Sewage spill closes Kickemuit to shellfishing

The spill occurred yards from this spot along the Bristol shoreline, at the bottom of Annawanscutt Road. A faint smell of sewage lingered Friday morning. The spill occurred yards from this spot along the Bristol shoreline, at the bottom of Annawanscutt Road. A faint smell of sewage lingered Friday morning.

The Town of Bristol has closed the Kickemuit River to shellfishing until further notice and notified the state DEM, after a faulty valve at Bristol’s Kickemuit River pump station failed Thursday and released approximately 10,000 gallons of untreated sewer into Mt. Hope Bay just south of the Bristol Narrows.

The closure — all points north of a line from the bottom of Narrows Road in Bristol to Touisset Point — is the first significant closure of the Kickemuit since the state reopened the river to shellfishing last year.

Bristol Rep. Raymond Gallison lives about a half mile south of the spill, and said Friday morning that he was incensed.

“This is totally unacceptable,” he said. “The Kickemuit River has always been very pristine. Someone needs to be held accountable.”

The spill occurred at this pump station at the corner of Annawamscutt and King Philip in Bristol.

The spill occurred at this pump station at the corner of Annawamscutt and King Philip in Bristol.

He said he is asking Bristol Town Administrator Tony Teixeira to look into the matter, and has also requested that state DEM and health department officials come down and inspect the pump station.

A worker who answered the phone at Bristol’s wastewater treatment facility said the discharge was caused by a cracked pipe, which was repaired Thursday night. There was no word on the cause of the failure, but information will be added as it becomes available.

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