NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – All the recent rainfall in western Massachusetts has led to sewage discharges in several areas along the Connecticut River.
It’s not uncommon for heavy rainfall to cause these combined sewage overflows. With combined sewer systems, surface runoff goes through the same pipes as sewer systems and heavy rain tends to overwhelm it.
To prevent sewage backups into homes and streets, relief points called combined sewer overflows (CSOs) are built into the wastewater systems to discharge some of the sewage and rainwater into certain bodies of water.
22News spoke with a local farmer about how the rainwater and sewage discharge has impacted crops.
“We don’t know how good the feed is going to be once the water goes away because toxins and other diseases that are carried by the river water could cause a problem,” said Darryl Williams from Luther Belden Farms in North Hatfield.
CSO releases come with the possibility of bacterial contamination to the impacted waterways, which in Northampton includes the Connecticut and Mill Rivers.
Whenever these discharges occur, residents are asked to avoid recreational water activities for at least 48 hours following the incident to prevent possible illness.