SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A reported sewage overflow in parts of the Connecticut River was determined to be a false alarm.
The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission has issued a correction to its recent Combined Sewer Overflow Public Advisory. A reported 50,000 gallons of sewage overflowing into the river had been mistakenly announced on Sunday.
When 22News contacted the Commission for more information, Communications Manager Jaimye Bartak said the alert was the result of the automated sensor system used to report discharges.
When the staff had gotten notice of the alert Sunday night, an investigation began as it appeared “incongruous with recent weather patterns.”
Bartak explained in a statement, “The Commission’s CSO Public Notification system relies on automated sensors at each of its 23 combined sewer outfalls to alert of CSO discharges into the Connecticut, Chicopee and Mill Rivers. Data is analyzed following each event in order to ensure accuracy of the results. The reliance on sensitive instrumentation in harsh environmental conditions such as debris and flooding, as well as technology failures despite routine maintenance, can lead to false alerts. The limits of technology to respond the state-mandated CSO Public Advisory regulation is a known risk, and procedures are in place to inform the public of false alerts.”
Generally, any time a CSO Public Advisory is issued, the public is advised to avoid contact with the affected water bodies for at least 48 hours. The public can sign up to receive CSO Public Advisories at SpringfieldAlerts.com.
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