The Suffolk County Department of Health Services today issued an advisory to take precautions before recreating in the Patchogue River and Patchogue Bay. The advisory is being issued out of an abundance of caution following the discharge of inadequately treated sewage effluent from the Patchogue Wastewater Treatment Facility, which discharges treated effluent to the Patchogue River. Sampling performed by SCDHS indicates that bacterial levels in the effluent are currently elevated.
Corrective actions to mitigate the discharge were implemented this morning and it is anticipated that subsequent sampling being performed by SCDHS will indicate that the effluent is being properly treated.
Suffolk County health officials are working closely with the New York State Department of Health Services, which has jurisdiction over permitting and enforcement at the facility, and with the management at the Patchogue Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Health officials advise residents to avoid contact with waters and harvesting shellfish from this area until 11:00 a.m., Sunday September 27, 2020, unless sampling conducted by the department finds elevated bacterial numbers persisting beyond the 48-hour period. Keep children and pets away from the area, as well.
If contact does occur, rinse off with clean water immediately. Seek medical attention if after exposure you experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation, or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.
The department will issue updated information if conditions at the treatment plant change.