WARWICK, RI — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has ended the emergency closure of the western side of Upper Narragansett Bay shellfish Area A .
The emergency closure was for waters west of a line extending from Conimicut Point south to the extension of Ogden Avenue in Warwick, put it in place after a sewage spill on Lake Shore Drive Sept. 12. The ruptured sewer line discharged untreated sewage Sept. 12-14 into Warwick Pond, which flows into Buckeye Brook and ultimately into Mill Cove and Upper Narragansett Bay southwest of Conimicut Point.
Most of the area was reopened to shellfishing Sept. 22. Since then, water samples collected by the Warwick Sewer Authority and DEM have shown a decline in bacteria levels to normal levels since the sewer line break was repaired and the discharge to the pond ended on Sept. 14. Therefore, in accordance with DEM procedures and US Food and Drug Administration guidance, DEM is reopening the area 21 days after the sewage spill ended.
Along with reopening Area A to shellfishing, DEM and the Rhode Island Department of Health are lifting the no-contact advisory that they had placed on Warwick Pond, Buckeye Brook, Mill Creek, and Mill Cove on Sept. 13 advising residents to temporarily refrain from both primary contact recreational water activities (wading, swimming) and secondary contact activities (canoeing, kayaking, rowing, and fishing) and to avoid consuming any fish from these waters.
For information on emergency and conditional area water quality related shellfish closures, call DEM’s 24-hour shell fishing hotline at 401-222-2900, visit www.dem.ri.gov/shellfish,
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