We wanted to provide you an update on what we know about the discharge of 930,000 gallons of primarily treated sewage from the Scituate Wastewater Treatment Plant that resulted in last week’s closure of the North and South Rivers shellfish beds. The spill occurred due to a power surge and computer malfunction between 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 27th and 6:45 a.m. Thursday, April 28th. On Saturday, April 30th, once we had confirmed that the shellfish beds were closed, we posted a notice on the NSRWA’s Facebook page and issued an email notice to raise the public’s awareness of the spill and the closure of the shellfish beds. On Monday, May 2nd, the Town of Scituate issued a press release that explained the cause of the spill, their immediate action to rectify it and their notification of authorities.
We have been in contact with the Division of Marine Fisheries Shellfish Division who has informed us that their staff will conduct sampling in the rivers next week to determine if water quality supports re-opening the shellfish beds to the public. The Mass Division of Marine Fisheries has placed the NSRWA on their notification list and we will share any information they provide us as soon as we have it via our website, Facebook page, email list and twitter account.
We plan on meeting with officials in the town of Scituate in the coming weeks to discuss the public notification process and the need to ensure that water is safe for swimming and boating through water quality testing when there is a spill of untreated or partially treated sewage into our rivers.
The NSRWA takes very seriously the discharge of partially treated sewage into our rivers, the public’s right to use their waterways, and their right to know the condition of those waterways. After all it is the NSRWA’s role to be the watchdog for these rivers. We will continue to work hard to ensure that you are made aware of the condition of your rivers, that they are clean and that your right to use them is maintained.
For additional information please see this week’s Mariner news article.