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Officials tracking devices flushed from wastewater plant

March 10, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Officials in Rhode Island are advising some state residents that they may see plastic pinwheel-shaped objects washing ashore, but say although they come from a wastewater treatment facility they aren’t dangerous or contaminated with sewage sludge.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management issued the advisory Friday, saying the objects, known as “media,” were flushed out of East Providence’s wastewater treatment facility during an intense storm March 2. They’re used to help the wastewater system remove nutrients before the treated water is disinfected and discharged.

The department says the media may show up along the Providence River and the east and west passages of the Upper Narragansett Bay. Officials say they’d already been disinfected and didn’t escape directly into the river.

Officials are working to track and remove the plastic.

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