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Rupture of Warwick Sewer Line Causes DEM to Extend Upper Bay Shellfishing Closure

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management announced Tuesday that it will extend the emergency shellfishing closure of Upper Narragansett Bay Conditional Area A — which was previously closed after extreme rainfall Sept. 5-6 and scheduled to reopen Sept. 16 — until further notice. Any harvesting of shellfish in this area is prohibited indefinitely.

The cause of the closure extension is a rupture of a 24-inch sewer line on Lake Shore Drive in Warwick, resulting in the discharge of sewage to Warwick Pond. DEM first became aware of the discharge Sept. 12 at 8 PM. As of 10 AM 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.

As a precaution, DEM and the Rhode Island Department of Health 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.



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