Elevated levels of a toxic industrial solvent have been found in three more residential wells near Salisbury, the Maryland Department of the Environment reported Wednesday, as an investigation continues into ground-water contamination affecting dozens of homes in the area.
Of 77 homes just south of the city that recently had their wells tested, trichloroethylene was found in seven, and three had levels of concern to health officials, according to MDE spokesman Jay Apperson. Bottled water has been provided to the three with elevated levels, he said.
Trichloroethylene, a potentially cancer-causing chemical widely used in cleaning metal and electronic parts, had been detected earlier in 46 of 113 wells tested in two neighborhoods. Thirty-three of those had levels above the federal safe-drinking water standard. Bottled water or water tanks have been provided to those with elevated levels.
The Environmental Protection Agency has installed carbon filtration systems on 10 of the most contaminated wells so far, and is adding two more a day, the MDE spokesman said.
Wicomico County health officials intend to test 10 more homes on the edge of the affected area, Apperson said, while the state continues to trying to contact all property owners in the neighborhoods where the chemical has been found. He added that MDE plans to drill 10 monitoring wells around the area to help define the extent and possible source or sources of the contamination.