South River, VA – Mercury Remediation

Mercury was released between 1929 and 1950 from a former DuPont facility at Waynesboro, VA.  Elemental and divalent inorganic mercury were both released and transported into surface waters, sediments, floodplain soils and biota of the South River and part of the South Fork Shenandoah River.

Mercury concentrations are elevated in some fish species in the South River, such as smallmouth bass (e.g. 1-4 ug/g), and have remained stable or have not declined as expected.  A wide range of studies have been carried out to better understand the behavior of mercury in the South River, and to help design remedial options.

Reed Harris Environmental Ltd. chaired a committee to identify innovative approaches that could complement or replace fully engineered bank stabilization along the river.