Water Testing for Cove Point Beach Homes Finds No Diesel Range Organics

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – July 5, 2018 – Testing of household water supplies in select Cove Point Beach community homes found no detectable traces of diesel range organic compounds following the discovery of diesel range organics in the well water supply at the Cove Point Lighthouse property in Lusby.

Calvert County Government offered free water testing to homes adjacent to the lighthouse site as a precautionary measure. Contamination at the lighthouse property was reported to Calvert County Government May 9 on the heels of an environmental assessment conducted as part of a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) property transfer process. The USCG is turning over the last portion of the lighthouse property to Calvert County Government.

Water samples from the lighthouse keeper’s duplex rental facility were found to contain diesel range organics, a contaminant, above the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) reporting level. The levels found, however, are below the state lifetime residential risk-based exposure level. Out of an abundance of caution, visitors to the lighthouse are provided bottled water while visiting the facility.

Calvert County Department of Public Works Water and Sewerage Division staff drew water samples from nine homes in the vicinity and submitted them to an independent laboratory for testing. The results indicate the water contamination is limited to the lighthouse property. Under USCG ownership, the site once included several above-ground and underground fuel tanks.

MDE reviewed the lighthouse site environmental assessment and recommended further on-site water testing along with further investigation to determine whether any underground fuel tanks are still present.

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