Merrimack River: MRWC wants CSO annoucements

Merrimack River: MRWC wants CSO annoucements.
TEWKSBURY — The Merrimack River provides five cities and 600,000 residents in New Hampshire and Massachusetts with drinking water; it also collects sewage from treatment plants that do not have any obligation to inform anyone when they dump the combination of polluted rainwater runoff and raw sewage into the river.
“The Merrimack water isn’t clean; it has to be treated to be drinking water for Lowell, Lawrence, Andover, and other towns on the Merrimack.
Then, the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, which allowed the water from the combined source systems to be taken into sewage treatment plants.
“When it rains heavily, the sewage treatment plant can’t handle the amount of flow, so the proprietors have built an overflow valve that allows the sewage system to dump directly into the river.
The sewage system that is part of these cities (Manchester, Nashua, Lawrence, Lowell, and Haverhill) overflows into the Merrimack.” The concern for Russell and others at the MRWC is the number of people relying on the Merrimack River for drinking water.
“I’m not saying that the water is polluted, but it’s more at risk than other water systems.” “Some sewer systems allow people to sign up for an email list, so I get a notice from Haverhill at some point after there’s been a CSO,” said Russell.
The public doesn’t have a right to know.” His next step, after being a concerned citizen, is bringing more attention to Senate Bill 448.
Haverhill’s 2016 CSO report says that their combined sewage discharged into the Merrimack did not receive any treatment.
According to the MRWC, almost all of the 600,000 people drinking from the Merrimack live below at least one of the sewage treatment plants that release untreated combined sewage and runoff.

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