposures can lead to acute effects as well as more chronic conditions such as cancer. A total of 300 wells were sampled during the course of the investigation. Fifty wells showed levels of TCE above the maximum contaminant level of 5 parts per billion. Timely communication with the residents and risk management played integral parts in assisting the community towards a long-term solution. In December 2013, the Wicomico County Urban Services Commission created an urban service district to provide public water from the city of Fruitland to the entire affected area. Completion of the water tower and distribution system for the 273 affected homes was expected in early 2016.

Speaker / Author: 
Dennis DiCintio, LEHS
Month Year: 
March 2016
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
March 2016
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