Yummy muck: Microbes eat PCBs.

A new Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control YouTube Channel video details an innovative remediation project to remove PCBs from sediment in a ditch that discharges into the Christina River in Wilmington.

This spring, DNREC’s Watershed Approach to Toxics Assessment and Restoration Team and its partner University of Maryland Baltimore County and contractor Brightfields, conducted a full-scale pilot test, using approximately 7 tons of Sedimite pellets inoculated with PCB-degrading microorganisms to isolate and destroy legacy PCB contamination in a one-acre wetland area on A Street in Wilmington. With PCBs as the main cause of fish consumption advisories in the Christina Basin, the goal of the project is to prevent contaminants from entering the food chain and impacting fish and other aquatic life.

Sedimite was the same product used for the Mirror Lake Remediation and Restoration Project in Dover in 2013, which has resulted in more than 80% reduction of PCBs in resident fish tissue in the five years since it was applied. The difference in this application – the first commercial application of bio-amended Sedimite in the country — was the inclusion of the PCB-destroying microorganisms.

The WATAR Team expects successful results from the pilot project and that the technology may become another tool that can be utilized in cleaning up legacy PCB contamination in other water bodies in the state.

Watch the video at bit.ly/2YMAcdW.