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RI DEM announces closure of certain waters after Fall River short releases 10 mill gallons of partly treated wastewater



Graphic courtesy of Rhode Island Dept of Environmental Management

RHODE ISLAND/FALL RIVER, MA – Officials have announced that sections of local waterways have been closed due to the release of partial treated wastewater.

According to the Rhode Island Department of Enivronmental Management, the City of Fall River notified DEM Sunday morning that the main circuit breaker at the city’s wastewater treatment facility shorted at around 12:00 a.m.

The short resulted in wastewater bypassing the plant’s pumps and a release of around 10 million gallons of partly treated wastewater into Mount Hope Bay.

Due to this sanitary sewer overflow and the heavy rain that the area received recently, a precautionary closure of the RI section of the Mount Hope Bay (Growing Area 17) and the Kickemuit River (Growing Area 5), began at noon today.

As of 11:00 a.m. the Fall River Wastewater Treatment Facility returned to normal operations after the circuit breaker was reset. DEM does not anticipate additional shellfish closures beyond Growing Areas (GA) GA17 and GA5.

For information on emergency and conditional area water quality related shellfish closures call DEM’s 24-hour shell fishing hotline at 401-222-2900, visit for shellfish harvesting classifications and an interactive shellfishing map.

Rhode Island Department of Enivronmental Management will issue an update today or tomorrow if needed.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jerry Normandin

    April 23, 2023 at 7:22 pm

    The swan die off is in the same location as the waterways that were just closed.

    I think the two incidents could be related

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