In-ground wastewater disposal contaminates environment with mercury

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: wastewater disposal, mercury, environmental contamination

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
(NaturalNews) Pervasive, toxic forms of mercury are derived from more than just the pollution of unclean coal-fired power plants around the world. Traces of toxic mercury, often measured in waste water, can be exacerbated by chemical processes that take place in wastewater after it's released into the ground. Biogeochemist Carl Lamborg found in recent studies that mercury pollution is made more mobile and pervasive in the presence of specific microbial actions which take place exclusively in underground wastewater.

When waste in the water enters the ground, it interacts with the environment in chemical processes that break down waste into more pervasive forms of "un-sticky" mercury which accumulates in ponds, fish and, ultimately, humans.

A recent study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution explains this action, showing how elevated levels of mercury can accumulate in the ocean, through silent processes that start in wastewater. Lamborg explains this conversion process.

Cape Cod wastewater "extracting" mercury into more pervasive forms that accumulate in the ocean

Throughout 2010, 2011 and 2012, Lamborg set out to measure mercury concentrations in long-standing survey wells in Cape Cod. Installed by the US Geological Survey and managed by the Massachusetts Military Reservation, these survey wells were the ideal study site, since wastewater was discharged into the ground of this Cape Cod site for nearly 70 years. The site consists of a 3-kilometer area where contaminants seep and interact freely, traveling about 200 meters every year through an aquifer that pours out into a coastal saltwater pond. The 3-km depression between the towns of Falmouth, Sandwich and Mashpee, Massachusetts, continues to show increasing mercury levels that also resurface later in ponds and the ocean.

After analyzing three years' worth of samples in a lab, Lamborg reported on the findings, "The amount of mercury flowing out of the watershed and into the ocean and these ponds is something like twice as much as it would be if wastewater was not being put into the ground."

Through further investigation, Lamborg keyed in on two spots along the plume that were considered anoxic. The anoxic sites contain sediment and groundwater void of all oxygen due to microbial action that had consumed all oxygen by breaking down carbon and nitrogen from the waste.

Lamborg studied the microbes responsible for this breakdown at an upstream site and found that they were using iron to break down the waste. In that process, the most common form of mercury is broken down into a less sticky form of elemental mercury. This kind of "less sticky" mercury readily breaks free from sediment and seeps into groundwater where it is transported downstream and further into the environment. He pointed out that excessive use of fertilizers may serve as an added catalyst that breaks down elements in wastewater into toxic forms of mercury.

Microbial actions in wastewater "mine out" toxic monomethylmercury

His investigation did not end there. After investigating downstream, another form of mercury was discovered in high concentrations -- monomethylmercury. This is the kind of mercury that accumulates in fish and is passed on into the bodies of unsuspecting humans, causing toxicity.

Lamborg commented, "This should make us all think twice about what we dump into the ground. Adding more nitrogen into the ground through wastewater, and even fertilizers for our agricultural fields and golf courses, offers a potential for mercury to accumulate and move through the aquifer to our ponds, lakes, and the ocean. That's something I don't think people are really thinking about."

Intrigued, Lamborg continued his investigation, focusing in on a chemical process that microbes undergo using organic carbon with nitrate to break down organic matter. This process, called denitrification, is contributing to higher levels of monomethylmercury, the toxic form found in seafood.

Basically, mercury that has been stored in the earth for several thousands of years is being pulled out by chemical processes occurring in wastewater. "What it looks like is, the mercury that was already there in the aquifer or sand is being mined out when the groundwater goes anoxic," said Lamborg. [emphasis added]

The finding was a scientific breakthrough. Lamborg reported, "This kind of thing where you see denitrification resulting in the methylation of mercury has never been observed before."

Lamborg is now pursuing research that highlights the specific triggers that cause these drastic changes in the various forms of mercury.

Sources for this article include:

Explore more on Wastewater disposal by searching on, the search engine for truth seekers.
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.