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NH Sewage Plant Disks Wash Ashore At Mass. Beaches

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The round, plastic white disks have been washing up on beaches from Hampton, N.H. to Newburyport, Mass. (credit: NH DES)

The round, plastic white disks have been washing up on beaches from Hampton, N.H. to Newburyport, Mass. (credit: NH DES)

WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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HOOKSETT, N.H. (AP) – Thousands of small plastics disks from a Hooksett, N.H., sewage treatment plant are washing up on the sea shore in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, prompting health officials to close beaches in the two states.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports from Plum Island

The disks are about twice the diameter of a quarter and have a screen mesh on them. Officials say the disks are intended to collect bacteria and help to digest the waste-water.

Clean-up is proving to be a mammoth task. Crews are picking up each of the thousands of disks by hand.

The disks have washed up on beaches in Hampton and Seabrook as well as in Massachusetts along Plum Island, Salisbury Beach and all along the Merrimack River.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service says the disks washed out of the Hooksett sewage treatment plant last week because of overflow from a rain storm.

“These disks came from a waste-water treatment facility located in central New Hampshire that discharges to the Merrimack River,” environmental officials said in a release.

People are advised not to handle the disks without protective gloves because “they may contain bacteria.”

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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