First off, I apologize to my friends and neighbors here in Berkshire County. I meant to spread the word on this yesterday, but the day, as it often does, got ahead of me. Victoria, a co-worker of mine, even brought the voicemail from the Department of Public Services and Utilities to my attention.

It seems that untreated wastewater from the Wastewater Treatment Plant out there on Holmes Road may have been discharged accidentally into the Housatonic River yesterday morning. The duration of this accidental discharge lasted approximately an hour and 15 minutes.

Officials report they were initially unsure of exactly how much untreated wastewater was discharged into the river, but the public should definitely avoid contact with the river for at least 48 hours due to heightened health risks from bacteria and other pollutants.

According to officials, this overflow discharge undoubtedly has untreated or partially treated sewage and waste. I don't know about you, but even partially treated wastewater is enough to keep me away for 48 hours, am I right?

However, public safety officials want to stress that the overflow discharge does not impact drinking water. You're safe there. Thank goodness! There are warning signs posted advising you not to eat any fish or fowl obtained from the Housatonic.

Apparently, the blame for the problem goes to a failed pump shutdown which started around 5:30 Tuesday morning and ended at approximately 6:45 a.m. Officials now believe that around 500 gallons of untreated wastewater reached the river.

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