Potential mercury contamination in Greene County creek - WNCT

Potential mercury contamination in Greene County creek

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GREENE COUNTY, N.C. -

When you're fishing or kayaking down a creek in eastern North Carolina, the last thing you expect to see is four feet fluorescent light bulbs floating in the water. However, that was what one Greene County resident found.

The potentially hazardous lights aren't visible from the nearby bridge: however, if you take a kayak, within five minutes the lights are hard to miss.

9 on your Side paddled down the creek to see the magnitude of the problem.

We found at least a dozen, if not two dozen T8 lamps in the water.

Some were sticking up, some were floating in plain sight, and others were tucked in beaver dams.

Joy ham lives near the creek and says she's heard stories about people dumping trash in water; but not lights.

"I don't like to hear that because it can cause problems adding pollutants to the water," said Ham.

The problem with these lamps being in the water, if they break, they contain small amounts of mercury, which can seep into the water.

Spokesperson for the North Carolina Division of Waste Management, Cathy Akroyd, says the state is aware of potential for mercury contamination, and has contacted county officials about the problem.

 

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