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Mercury in water treatment plant at Camp Lejeune

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JACKSONVILLE, NC (AP) -- Officials at Camp Lejeune say a water treatment plant at the Marine base is offline after workers found 12 pounds of mercury in the pipes.

The Jacksonville Daily News reported base officials have hired a New Bern company to oversee cleanup of the Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant.

Base officials found eight pounds of elemental mercury during routine maintenance. Workers with Shamrock Environmental Corporation another four pounds of mercury after draining both treated-water reservoirs.

The company used cameras in non-accessible areas to determine if mercury settled anywhere else in the pipe and reservoir system.

Camp Lejeune spokesman Nat Fahy said because the mercury could not dissolve in water there is little chance of a health impact.

The plant is expected to be closed more than two weeks.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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