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Flooding causes sewage to flow into the Oswegatchie

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HEUVELTON — High water levels in the village have caused raw sewage to run into the Oswegatchie River.

The backup happened around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, when high water levels flooded the village’s sewer system on the north side of the river.

Officials said approximately 430,000 gallons of wastewater were released over the course of 18 hours after a sewage pipe burst.

As a result, the village has had to bypass its wastewater treatment plant and discharge into the river untreated sewage from homes and businesses.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has been notified and is aware of the situation, village officials said in a news release.

“There’s nothing we can do at this time,” said DEC spokesman Stephen W. Litwhiler. “With the high flows, there is no way to recover the waste, nor would it be practical.”

Mr. Litwhiler said there are no permanent environmental concerns associated with the sewage pipe burst.

The village has called in a contractor to attempt to mitigate the situation and restore flow to the wastewater treatment plant.

In the meantime, the village is asking residents to conserve water, and ensure that no sump pumps are discharging into the sewer system.

Residents also are being asked to pay attention to wastewater connections in basements and to immediately notify the village if any sewage backup or flooding occurs.

The village has asked the Losurdo Foods cheese plant to suspend its wastewater flows and use the plant’s on-site holding tank until the issue is resolved.

Flooding has closed a portion of County Route 15 between Dry Bridge and River roads outside the village.

Also closed are sections of County Route 3 in Rossie and County Route 7 in Macomb.

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