Preliminary test results show Fairmont Pond may not be contaminated with mercury
Officials in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 8 office are still testing samples from the site.
An Environmental Protection Agency official said preliminary results from the Fairmont Pond show that there may be no mercury contamination after its detection on September 8.
Valeriy Bisyayev, the on-site federal coordinator of the EPA Region 8 office, said that with the tests so far, “everything has gone pretty well.” The EPA is still waiting for the final results, but preliminary results show that the original test may have been a fluke.
“We always do our due diligence, like taking additional samples and being a little more thorough with that,” Bisyayev said.
The initial discovery of mercury came when the city was cleaning up a shard found on the pond using a rented frack tank, said Bisyayev, which is a portable tank used to transport liquids. Before the contents were disposed of, the tank tested positive for mercury – but that could be from previous use of the tank.
“It could have been in the pond, right, when they took the water,” Bisyayev said. “But that too, there might be a chance that it was part of what was in the frack tank, right?”
Bisyayev said they are using an instrument that can accurately detect mercury vapors. While walking around the pond, the only mercury detected by the instrument was near the reservoir.
The EPA also examined the site of a nearby fire that occurred on June 13 and a nearby gym being demolished, but none had traces of mercury.