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Public Health Warning Issued Related To Recent Sewage Discharge

BOSTON—March 14, 2023—The Boston Public Health Commission has issued 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.

Several outflows in and around the city of Boston are experiencing overflows due to the current weather event which may potentially affect waters in Boston Inner Harbor.    

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Outflow MWR203, located in the Upper Inner Harbor, upstream of North Washington St. Bridge, and Boston Water and Sewer Commission Outflows BOS013, BOS002, and BOS009 in East Boston, BOS019 in Charlestown, BOS060 Downtown, BOS070 in the Fort Point Channel, and BOS076 in South Boston, beginning at various times on March 14th creating a potential public health risk. This advisory will expire 48 hours after these overflows have ended.  

This data is preliminary and may be revised to include any additional overflows and end times. Check the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority website here and Boston Water and Sewer Commission here for current updates about this discharge.  

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 at www.boston.gov/cso.    

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Sewage warning

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