WARWICK, RI — Shellfishing in Upper Narragansett Bay Conditional Area A is closed indefinitely after a 24-inch sewer line break on Lake Shore Drive discharged at least 450,000 gallons of sewage into Warwick Pond Sept. 12.
“DEM first became aware of the discharge Sept. 12 at 8 p.m.. As of 10 a.m. today, the Warwick Sewer Authority was working to install temporary bypass pumping and estimates that around 450,000 gallons had overflowed to Warwick Pond. The discharge is ongoing,” DEM reported in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
Michael D. Zarum, President and Chairman, Buckeye Brook Coalition, said he learned of the break early Tuesday morning.
“As president of the Buckeye Brook Coalition, and their being the official RI State Designated Local Watershed Council for that watershed, and something similar happened a few years ago, I posted on BBC’s FaceBook page,” Zarum said in an email seeking comment on the leak.
As a precaution, DEM and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) are advising residents to temporarily refrain from both primary contact recreational water activities (wading, swimming) and secondary contact activities (canoeing, kayaking, rowing, and fishing) on Warwick Pond, Buckeye Brook, Mill Creek, and Mill Cove and to avoid consuming any fish from these waters (see map above) until further notice. Swimming in any area currently under the extended emergency shellfish closure is not recommended.
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, or sign up for the Office of Water Resources’ listserv here: RishellfishOWRemail@example.com.
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