The following is a public health warning related to a recent sewage discharge, also known as a combined sewer overflow (CSO). State regulations require local public health departments to provide notice to the public when these discharges may create a risk to public health, including when a discharge lasts for more than two hours.
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Outflow MWR023, located near the Charles River, experienced a treated discharge or overflow starting on Tuesday, August 8, at 11:36 a.m., creating a potential public health risk. The overflow ended at 4:06 p.m. on August 8, and this advisory will expire 48 hours after the overflow has ended according to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority website here.
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Outflow MWR201, located in the Charles River upstream of the Boston University Bridge, experienced a treated discharge or overflow starting on Wednesday, August 8 at 11:56am, creating a potential public health risk. The overflow ended at 3:00pm, and this advisory will expire 48 hours after the overflow has ended according to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority website here.
Note that this data is preliminary and may be revised. Additional discharges of durations shorter than two hours have also occurred. Check the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority website and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission for current updates.
The public is advised to avoid contact with affected water bodies for at least 48 hours after a sewage discharge or overflow, during rainstorms, and for 48 hours after rainstorms end, due to increased health risks from bacteria or other pollutants associated with urban stormwater runoff and discharges of untreated or partially treated wastewater.
A combined sewer overflow occurs when a large storm overwhelms the combined sewerage system causing rainwater to mix with wastewater and discharge to a nearby water body. This prevents sewage backups into homes and businesses. More information about CSOs and public health is available