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Data Access Overview

Graphing Water Quality Data

    Directions for Graphing Water      Quality
     Samples of Water Quality Graphs

     EPA STORET Data

Pollutant and Water Quality     Information

     Ammonia
     Arsenic
     Benzene
     Dissolved Oxygen
     Fecal Coliform
     Lead
     Mercury
     Methyl-t-butyl Ether
     Nitrates
     pH
     Phosphorus
     Sulfate
     Turbidity & Sedimentation


Water Testing
    ph
     Nitrogen
     Fecal Coliform
     Dissolved Oxygen
     Company Websites


Mercury

What is It?

-Mercury is a naturally occurring metal which has several forms in the environment.

-Mercury may combine with other elements, such as chlorine, sulfur and oxygen to form Mercury salts.

-The most common Mercury salt: methyl-mercury, is produced mainly as a by-product of microscopic organisms in the water.

-More Mercury in an environment leads to the increased presence of methyl-mercury resulting from these micro-organisms.

-Methyl-mercury builds up in the tissues of fish.

-Large, predatory fish tend to have the highest levels of mercury in their tissues.

Why is it in the environment?

-Mercury enters the water through disposal of industrial wastes.

-Combustion of fossil fuels, landfills, as well as metal refineries release Mercury.

How does it affect water quality?

-Contaminates clean drinking water, causing it to be poisonous.

How does it affect adults?

-The nervous system is susceptible to all forms of mercury.

-Although, Methyl-mercury is the most harmful form of Mercury.

-Exposure to high levels of Mercury may damage the brain and kidneys.

-Symptoms include: irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems.

-Short-term exposure to Mercury is not as severe as the Mercury poisoning takes many years to develop symptoms.

How does it affect children?

-Young children are more sensitive to mercury than adults.

-Mercury may pass to a nursing infant through a mother’s breast milk.

-Other harmful effects are: brain damage, mental retardation, blindness, seizures, and impaired speech.

-Long term Mercury poisoning may develop problems with nervous systems, digestive systems and kidney damage similar to adults.

What are the EPA regulations?

-The EPA has set a limit of 2 parts of mercury per billion parts of drinking water (2 ppb).

-The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a maximum permissible level of 1 part of methyl-mercury in a million parts of seafood (1 ppm).

-MCL: 2 ppb

-MCL: 0.002 mg/L