Kickemuit reopens to harvesting after sewage leak

A mechanical failure at the Kickemuit pump station is to blame for 10,000 gallons of sewage leaking into the Kickemuit River.

State environmental officials are reopening the Kickemuit River to shellfish harvesting after a sewage overflow from a Bristol pump station last month.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says the area will reopen at sunrise on Thursday barring additional heavy rainfall. Officials say test results of shellfish samples collected Monday were acceptable.

The area was closed on an emergency basis after a sewage overflow on June 26 at the Kickemuit River pump station caused by a cracked valve. Up to 10,000 gallons of untreated sewage entered the river over a 24-hour period before the overflow was halted.

A precautionary advisory urging people to refrain from swimming and other contact recreational activities was lifted on July 1 after water sampling showed it was safe.