RIVERHEAD - Health officials are urging residents to take precautions after partially-treated wastewater was found in the Peconic River.
Suffolk's Health Department says the wastewater from Riverhead's sewage treatment plant was released into the river earlier this month. A recent sample taken from the river still shows high levels of coliform bacteria.
Suffolk's health officials say the spillage is a result of ongoing upgrade work at the plant. They say the warning is a precaution in case other problems occur during the project.
Newsday Database: Sewage treatment plants and fines by community
Suffolk County's Health Department says people should not touch the water until upgrades are performed and the sewage treatment plant is operating properly. They also suggest that pets be kept away from the water.
The first upgrade is expected to be completed in February.
The sewage plant is owned by the Town of Riverhead. The state Department of Environmental Conservation says there is ongoing enforcement action against the town, but wouldn't give details.