Power Outages Cause Raw Sewage Dump Into Merrimack River

NORTH ANDOVER (CBS) — Power outages after this past weekend’s storm caused a sewer treatment plant to dump several million gallons of raw sewage into the Merrimack River Monday.

Power was restored to the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District Sewage Treatment Plant in North Andover around 3 p.m. Monday–after it was knocked out for 13 hours.

The plant services North Andover, Andover, Lawrence, and Methuen, and treats part of the sewer for Dracut and Salem, New Hampshire.

The storms caused a pump station to lose power, and that station was unable to push the sewage into the plant for processing.

North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens that residents are not really impacted.

“It wouldn’t be anything they would notice in their homes, as an example, or anything that they would see from a quality of life perspective or a health perspective,” said Maylor.

He said he wants to make sure something like this never happens again.

“We’re going to expect the GLSD to provide us a report that says here’s what happened, and provide us also with steps as to how best we can make sure that it doesn’t happen in the future,” Maylor said.

Pipes dumped about eight million gallons into the river, which went downriver to places like Amesbury, Methuen, and Haverhill.

“We would advise people certainly not to swim, I don’t know anybody who swims this time of year, but not to go into the river at this point,” Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini said.

Maylor said North Andover was among the hardest-hit communities in Massachusetts, and said 60 percent of the community was still without power Tuesday morning.

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