Wells show low levels of chemical

February 07, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Army's latest tests of Harford County's drinking water supply have turned up a low level of a hazardous chemical in the water, as well as in two of the county's five Perryman production wells, a county official confirmed yesterday.

The drinking water was found to have a level of 0.47 parts per billion of perchlorate, said Jackie Ludwig, a water and sewer engineer. That amount is below the state's advisory limit of 1 part per billion for perchlorate in drinking water.

Roughly the same amount was found in county wells 8 and 9, which are part of the Perryman well field along the western boundary of Aberdeen Proving Ground. Well No. 9 had a perchlorate level of 0.41 parts per billion, while well No. 8's level was 0.47 parts per billion - the same reading as the finished water. County and APG officials, as well as community activists, said the results were perplexing, because the drinking water is diluted with water from higher-producing wells that were tested in December and found free of the chemical.

Perchlorate is used in explosive devices and is known to disrupt thyroid function.

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