Traces of mercury to be removed from Saratoga Springs water tank

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
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— Contractors will clean up the city’s auxiliary water facility after trace amounts of mercury from a meter that broke over the winter were detected in the concrete containment tank.

The tank was not connected to the city water supply when the aging flow meter cracked. City engineer Tim Wales said a couple ounces of mercury released from the meter landed on the facility’s concrete floor and may have dripped into the tank, which is used sometimes when the city’s main water reservoir at Loughberry Lake runs low.

“The key point is that no mercury of any kind went into the Bog Meadow Creek,” he said Monday.

Trace amounts of the element were found in the tank. Wales said the amount of mercury found was far below hazardous levels.

Officials from the state departments of Health and Environment Conservation were notified of the spill. The city has since contracted with Precision Industrial Maintenance of Schenectady to clean out the well at a cost of no more than $19,525.

The city is moving forward with a project to tap Bog Meadow Creek in an effort to increase the Saratoga Springs water supply by 1.5 million gallons per day. The estimated $1.1 million project aims at developing four new wells at the reservoir east of the city and upgrading the existing pump station.

Bids on the project are scheduled to be opened next week.

Work is expected to start this summer and be completed sometime by fall. “We were going to clean it out anyway,” Wales said of the wet well. “We just have to do it sooner.”

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