Mercury Discovered in Storm Drain

May 1993

Mercury Discovered in Storm Drain

Bldg. 464 area following soil cleanup


During the construction of an addition to the Department of Energy's Brookhaven Site Office, Building 464, elemental mercury was discovered in old storm water catch basins, piping, and adjacent soils.

The Building 464 addition required that a storm water catch basin be relocated. While excavating to install a new basin, mercury was observed in the soil pile. The area was roped off, work was stopped and further investigations and sampling was conducted. Soil samples were also analyzed for PCBs because of oily residues encountered.

Remedial Action

Because the presence of the mercury represented a possible threat to human health and the environment remediation of the area was conducted under a CERCLA Removal Action. Approximately 280 tons of PCB and mercury-contaminated soil was excavated and disposed of at an off-site landfill (Model City, NY). Another 2.5 tons of soil were shipped off-site for mercury recovery via retort furnace.