What were the findings that led to the creation of the plant?

A 1963 study by Camp, Dresser & McKee (before treatment plants) summarized then prevailing conditions as follows:
“Our investigations and studies indicate that the Merrimack River is polluted from the New Hampshire state line down to the Atlantic Ocean. The pollution resulting from excessive bacterial counts makes any type of recreational use of the river hazardous to the public health. This bacterial pollution results almost entirely from the discharge of untreated sanitary sewage into the river. The pollution resulting from excessive decomposable organic matter causes depletion of oxygen content of the river water during dry weather and is sufficient to cause odor nuisances and be dangerous to fish life. In addition to bacterial and organic pollution, the discharge of floating solids and grease causes unsightly nuisance conditions on the river and its banks.”

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