Unknown orange material in Potomac River near Sharpsburg, Md.
MDE has been notified by the National Park Service of an orange streak in the Potomac River at the C&O Canal National Park in Sharpsburg, Maryland, (Washington County) by the Taylor's Boat Ramp. The orange streak is along the shore and was visible a 1/2 mile upstream. MDE have taken samples, There are no signs of fish kills or other biological impacts. The pH of the water is 6.8 and the DO is 12.8 Samples are being taken for analysis of metals and VOCs and a bulk sample for future reference. At this point in time, this appears to be a localized event from blasting at a near by construction project that impacted a underground spring. As a safety precaution Shepherdstown water will be shutting down the Potomac river intake a 7:00 pm Friday 12/18/15. Since this is just be a localized event we will check river conditions in the morning Saturday 12/19/15 before returning to the river intake. Again this is just a precaution to ensure the safety of our customers. The water is safe now and will continue to be. There will be no further updates unless the situation worsens. If any questions please call 304-876-2394.
Charles "Woody" Coe
Assistant Chief Operator