Clean water initiative needs community volunteers to compile data on private wells
MARYLAND – The Assateague Coastal Trust, Center for Progressive Reform, Environmental Integrity Project, and University of Maryland School of Public Health are hoping to compile a database on how safe private well water is on the Lower Eastern Shore – and they need your help. “We have known for quite some time that well water, especially on the Lower Eastern Shore, is contaminated with nitrates. Currently the state doesn’t require annual, or even every five years, testing of private wells,” said Executive Director of Assateague Coastal Trust Kathy Phillips.
Phillips says community members can sign up to get a kit that tests for pollutants like nitrates. The kit comes complete with test strips that people can run under their water, and a brochure that tells them how to read the strips for any kind of pollutants. Those people will then send their results to the initiative so they can collect the data.
Phillips tells 47ABC the initiative wants to help ensure safe drinking water because undetected pollutants at high levels can be extremely harmful. “Certain compounds, especially nitrates and nitrites, they are colorless, they are odorless. But in elevated levels they can be dangerous to public health. So we’re very excited to be able to offer this project,” said Phillips.
The organizations hope to have a full report complete by this fall or early 2022. If you live in Wicomico, Worcester, or Somerset Counties and would like to get involved, you can find information on that here.