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RI officials close Bristol Harbor area to shellfishing after tests show high bacteria counts

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BRISTOL, Rhode Island — Rhode Island officials have closed Bristol Harbor and waters around Hog Island to shellfishing until further notice after tests showed high bacteria levels.

The Department of Environmental Management says high flows and elevated bacteria counts were measured in Bristol's wastewater treatment facility and in overflows from pumping stations throughout the collection system. Officials say heavy rains earlier this week caused high flows at the treatment plant and pump station overflows.

The DEM will be collecting water samples to check bacteria levels to determine when shellfishing can resume.

Fishermen will be allowed into the closure areas to maintain or retrieve their equipment.

The state's 24-hour shellfishing hotline has recorded updates on the shellfish closure areas. The hotline number is 401-222-2900.

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