A heavy sewage discharge after current downpours would possibly impression waters in Boston Harbor, metropolis officers warned on Thursday as they issued a public well being warning for the mixed sewer overflow.
A mixed sewer overflow happens when a big storm overwhelms the sewage system, inflicting rainwater to combine with wastewater and discharge to a close-by water physique. This sewer overflow helps forestall sewage backups into houses and companies.
On Wednesday evening, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Outflow MWR203 – positioned within the Upper Inner Harbor, upstream of the North Washington Street Bridge — skilled a handled discharge or overflow as buckets of rain hit the area.
This overflow created “a potential public health risk,” the Boston Public Health Commission stated in its warning on Thursday.
“This event may potentially affect waters in Boston Inner Harbor,” the general public well being officers later added.
The overflow began at 8:20 p.m. on Wednesday and ended at 10:30 p.m.
This warning will expire 48 hours after the overflow ended — 10:30 p.m. on Friday.
“The public is advised to avoid contact with affected water bodies for at least 48 hours after a sewage discharge or overflow, during rainstorms, and for 48 hours after rainstorms end, due to increased health risks from bacteria or other pollutants associated with urban stormwater runoff and discharges of untreated or partially treated wastewater,” the Boston Public Health Commission wrote in its warning.
State laws require native public well being departments to supply discover to residents when these discharges could create a threat to public well being, together with when a discharge lasts for greater than two hours.
The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority owns mixed sewer outfalls that discharge a mix of stormwater and sewage to the Charles and Mystic rivers, Alewife Brook, and Boston Harbor.