PROVIDENCE- The Department of Environmental Management has enacted a shellfish closure in the Kickemuit River as a result of a sewage overflow from the Town of Bristol's Kickemuit River pump station located on Kickemuit Avenue. The discharge was caused by a crack in the force main valve at the pump station. The system was repaired at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and is no longer discharging sewage to the river.
Based on information gathered from city staff, it is estimated that a maximum volume of 10,000 gallons of untreated sewage entered the Kickemuit River over a 24-hour period before crews stopped the overflow. DEM is investigating the incident.
The following area of the Kickemuit River has been immediately closed to shellfish harvesting and will remain closed to shellfishing until further notice: All waters of the Kickemuit River north of a line at the so called Narrows in Bristol from the utility pole located at the end of Narrows Road in Bristol on the western shoreline to the stone wall at the most southwest point of land on the opposite side of the Narrows on Touisset Neck (east side of Bristol Narrows).
As a precaution, the Department of Health and DEM are advising people to refrain from contact recreation along the Kickemuit River in Rhode Island. DEM will conduct sampling of the river water and shellfish on Monday to determine a date for re-opening of these waters to the taking of shellfish and when recreational activities can safely be resumed.
DEM maintains a recorded telephone information line, 222-2900, with the most updated information on shellfish closures.