PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management has announced that the emergency closure of the waters of Bristol Harbor and waters in the vicinity of Hog Island that were closed to shellfishing due to high flows and high fecal coliform levels in effluent discharged from the Bristol Wastewater Treatment Plant are scheduled to re-open at sunrise on April 12 2014. Specifically, waters North and East of a line from the southern tip of Poppasquash Point, Bristol to Southwest Point on Hog Island and from the southwest point of Hog Island to the southwestern extremity of Arnold Point in Portsmouth, where a DEM range marker has been established including those water of Bristol Harbor and those waters in the vicinity of Hog Island that are currently classified as Seasonally open. Aquaculturists in these areas are allowed to resume normal operations of their leases at that time.
The emergency closure was necessitated by flooding of the plant which led to loss of disinfection, and high fecal coliform bacteria level measured at the plant during and after the rain event on March 29th-31st . The results of samples collected by DEM on Thursday April 10th indicate that these waters are now suitable for the harvesting of shellfish. The conditionally approved waters of Mt Hope Bay and Kickemuit River are scheduled to re-open at noon on April 15th 2014.