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Untreated Wastewater Flowing Into Western Mass. Rivers

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Flooding, Disaster

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GREENFIELD (AP) — Massachusetts health officials are urging people not to swim, fish or go boating in portions of the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers because of the discharge of untreated wastewater caused by Tropical Storm Irene.

Flooding on Sunday forced a wastewater treatment facility in Greenfield to shut down, resulting in the discharges and the likelihood of bacterial contamination.

The state Department of Public Health issued a recommendation on Tuesday that people avoid all recreational activities in the river downstream of the confluence of the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers in Massachusetts.

The DPH says state and local officials and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency are trying to assess the problem and determine how it can be fixed.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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