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Vic Kelson
City of Bloomington Utilities

CBU Increases Security at Decommissioned Griffy Plant as Remediation Resumes

Bloomington, Ind. - The City of Bloomington Utilities Department (CBU) has implemented an around-the-clock security presence at the decommissioned Griffy Water Treatment Plant, located adjacent to Griffy Dam. The department has installed night lighting and assigned guards to the site in order to protect the public from exposure to mercury on the premises and to prevent the migration of the hazardous material.  

According to the World Health Organization, exposure to mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems, particularly in utero and early in life. Mercury may have toxic effects on the nervous, digestive, and immune systems, and on lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes. The public is urged to stay away from the Griffy facility to protect their health.  Trespassers on the Griffy Plant property may be subject to arrest and hazardous material decontamination procedures.

In 2017, environmental remediation was completed inside the treatment plant building to remove mercury that had been found there. The mercury on the premises can be traced to water meters that had been located within the decommissioned plant, which supplied drinking water sourced from Griffy Lake from 1925-1996.

The presence of mercury was newly detected prior to asbestos removal being undertaken in the process of considering future uses for the site. Although the site has for many years been fenced in and posted with No Trespassing signs, inspections over the last week have revealed that unauthorized activity inside and around the building since the remediation has recontaminated the site by releasing and distributing mercury that had not previously been detected.

As remediation efforts resume at the property, recreational activities at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve remain unaffected.

“CBU is taking aggressive steps to fully remediate the Griffy facility and eliminate these hazards,” said Utilities Director Vic Kelson. “At this point, trespassers present the most significant risk to the public and the environment. Mercury can travel out with you on your shoes, clothing, or skin – and you may not even see it.  But your personal health is at stake. ”

If you have further questions, please contact Utilities Director Vic Kelson at or 812-349-3650. You also may consult with Kelson in person at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market this Saturday, July 28 on the steps of City Hall, 401 N. Morton Street, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. during “Mayor at the Market.”