The South River Science Team (SRST) in Waynesboro, Virginia, believes that they have solved the nearly 40-year-old mystery of the South River’s high mercury levels. While the mercury initially came from a DuPont facility’s runoff, the amounts didn’t dissipate once DuPont stopped production.
Now, scientists have found that the former factory’s location only accounts for 5% of the mercury, while 50% to 60% comes from the eroding soil on the riverbank. They are now launching a rehabilitation effort along the river, seeking to stabilize the soil. While they will not be able to take all of the mercury out, the amount in the water will be greatly minimized.