PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management has extended the existing shellfish closure for Conditional Area A and the Conimicut Triangle in the Upper Bay as a result of a reported sewage overflow from the Narragansett Bay Commission's and the City of Pawtucket's sewer system. The discharge was caused by a blockage that lead to a dry weather overflow into the Blackstone River from Combined Sewer Overflow #203 at the intersection of Carnation Street and Middle Street in Pawtucket. Crews cleared the blockage at noon today and it is no longer discharging sewage to the river.
As a result Conditional Area A and the Conimicut Triangle will be closed to shellfishing until sunrise on October 16.
DEM and Rhode Island Department of Health are advising the public to refrain from contact recreation in along the Blackstone River down stream of Carnation Street and in the Seekonk River. Officials recommend washing your hands before drinking or eating if there was contact with this Blackstone or Seekonk River. This advisory is in effect until sundown on Friday, October 10.
Based on information gathered from NBC staff, it is estimated that approximately 1.5 million gallons of untreated sewage entered the Blackstone River over 48 hours before crews discovered and stopped the overflow at noon today. DEM is investigating the incident.
The Narragansett Bay Commission has and will continue sampling the affected waters and DEM will review the results to determine if the length of the shellfish closure can be reduced.
DEM maintains a recorded telephone information line, 222-2900, with the most updated information on shellfish closures.