Water treatment facility planned in Oak Ridge to help with mercu

Water treatment facility planned in Oak Ridge to help with mercury contamination

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"Mercury is a serious contamination problem, but it's limited and we can fix it and this is a good start," said Sen. Alexander. "Mercury is a serious contamination problem, but it's limited and we can fix it and this is a good start," said Sen. Alexander.

OAK RIDGE (WATE) - Leaders gathered Friday to share the government's strategy for confronting the greatest environmental risk on the Oak Ridge reservation - not radiation, but rather mercury contamination.

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of mercury were used at Y-12 and other facilities in producing nuclear weapons during the Manhattan Project and the Cold War.

Sen. Lamar Alexander's office says 18,000 gallons of that are still missing, lost to the environment or unaccounted for.

Officials unveiled plans for a water treatment facility designed to remove mercury from stormwater before it drains into the east fork of Poplar Creek.

"Mercury is a serious contamination problem, but it's limited and we can fix it and this is a good start," said Sen. Alexander.

Sen. Alexander says the plant will be in place within two to three years, but it's going to take many more years and millions more dollars to tear down buildings contaminated with mercury.

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