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Faulty Mystic Harbour wells repeatedly flood family land

(Jan. 23, 2015) When K. Timothy VanVonno bought property he intended to build his dream house on in 2005, he knew Worcester County had an easement for the operation and maintenance of injection wells. He didn’t know how often those wells would fail.

“Although the Department of Public Works did the best possible job under the circumstances, on many occasions the injection wells simply could not accept the effluent, and it was discharged out onto the ground,” VanVonno’s attorney Hugh Cropper stated in a letter to the commissioners.

According to Cropper, the discharge, in some cases, created standing ponds of water.

The county has been aware of this issue since at least 2012, when VanVonno hired an engineer to study the relocation of the wells to the Mystic Harbour site. The study found the wells could be moved, but recommended the Maryland Department of the Environment become involved to determine if the plan was viable.

The county commissioners on Tuesday agreed to proceed in that vein.

In addition, Public Works Deputy Director John Ross recommended to the commissioners an additional hydrologic study to determine the impact of the wells on the existing water table.

The cost estimate including moving the existing wells, digging new wells to match capacity on the new site and the study is $260,000.

The relocation project, according to Ross, will likely not be completed before the development of the spray irrigation project at Eagle’s Landing, which is to handle to bulk of Mystic Harbour’s effluent. The wells are responsible for disposing about 30 percent of the plant’s outflow.


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