Water Contamination for Delmar, Dirty Delaware Waterways

Mar 10, 2014

Credit Don Rush

The Environmental Protection Agency has been testing the water around Delmar to find out why tetrachloroethene has been found in the ground water.

Last week a public notice was sent out to town residents that the degreasing agent known as PCE has been found in low levels in the local water supply.

Tim Ratsep, an administrator for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental control, told the Wilmington News Journal that the state’s threshold for PCE contamination is one part per billion stricter standards than the federal agency.

But  because Delmarva runs along the Maryland/Delaware state line the EPA is taking the lead in the investigation.

Carl Anderton, mayor of the Maryland side of Delmar, told the paper that it is his understanding one possible source is the early 20th century storage area for coal or another fuel near the water plant on the Delaware side of the town.

Delaware River
Credit creative commons

Dirty Waterways

Thousands of miles of water ways that run through the state of Delaware is consider unhealthy.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that 94 percent are so bad that fish cannot thrive while for 85 percent residents cannot swim in them.

The paper’s special report finds that the dirty water problem is the result of dangerous toxins, unsanitary runoff and destructive deposits seeping into the waterways.

It adds there is now a risk of endangering the First State’s drinking supplies and losing millions of dollars in tourism.

Governor Jack Markell is expected this week to lay out a plan to cut pollution, erosion and flooding caused by poorly managed storm water runoff.