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The last episode of 'M-A-S-H' was a royal flush...

NEW YORK -- The last episode of 'M-A-S-H' was a royal flush with a million New Yorkers using their bathrooms at the end of the program, sending an additional 6.7 million gallons of water into the city's sewers, officials said Monday.

'We don't know of any instantaneous increase in water usage that would match this,' said Peter Barrett, a spokesman for the city Department of Enviromental Protection.

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Barrett noted the rate at which water flowed through two tunnels serving the city jumped by 300 million gallons per day in the 30-minute period following the program.

Barrett said the flow rate in two water tunnels serving the nation's largest city leaped by a daily rate of 150 million gallons each at 11:03 p.m. on Feb. 28, three minutes after the finish of the last episode of the long-running CBS television comedy.

He said the water flow continued at the abnormally high rate for about half an hour, producing the use of an additional 6.7 million gallons of water after the program.

Barrett said that translated into about 1 million New Yorkers who went to the bathroom after the show. An all-time record of 125 million people watched all or part of the 2 -hour final episode of 'M-A-S-H.'

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'In speaking to engineeers who've been around 30 or 40 years, they haven't encountered anything like this before,' Barrett said.

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