Dartmouth Health Board Warns of Sewer Discharge in Clark’s Cove
UPDATE: This article has been updated to include a comment from the New Bedford Mayor's Office stating that no city beaches will be closed.
DARTMOUTH — The Dartmouth Board of Health warned residents on Wednesday to stay out of Clark's Cove waters for the next 48 hours, as untreated wastewater was discharged into the cove during Tuesday's rainstorm.
In a public advisory sent out on Aug. 10, health officials said a combined sewer overflow discharge from the City of New Bedford's sewage system took place on Tuesday.
According to the EPA website, combined sewer overflows are untreated wastewater discharges caused by heavy precipitation.
The discharges can include rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater.
The overflow was discharged into Clark's Cove at Padanaram Avenue, according to the health board advisory.
Officials noted in the release that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection advises avoiding contact with the body of water for 48 hours after the discharge "due to increased health risks from bacteria and other pollutants."
Dartmouth's health board said it has taken steps to test the town's beaches along Clark's Cove, and has temporarily closed several beaches until results come back from the lab.
These include Jones, Hidden Bay, Oak Hill Shores, and Anthony's beaches.
Officials said they are sending a "strong advisory" to residents to "avoid contact with the water, which may cause illness."
A spokesperson for the New Bedford mayor's office said that there would be no beach closures on that side of the cove.