Despite mercury, South River activities are OK
June 2, 2015
WAYNESBORO – Standing ankle-deep in the South River, Kadrin Anderson watched as her 2-year-old son grabbed thick rocks out of the cold riverbed before heaving them back into the water.
Anderson, who is five months pregnant with her second child, lives in Staunton and is a science teacher at a local college.
She said she enjoys spending time at the river, although its safety due to mercury being dumped into the river more than six decades ago has been questioned.
“It’s an elemental metal, so it is never going to break down,” Anderson said last week during their visit to Waynesboro. “The fish will pick it up and travel — sending it elsewhere.”
A wide study about the mercury contamination in the South River was recently released. The research involved a team of graduate students and includes warnings about the consumption of wildlife living near the river and spreading of the contamination site.
The study also revealed that most recreational activities on the water are safe.
An area of greatest concern regarding the contamination is if the problem gets bigger. There is evidence that the mercury contamination is moving downstream and spreading into agricultural areas, reported the Integrated Regional Risk Assessment for the South River and Upper Shenandoah River….