People advised to avoid swimming in the Connecticut River due to sewage overflow

People advised to avoid swimming in the Connecticut River due to sewage overflow
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 7:59 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -A sewage alert has been issued for the Connecticut River. With the hot weekend ahead, this is sure to impact cooling-off plans for many.

It’s something we’ve been seeing this summer, alerts from the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission, asking people to avoid the Connecticut River for the next 48 hours due to a sewage overflow, with the latest one coming Friday afternoon.

The affected communities along the river are Springfield, Agawam, West Springfield, and Longmeadow. Officials estimate more than 658 thousand gallons of sewage have spilled into the water. These alerts have been going out more frequently this summer due to a new state law put into effect in early July, but Water and Sewer officials said the overflows are nothing new, just the alerts. Executive director of the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club, Benjamin Quick, said he’s glad they’re bringing more attention to this issue.

“We’re grateful that light is being shed on the issue. It brings attention to the Connecticut River, which is a place where we recreate year round. Our protocols haven’t changed because what we know if that this combined sewage overflow situation has been happening for, let’s be honest, over 100 years,” he said.

Quick said the alerts haven’t negatively affected business at the club because they don’t recommend swimming.