Power Outage Leads to Dumping of Sewage in River

Nov 1, 2017

Aerial image of the Merrimack River
Credit Doc Searls / Flickr Creative Commons

A sewage treatment plant in North Andover, Massachusetts, lost power during the powerful wind storm and spilled 8 million gallons of untreated waste into the Merrimack River.

North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor said Tuesday a pump failed to move waste into the treatment plant because of the power outage. That allowed waste to back up and flow in the river.

He says there was backup power for the sewage treatment plant, but not the pump outside the plant.

Maylor says there was no immediate threat to residents, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection was looking into the matter.

High winds and heavy rain throughout the Northeast on Monday downed trees and power lines and left more than 1.5 million without electricity.