NF Water Board stops discharging sediment

Aug 24, 2017

The Niagara Falls Water Board said it is making changes per the investigation by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Water Board Thursday morning issued the following statement:

"Per our continued interaction with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the NFWB will not, as was previously agreed, dewater sediment basin five to the chlorine contact tank until further notice. In addition, we will be continuing to review and identify potential short and long-term solutions to mitigating the existing facility limitations that cause such discharge situations.

"The NFWB can confirm that we are also working vigorously toward the completion of a report related to
the July 29 black water discharge incident, with heavy dialogue and input from the NYSDEC. The NFWB will continue to provide periodic public and ratepayer updates on overflow and other discharge matters as such information becomes available. Updates will be available at www.NFWB.org."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's website has the following statement:

"Earlier this month, I directed the Department of Environmental Conservation to launch a comprehensive investigation into the discharge of black wastewater into the Lower Niagara River which occurred on July 29.

"At my direction, DEC has informed the Niagara Falls Water Board that they must cease any discharges from the sediment basin until the investigation is complete. In addition, DEC is instructing the Water Board to evaluate permanent solutions such as requiring automatic shutoff valves.

"DEC has further directed the Niagara Water Board to submit a report on the incident by September 1, and we expect this investigation to be completed in the coming weeks."

The response comes after an environmental alert was issued by the New York State Alert system early Wednesday morning, advising residents of a sewer discharge in the Niagara River near the popular American Falls. According to the alert system, an estimated 1.1 million gallons of untreated sewage was released into the water.

The release was caused by overcapacity issues that resulted from Tuesday's heavy rains. Representatives at the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant were not available to comment at the time.