Officials at Camp Lejeune say a water treatment plant at the Marine base is offline after workers found 12 pounds of mercury in the pipes.
Base officials have hired a New Bern company to oversee cleanup of the Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant.
Base officials found eight pounds of elemental mercury during routine maintenance. Workers with Shamrock Environmental Corporation another four pounds of mercury after draining both treated-water reservoirs.
The company used cameras in non-accessible areas to determine if mercury settled anywhere else in the pipe and reservoir system.
Camp Lejeune spokesman Nat Fahy said because the mercury could not dissolve in water there is little chance of a health impact.
The plant is expected to be closed more than two weeks.
More mercury has been found in a Camp Lejeune water plant that was shut down last week.
A company hired to oversee the clean up and investigation at the Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant found four additional pounds of mercury from the same area where the original eight pounds was discovered September 15th.
Camp Lejeune says with the plant still offline, both treated-water reservoirs were drained to see if any residual mercury could be found. Now cameras will be used in non-accessible areas within the piping reservoir to see if any additional mercury has settled in the plant.
Marines say they do not expect the water plant to be brought back online for at least two more weeks. Spokesman Nat Fahy says they believe the mercury came from old water gauges at the plant which were removed in the 1980s.
So far Camp Lejeune says no mercury has been found in the water supply on base.
Camp Lejeune has shut down one of its water treatment plants after mercury was found.
The base says the elemental mercury was found in a pipe at Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant. Spokesman Nat Fahy says they believe the mercury came from old water gauges at the plant.
Last Saturday they discovered the silvery substance when the plant was taken offline for routine maintenance. Fahy says about 8 pounds of the stuff fell from a pipe coupling.
Test later showed no mercury actually detected in the water supply.
The base says decades ago, water pressure meters that contained elemental mercury were used. In the 1980s those meters were removed from the water treatment plant in question.
Fahy says only one other plant on base also used the old gauges and it is now being checked as well.
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