EAST LANSING - The toxic element mercury was accidentally released at the East Lansing wastewater treatment plant. A statement from the City of East Lansing sent to the media Friday afternoon says that the mercury release happened in November of last year, but city officials were not notified until March 20th.
East Lansing Public Works Director Todd Sneathen says the amount of mercury spilled was comparable to how much mercury would be in four thermometers. The mercury came from an air pressure sensing device on a table in the plant's maintenance area. No mercury got into the water supply. No workers made direct contact with the mercury. The workers cleaned up the spill themselves.
Recently, some workers thought they might not have done as thorough a cleaning as was necessary, and notified the plant's management. The Ingham County Health Department was then notified and workers from the health department came to the plant Thursday to do cleaning and testing. "There is no existing hazard for plant employees or the general public," says the city's statement.
The city is reviewing the incident. Workers with the health department will come back Monday to do more readings.