Sewage overflows becoming a bigger problem due to recent storms

Massachusetts News

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) — Major rain events are affecting sewage runoff into Massachusetts waterways. In 2020, roughly a million gallons of unfiltered discharge reached public waterways. This discharge is a combination of rainwater and sewage and is “released” when the storm drain systems are overwhelmed.

Most of that discharge is filtered before it hits waterways, but not all of it. If the system is overwhelmed, like when we have heavy rainstorms, discharge can be a problem. The water flows into rivers and streams, so that it doesn’t back up into your home.

From January through August, sewage overflows in the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority service zone discharged more than twice the rainwater/sewage combination into public waterways than in all of 2020. Through just last month, the system was overwhelmed 80 times, totaling 594 million gallons.

That’s according to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts. They say last week’s heavy rain added to an already wet summer accumulation. It prompted a closer review of the data on the potentially unfiltered sewage flooding waterways statewide.

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