Sewage spill in Back River causes shellfish closure; waters deemed safe

APRIL 13 UPDATE: Officials the emergency shellfish condemnation has been lifted. Samplings taken from the river reportedly showed that the waters can be reopened.


HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – A sewage spill into the Back River has caused the Virginia Department of Health to announce a closure to shellfish harvesting Tuesday.

Officials say a break in a sewage pipe caused a significant amount of raw sewage to spill into a tributary of the Back River in Hampton. Due to hazardous bacteria from the spill, shellfish taken from the affected areas are currently unacceptable for consumption.

The Division of Shellfish Sanitation will monitor the shellfish and water quality during the closure to determine if the area can be reopened sooner.

The closure was originally set to effective from April 5 until April 26.

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