By Ken MacLeod

WORCESTER (CBS) – A computer glitch is being blamed for ruining the end of the summer in Worcester. Lake Quinsigamond was shut down after sewage spilled into the water for over an hour.

As the “no swimming” flag rippled in the breeze Wednesday, signs warned of the nasty surprise.

High bacteria levels caused by 150,000 gallons of raw sewage that erupted from manholes and poured into the lake Tuesday morning when a computer glitch shut down pumps at the city’s recently upgraded treatment plant.

“It is frustrating,” said Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus. “It was a $10 million brand new sewer pump station.”

It left the city no choice, telling folks that swimming, boating, and fishing were all at their own risk indefinitely.

Lauren Taylor and friends spent some time watching others gamble on a dip but decided not to try it themselves.

lake Lake Shut Down After Computer Glitch Causes Sewage Leak

Lake Quinsigamond closed due to high bacteria levels (WBZ-TV)

“We came down here to go swimming and found out that we couldn’t,” said Taylor. “No I don’t think so it’s a little too dangerous, you never know.”

While it tried to sort out the mishap, the city is staffing the pump station 24/7 to prevent a repeat and checking lake bacteria levels twice daily.

“Because of the currents and the sun, any of the bacterial issues that caused the closing of the beach should be rectified,” Augustus said.

The city knows you can’t hurry Mother Nature but is hoping to give swimming the “green light” by the weekend. Officials are just glad this didn’t happen over Labor Day weekend.


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