BOSTON – January 10, 2024 – 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.  

  • Boston Water and Sewer Outfall BOS003 at Jeffries Point in East Boston experienced a discharge or overflow that started on Wednesday, January 10 at 12:35am and ended on Wednesday, January 10 at 3:50am, creating a potential public health risk. This event impacts the waters of the Boston Harbor and East Boston waterfront. This advisory will expire on Friday, January 12 at 3:50am, 48 hours after the overflow has ended.
  • Boston Water and Sewer Outfall BOS070 in the Fort Point Channel experienced a discharge or overflow that started on Wednesday, January 10 at 1:45am and ended on Wednesday, January 10 at 7:35am, creating a potential public health risk. This event impacts the waters of the Fort Point Channel and downtown waterfront. This advisory will expire on Friday, January 12 at 7:35am, 48 hours after the overflow has ended.
  • Massachusetts Water Resource Authority outfall MWR201 in the Charles River upstream of the Boston University Bridge experienced a discharge or overflow that started on Wednesday, January 10 at 3:41am, creating a potential public health risk. This discharge is ongoing. This event impacts the waters of the Charles River and will expire 48 hours after the discharge stops.
  • Massachusetts Water Resource Authority outfall MWR023 in the Charles River at Stoney Brook experienced a discharge or overflow that started on Wednesday, January 10 at 4:00am, creating a potential public health risk. This discharge is ongoing. This event impacts the waters of the Charles River and will expire 48 hours after the discharge stops.
  • Massachusetts Water Resource Authority outfall MWR018 in the Charles River at the Miriam and Sidney Stoneman Playground experienced a discharge or overflow that started on Wednesday, January 10 at 3:52am, creating a potential public health risk. This discharge is ongoing. This event impacts the waters of the Charles River and will expire 48 hours after the discharge stops.

 

Note that these data are preliminary and may be revised and additional overflows lasting longer than two hours associated with this weather event may be added to the permittee agency websites. Check the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority website here and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission here 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 at www.boston.gov/cso.

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