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MTBE Affects Wells in Sussex County

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SELBYVILLE, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials have removed two wells from a Sussex County town after tests revealed the presence of chemicals used as an additive in gasoline.

The Delaware Office of Drinking Water has installed two new wells in Selbyville. One of the two existing wells displayed chemical levels above the state-mandated limit, though it hadn't been used in nearly two years.

Town Administrator Robert Dickerson says one well is completely free of the chemicals, known as Methyl Teritary Butyl Ether. The other is well below the legal limit.

He says the town doesn't want the chemical in the drinking water supply, but that it's been present at such a low level that it's hard to detect.

The town hasn't begun using the new wells, which need to be cleared by the state.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.