Cities Issue River Warnings After Sewer Overflows Tuesday in Haverhill, Lawrence and Lowell

A section of the Rep. Brian S. Dempsey Boardwalk along the Merrimack River in downtown Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph.)

Area communities issued newly required public health warnings after Lawrence, Lowell and Haverhill all reported combined sewer overflows early Tuesday morning.

A statement from Andover Director of Public Health Thomas Carbone said “These overflows contain stormwater, untreated or partially treated human and industrial waste, toxic materials and debris, rendering the Merrimack River unsafe.”

Downriver, Newburyport told its residents the sewer overflows were first reported in Haverhill at 12:30 a.m., Lowell at 1:10 a.m. and Lawrence at 1:50 a.m.

Newburyport Health Department recommended the public, including pets, avoid contact with the Merrimack River for 48 hours following a sewage discharge or overflow due to the increased health risks from bacteria and other pollutants associated with urban stormwater runoff and discharges of untreated or partially treated wastewater.

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