Document Detail

Extreme spatial variability and unprecedented methylmercury concentrations within a constructed wetland.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16404537     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We began monitoring concentrations of both total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in surface water at Stormwater Treatment Area-2 (STA) on July 20, 2000. This 2602 hectare STA was constructed with three independent marshes to remove phosphorus from agricultural runoff and reduce eutrophication in the northern Everglades. However, there was concern that in doing so, STA-2 might inadvertently worsen the existing mercury problem in the Everglades. Accordingly, operating permits stipulated that flow-through operation of these treatment cells could not begin until concentrations of THg and MeHg in the interior marsh were not significantly greater than corresponding concentrations in the supply canal. Cells 2 and 3 quickly met the start-up criteria in the fall of 2000. In contrast, Cell 1 exhibited anomalously high MeHg concentrations in the fall of 2000 and 2001, and the summer of 2002. During the last such event, water-column concentrations in Cell 1 reached 32 ng THg/L and an unprecedented 20 ng MeHg/L. Tissue Hg in resident fishes reached levels as high as 430 ng/g in mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, 930 ng/g in sunfish, Lepomis spp., and 2000 ng/g in largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides. Guided by results from the monitoring program, flow rate and water depth were managed as a means to alter sulfur biogeochemistry and, thereby, reduce in situ mercury methylation. This adaptive management strategy likely played a role in the decline in water-column concentrations of THg and MeHg in Cell 1 by late 2002 and the subsequent declines in tissue Hg levels in resident fishes. Cell 1 finally met formal start-up criteria on November 26, 2002.
D G Rumbold; L E Fink
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental monitoring and assessment     Volume:  112     ISSN:  0167-6369     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ Monit Assess     Publication Date:  2006 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-01-11     Completed Date:  2006-09-07     Revised Date:  2009-05-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8508350     Medline TA:  Environ Monit Assess     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  115-35     Citation Subset:  IM    
South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Environmental Monitoring / methods*
Fishes / metabolism*
Mercury / analysis*,  metabolism
Methylmercury Compounds / analysis*,  metabolism
Perciformes / metabolism
Phosphorus / chemistry
Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*,  metabolism
Water Supply
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Methylmercury Compounds; 0/Water Pollutants, Chemical; 7439-97-6/Mercury; 7723-14-0/Phosphorus

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