SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A malfunction has caused thousands of gallons of untreated sewage to get into the Connecticut River.

The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission wants the public to know that this was a result of equipment malfunction.

They also want you to know they continue to work on resolving the issue.

Early Monday morning, Suez Environmental Services, the waste water operator for the York Street Pump station, noticed a malfunction in their equipment.

Jaiyme Bartak, Communications Manager for the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission, says, as a result, 90,000 gallons of untreated waste water was released into the Connecticut River.

"We're looking at the data right now, that we collected at the pump station, to try and understand what exactly malfunctioned. We don't know yet," Bartak tells us.

The release took place at an outfall structure that's at the end of West York Street.

"It lasted for about forty minutes, beginning at 7:20 and being resolved by 8 a.m.," explained Bartak.

Bartak says, with the public's safety in mind, they wanted to notify all residents and the communities living downstream.

"If you're going to be in contact with the water, if you're going to be boating or swimming or fishing, we want to advise people that they may want to avoid contact with the water for the next twelve to twenty-four hours," stated Bartak.

While the investigation into the cause continues, Bartak says the release shouldn't have an impact on the animals living in the river.

"The waste water should wash down and be diluted by river water fairly quickly in terms of endangered species. Our immediate concern is really the health of the public and anyone that may be in contact with the river," added Bartak.

In addition to residents being notified, so were the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as Connecticut environmental agencies.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

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