Untreated sewage enters Mill River in Amherst

Published: 10/2/2023 1:49:52 PM
Modified: 10/2/2023 1:48:52 PM

AMHERST — Between 500,000 and 750,000 gallons of untreated sewage and waste was discharged or overflowed from the town’s wastewater treatment facility on Mullins Way late Friday afternoon, going into the Mill River east of Route 116 in Hadley, according to the town’s Department of Public Works. 

The notice, put out by DPW Superintendent Guilford Mooring, stated that the discharge or overflow occurred around 5:45 p.m. at the plant, which is located in Hadley. The discharge or overflow stopped at 7:10 p.m., or about 85 minutes later.

Failure of the inflow pumps at the treatment plant are being blamed for the issue. The pumps later began operating properly.

The discharge did not impact the safety of Amherst’s drinking water, but the public was advised to avoid contact with the Mil River for at least 48 hours due to increased health risks associated with bacteria and other pollutants.

In June, a partial shutdown of the plant, during an emergency repair, led to 75,000 gallons of unchlorinated, partially treated sewage being released into the Connecticut River.



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