Swimming In Sewage?

The Peconic Estuary

On Wednesday afternoon, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services issued an advisory for people to take precautions “before recreating on the fresh and tidal portions of the Peconic River,” running east of Raynor Avenue to the river mouth.

The reason? “The possible residual effects of approximately 4000 gallons of untreated wastewater entering the river stemming from a pump station failure on Raynor Avenue.”

According to the press release, corrective actions were taken immediately, and the situation has been resolved. “Suffolk County health officials are working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which has jurisdiction over the permitting, enforcement, and management at the Riverhead sewage treatment plant and its collection system.”

However, contact with the Peconic River should be avoided for at least the next 48 hours, which equals four tidal cycles, unless otherwise notified.

“If contact does occur,” states the release, “rinse off with clean water immediately.  Seek medical attention if after exposure you experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation, or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.”

Suffolk County Department of Health Services has taken water samples from the Peconic and will reverse the ban once the water tests clear of contaminants.

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