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The public is advised to avoid contact with affected water bodies for at least 48 hours after the overflow has ended due to increased health risks from bacteria or other pollutants associated with urban stormwater runoff and discharges of untreated or partially treated wastewater.
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A CSO occurs when a large storm overwhelms the combined sewerage system causing rainwater to mix with wastewater and discharge to a nearby water body. This prevents sewage backups into homes and businesses. The overflow impacts the waters of the Upper Inner Harbor and Charlestown.
State regulations require local public health departments to provide notice to the public when these discharges may create a risk to public health, including when a discharge lasts for more than two hours. Residents are encouraged to check the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority website and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission website for current updates on this event. More information about CSOs and public health can be found at www.boston.gov/cso.
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