Analyzing Charleston harbor sediment is complex work

Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Crews have been out in recent weeks collecting sediment samples from Charleston Harbor for a study needed for the $300 million deepening of the harbor shipping channel. And while it may appear straightforward, the work seems more of a cross between "House" and "CSI Miami."

A decontaminated stainless steel tube is pushed into the harbor floor to collect samples, and workers on board the ship wear latex gloves handling samples. Then the samples are sent to three labs. The chain of custody is closely monitored, as it would be in a legal case.

Scientists say they want to make sure there is no contamination.

The study is needed to determine if silt from deepening the channel is compatible with silt being already being disposed of at an offshore site.

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