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Nashua;54.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/skc.png;2014-10-20 13:46:03
Friday, August 16, 2013

Bad stuff can lurk in the mud of an old mill town's river

The Nashua River is really low in downtown Nashua these days while work is being done on the dam; some folks are itching to use the opportunity to clean up the river bank.

Alas, the Nashua, like many New England rivers, was used as an industrial dumping group for decades during the area's Industrial Revolution heyday, and who knows what has settled into the muck and mire now exposed to the air? As a story (read it here) notes in today's Telegraph:

Removing large items, such as the bicycles now visible on the bottom of the river, also could pose an environmental risk, since the sediment on the river bottom likely contains harmful chemicals from Nashua’s early industrial boom.

Collis Adams, administrator of the Wetlands Bureau at the state Department of Environmental Services, provided perspective about the environmental issues a cleanup effort would raise.

Adams said he doesn’t believe DES has attempted to catalogue the composition of sediments along the river bottom – a project that like would be the purview of waste management experts. But he cautioned against any attempt to clean up the area without consulting DES.