Month after sewage spill, DEM re-opens Kickemuit

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Exactly one month after a sewage spill shut the Kickemuit River to shellfishing, state health officials have re-opened the river and given its waters a clean bill of health.

Based on acceptable results of shellfish samples collected Monday, the Department of Environmental Management re-opened the river to shellfishing at sunrise Thursday, July 24. The river had been closed since a sewage overflow on Thursday, June 26 caused by a crack in the force main valve at Bristol’s Kickemuit River pump station. Bristol sewage workers estimated that as much as 10,000 gallons of untreated sewage flowed into the river before the cracked main was replaced that Thursday evening. State officials immediately closed the river to both shellfishing and swimming, but re-opened it to swimming a few days after the spill.

The following area of the Kickemuit River re-opens today: All waters of the Kickemuit River north of a line at the Narrows in Bristol to Touisset Point.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.