Sewage Spills into RI Brook

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 @ 11:08 AM gHale

About 300,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Buckeye Brook in Warwick, RI, after a sewer line collapsed Sunday.

The Warwick Sewer Authority discovered the overflow Sunday at 5:30 p.m. They treated the sewage Sunday night with chlorine after reporting the spill to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEP).

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The sewer line was hard to fix because it lies 22 feet below ground, said DEP Chief Public Affairs Officer Mike Healey.

“All sewer plants are separated in low-lying areas because separation needs gravity,” Healey said. “Gravity is essential for separating solid from liquid waste.”

Healey said the chlorination efforts from the Warwick Sewer Authority are working. The Department of Health collected water samples at Conimicut Beach, and samples tested below detection levels for the sewage.

Precautionary measures are still being taken. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management stopped shellfishing operations in the Upper Narragansett Bay until further notice. Conimicut Beach will remain closed as well. Healey said the earliest they would open is Friday.

Warwick’s local officials hired a contractor to repair the pipes in the sewer line. Healey said it will take two weeks to fix, and that temporary infrastructure and additional staff are onsite to keep the overflow from happening again.

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