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OCCURRENCE OF MICROORGANISMS RESISTANT TO MERCURY IN MERCURY CONTAMINATED SOILS AND SEDIMENTS IN PAVLODAR, KAZAKHSTAN
Slomczynski, D. J., J. J. Fleischman, J Goetz*, K. Hristova, W J. DavisHoover*, AND et al. OCCURRENCE OF MICROORGANISMS RESISTANT TO MERCURY IN MERCURY CONTAMINATED SOILS AND SEDIMENTS IN PAVLODAR, KAZAKHSTAN. Presented at Third International Conference Remediating of Chlorinated & Recalitrant Compounds, Monterey, CA, 05/19-23/02.
There is extensive mercury contamination of soil surrounding a chloralkali plant in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan that operated from 1970 to 1990. High-level mercury contamination exists within the confines of the plant, at nearby off-site waste storage and evaporation ponds, and in Balkyldak Lake, which adjoins the waste ponds. The Irtysh River, a major river in Kazakhstan and a drinking water source, is threatened by a plume of mercury-contaminated groundwater and may already be affected. Estimates of the extent and levels of contamination were made based on available information, the amount of mercury used at the plant over the period it operated and field monitoring. Bacteria, Actinomyces sp., and fungi from soil and sediment samples collected at the plant and Balkyldak Lake were cultured. A high percentage of these microorganisms were resistant to mercury chloride concentrations of up to 0.1 mM. These mercury-resistant microorganisms are being characterized for their potential to be used in bioremediation at this site and other contaminated sites in Kazakhstan and the world.