UPDATE: Fruitland Residents Voice Concerns Over Water Issues - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

UPDATE: Fruitland Residents Voice Concerns Over Water Issues

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FRUITLAND, Md. - Officials tell us that tests are being done at the Shallow Salisbury Aquifier, with testing done from the surface to 110 feet deep.    

The effected wells are privately owned.  We are told at this point, there is no need for other communities to be concerned.    

Frightened Fruitland residents flock to a Health Department meeting after being told their ground water is contaminated with a dangerous chemical.     For weeks now, these folks have not been able to drink, cook with or bathe in their tap water and have been forced to use bottled water. 

The Health Department still does not know the source of this chemical contamination, but they said right now their primary focus is purifying the water for the folks who they know are affected.

Hundreds packed into the Parkside High School cafeteria to hear what the Wicomico County Health Department had to say, more than two weeks after being notified their ground water is contaminated with high levels of trichloroethylene, or TCE.    

"It has not happened in Wicomico County in a residential section, we've had some in an industrial setting but it's been very, very small," said Lori Brewster, Wicomico County Health Officer.    

The issue came to light in early August when officials said one resident noticed a strange odor from his well-water.  He tested it and it came back positive with TCE     Since then, officials have tested 120 homes along Morris Mill Road, Coulbourne Woods and Anthony Lane.   At this point a third of the homes have high levels of contamination.    

But many are still waiting for tests of their wells.

"I don't want to get sick," said resident Peggy Stewart.  "If I'm not to use the water, I need to start purchasing water because it's my husband and I and we don't want to get sick."

"The red don't seem to follow a kind of a pattern, so we don't really know where we might fit in," said resident Tara O'Barsky.  "If we're going to be a red dot or blue dot, we're hoping for the blue." 

According to the EPA, a TCE is characterized as a human carcinogen.  The EPA said there is evidence between a long-term TCE exposure and kidney cancer.

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