Department of Public Works

Public Works' Statement on June 20th Beach Closures




On Monday June 18, the Pine Street Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) point discharged approximately 145,000 gallons - comprised mostly (>90%) of stormwater and a limited amount of wastewater - into the Pine St Barge Canal. The discharge occurred as a result of an incredibly high volume and intense rain event. The City of Burlington follows Act 86 - a state law requiring specific reporting of discharge events. For CSO discharges, we report to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s public access online ‘Notice of Untreated or Unpermitted Discharges’ page. While no sampling or additional reporting is legally required, due to the magnitude of the storm event, the increased recreational use of lakeshore in proximity to the Pine St Barge Canal and our unwavering commitment to transparency and public health, we opted to take samples at the nearest beach and outfall location. 


Bacteria sample results (taken Tuesday June 19 and returned today) at Blodgett Beach and the Outfall Channel at Blanchard Beach exceed EPA limits and therefore we have closed Blodgett Beach and Blanchard Beach (which was not sampled, but will be closed due to proximity of the outfall) to public access until bacteria levels are back within EPA limits. While a potential contributing factor, more sampling and analysis will be necessary to determine how much the CSO contributed to these high bacteria levels. In the interest of public health, we advise you not to recreate or fish in the water at these beaches until further notice. It is important to note that the Wastewater Plants remained in permit throughout these storm events.


Moving forward, we will be conducting enhanced sampling to further understand the impacts of this and future discharges from the Pine Street CSO. Additional details will be available shortly regarding the history of Burlington’s progress with reducing CSO discharge events.

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Public Works Department