Remediation

Reed Harris Environmental is actively working on remediation studies for local mercury contamination in aquatic systems, including the South River, Virginia and the Penobscot Estuary, Maine. Once released into aquatic systems, mercury persists, particularly in sediments.

Sediments can change from being a trap for mercury contamination to a source that feeds mercury back to the aquatic system after mercury releases stop.  Fish mercury levels have been observed to decline quickly initially, then follow a much slower recovery trajectory that can last decades, reflecting the recovery rate of mercury levels in sediments.

Options have therefore been considered to accelerate the recovery of mercury-contaminated systems, not just by reducing mercury releases, but also via other approaches that change the availability of mercury, its rate of conversion from inorganic to methylmercury and its accumulation in fish.   These changes can involve bank stabilization, sediment capping, additives, and modifications to the trophic structure of an ecosystem.

Reed Harris Environmental has coordinated studies assessing remedial options and is currently carrying out detailed mercury simulation modeling to assess remedial options.