Army To Test Groundwater at 3 Odenton Sites

The Army wants to find out whether pollution from old industrial buildings at Fort Meade is flowing southeast into Odenton. The drilling could lead to road closures for as long as 12 days.

Army contractors said they will drill three new water-testing wells next month in Odenton in order to learn the extent of chemical pollution stemming from a site in the southeast end of Fort Meade.

An official with Arcadis, an Army consultant, said the wells will be drilled in February on county property along Bruce Avenue, Division Road and Dopeco Court.

Residents of nearby properties will be notified when work will begin. The drilling should take between five and six days, but could take as long as 12, and there will be road closures in the area.

John Cherry of Arcadis announced the drilling schedule to members of the Fort Meade Restoration Advisory Board on Thursday night.

Army officials will test groundwater for chemicals including trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE), which may have come from a series of old industrial buildings near the intersection of Maryland Routes 32 and 175. There were eight buildings at the site, including a tank and missile repair shop, furniture repair shop, laundry and shops for cleaning tanks and guns.

Cherry said the three sites were chosen because of the underground geography, which likely causes contaminants to flow in a southeasterly direction.

"We expect groundwater in this area may have some contamination," Cherry said. "That's what we're searching for."

Each drilling site will comprise about a 3,500-square-foot area, and crews will drill to about 200 feet to find samples from the Lower Patapsco Aquifer.

Most people in the area use public water, and would not be directly impacted by any contamination. The few dozen residents who use private wells have had their water tested, and it has not shown elevated chemical levels, Cherry said.

The consultant added that there will likely be another set of new drilling sites chosen this summer.


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