WATER QUALITY--Technical Information: Briefing Paper on Mercury 


In Reply Refer To:                         November 30, 1983
EGS-Mail Stop 412



QUALITY OF WATER BRANCH TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM NO. 84.04 

Subject:  WATER QUALITY--Technical Information: Briefing 
                         Paper on Mercury 

The Quality of Water Branch initiated a series of briefing 
papers 10 years ago to increase awareness and understanding 
in the Water Resources Division of various aspects of water 
quality.  Attached is the most recent addition to the series, 
"Mercury: Sampling Constraints and Health Considerations," 
which was prepared by Scott Hamlin, a hydrologist with the 
California District.  The impetus for this paper came from 
the results of an investigation of problems with the 
integrity of samples collected for the determination of 
mercury. 

Topics covered in this paper include the occurrence and 
reactions of mercury in natural and work-place environments, 
health-related aspects of mercury and its salts, and 
preservation of water samples for the determination of 
mercury.  It is recommended that this paper be made generally 
available to Water Resources Division personnel involved in 
measuring streamflow or in collection or analysis of water-
quality samples. 

Subsequent memorandums will provide guidance for the safe use 
of mercury and the preservation and shipping of water samples 
for the determination of mercury. 



                             R. J. Pickering 
                             Chief, Quality of Water Branch 

Attachment 

WRD Distribution:  A, B, FO, PO 

Key Words:  water quality, mercury, safety 

This memorandum does not supersede any previous memorandum.