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UPDATE: Suffolk County Department of Health Services Issues Peconic River Recreation Advisory

LongIsland.com

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services today issued an advisory to residents to take precautions before recreating on the tidal portion of the Peconic River (east of Grangebel Park) this week due to the ...

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Contact with waters in the tidal portion of the Peconic River should be avoided at this time.

Photo by: Peconic Estuary Program

Update - December 21, 2015 - On December 15, 2015, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services issued an advisory to residents to take precautions before recreating on the tidal portion of the Peconic River (east of Grangebel Park) due to the possible residual effects of inadequately treated wastewater discharged from the Riverhead sewage treatment plant.

The treatment plant is currently being upgraded, thereby, disrupting normal operations of the plant’s treatment process.  Corrective actions at the treatment plant have been implemented, and the situation has improved, as effluent currently meets the bacteriological limits established by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).  However, high chlorination rates occurring at the sewage treatment plant are resulting in a visible plume of cloudy water in the area of the river where the effluent is discharged. 

Suffolk County Health officials continue to work closely with the NYSDEC, which has jurisdiction over the permitting and enforcement at the facility, and with the management at the Riverhead plant.

Avoid contact with waters in this tidal portion of the Peconic River. Keep children and pets away from the area, as well. If contact does occur, 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.

More information is forthcoming as health officials learn more about the situation.

The original press release is below.

Suffolk County, NY - December 15, 2015 - The Suffolk County Department of Health Services today issued an advisory to residents to take precautions before recreating on the tidal portion of the Peconic River (east of Grangebel Park) this week due to the possible residual effects of inadequately treated wastewater discharged from the Riverhead sewage treatment plant. Suffolk County health officials learned of the discharge from sample results that were received Friday. Corrective actions were taken immediately, and the situation is improving. Suffolk County Health officials are working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which has jurisdiction over the permitting and enforcement at the facility and  with the management at the Riverhead plant.

Contact with waters in this tidal portion of the Peconic River should be avoided. If contact does occur, 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.

More information is forthcoming as health officials learn more about the situation.