NANTUCKET, MA (WBZ-AM) -- An estimated 2.5 Million gallons of gallons of raw sewage is spewing into pristine Nantucket sound.
Officials say a main burst last night, possibly related to the weather.
Roberto Santamaria, Director of the health department on Nantucket and tells WBZ NewsRadio1030’s Laurie Kirby, that officials were left with no other options to send the overflow untreated sewage into the harbor.
“As of right now it is really the only solution if we were to shut down the system it would back up homes and it would create a major public health crisis,” he said.
The sewer system takes care of majority of the island’s sewage serving approximately 4,000 homes and businesses.
“We are looking to decontaminate the whole area and we are trying to contain the situation as soon as we can,” Santamaria said.
Because ferry service was cancelled, a crew was flown in by helicopter to try to help fix the broken main. It could be fixed by late Monday afternoon.
Town Officials say that crews have been working 24-hour shifts and although all sewer and water service remains unaffected the Town requests that the public limit their water use as much as possible to limit the volume of activity.
The fishery remains closed to shell fishing until the repairs are completed and affected areas can be evaluated.
The EPA and Commonweath's Department of Environmental Protection has been alerted.
Santa Maria says that they can't put out containment booms to trap the raw sewage, because the harbor is caked in ice.
“So it's really looking into as we're looking into the tidal flow to have to flush out the harbor,” he said.