Back-to-back heavy rain can affect bacteria levels in area rivers

Weather News

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. (WWLP)- All the rain we’ve been getting can affect the water quality of area rivers.

When we get heavy rain, bacteria levels in area rivers can get pretty high. When we get torrential rains like we’ve had recently that water flows into the storm drains but it can pick up all kinds of pollutants that can end up in area rivers.

In addition to storm drain water, sewage can also flow into the river when the system gets overwhelmed by too much water.

Angela Chaffee from the Connecticut River Conservancy told 22News, “Right now, in a lot older cities like Springfield or Hartford, those are one pipe together and so when it rains that pipe gets overwhelmed and so you’ll have sewage and stormwater mixing and rather than backing up into people’s home the systems have been designed to overflow into the river.”

Right now a project is underway to help prevent the sewage overflow from going into the Connecticut River. Chaffee said you should wait 24 to 48 hours after a heavy rain event before going back into the river.

You can check river bacteria levels in your area here.

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