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< Beachapedia:Factoid‎ | 2001‎ | 09

Water Quality on Beaches Outside Boston

Boston's ancient sewer pipes were built to collect not only sewage, but also rainwater, which carries bacteria and pollutants as it moves under city streets. Normally, the Deer Island Treatment Plant treats all that waste and sends it through the sewage tunnel to be diluted in ocean currents. "But the plant doesn't have the capacity to treat all that waste every time it rains heavily. Instead, some pipes are redirected into Boston area rivers, the harbor, and the bay, dumping untreated human waste along with animal waste into beach areas. That's why after heavy rainstorms, red flags go up on Carson Beach in South Boston, for example, warning visitors it's too dangerous to go swimming." (Excerpt from a Boston Globe article from 9/10/01)

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