(Annapolis, MD) March 14, 2013 - Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers today marked Maryland Groundwater Awareness Week by discussing drinking water wells and septic systems maintenance at Sandy Point State Park. He was joined by: Frank W. Dawson, Assistant Secretary, Department of Natural Resources; Duane Wilding, Senior Engineer, Maryland Environmental Service; and Kristin Mielcarek, Watershed Circuit Rider, Canaan Valley Institute. Secretary Summers presented Mr. Wilding with a proclamation from Governor Martin O’Malley recognizing March 10-16 as Maryland Groundwater Awareness Week in recognition of the Maryland Environmental Service’s well maintenance services at Sandy Point State Park.
A clean and abundant supply of groundwater is crucial to every aspect of our lives, including drinking water, household purposes, irrigation, business and industry. Maryland Groundwater Awareness Week encourages citizens to learn more about groundwater, how it can be potentially contaminated and what we as citizens of Maryland can do to protect it and our entire freshwater supply.
Well Maintenance:If you live in a home with a well, YOU are responsible for ensuring its safety and maintenance. Mark your calendar to have your well tested and inspected yearly.
Septic Systems:Here are a few tips for knowing when your septic system may be in trouble:
“More than 400,000 Maryland homes currently use septic systems and get their water from wells. With proper maintenance and annual testing, our citizens can do their part to protect their health and Maryland’s groundwater. Groundwater is a precious and finite natural resource and is essential to the well-being of all Marylanders.”-- Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment
“It’s all connected; the health of our groundwater, stormwater runoff and the Chesapeake Bay all ebb and flow interpedently. All of us must work together to do our part. For the recreational and commercial angler to the weekend boater, we must have a clean and vibrant Chesapeake Bay; Our fish, our customers and our children are relying on us.”
-- Frank W. Dawson, Assistant Secretary, Department of Natural Resources“Addressing failing septic systems may not seem like glamorous or important work, but residents with failing systems understand the threat these systems pose to the health of their families, the value of their property and quality of water in our streams and groundwater. Supported by MDE, county health departments and the Bay Restoration Fund, our work is vitally important to home owners in difficult situations, to their neighbors and to all of us who use and value our water resources.”
-- Jennifer Newland, Director, Canaan Valley Institute“Maryland is blessed to have multiple aquifers that provide good water quality and abundant yield. It is a resource that has allowed Maryland to realize its full domestic and commercial potential. Recognizing its importance, regular well maintenance is essential to ensure water remains safe and uncontaminated.”
-- Duane Wilding, Senior Engineer, Maryland Environmental Service
View more photos from today's event on MDE's Flickr site
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