Sewage overflow problem continues in Niagara Falls

Sep 5, 2017
Originally published on September 6, 2017 9:54 am

The topic of sewage discharges is back in the spotlight again in Niagara Falls and surrounding areas.

New York state's alert system issued a warning about a discharge in the Niagara River, due to heavy weekend heavy rains.

There was an estimated 147,000 gallons of untreated sewage, along with rain water, released into the river near Sewage Plant Road in Niagara Falls.

The discharge took place Sunday night around 6 p.m. This comes after another release into the river on Saturday of 315,000 gallons.

Heavy rains caused sewer discharges in other areas throughout the region, including the Black Rock Canal, the Buffalo River, Scajaquada Creek and Casanova Creek.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation recently issued a notice of violation to the Niagara Falls Water Board, after a summer discharge caused visible changes to the river. That smelly, black discharge near the American Falls brought attention to the problem because it came during the height of tourist season. 

The problem of sewer overflows is shared among many cities in the Great Lakes region. The cities' systems of  underground pipes -- which carry both sewage and storm water -- are often overwhelmed by the season’s heavy rains.

During a major storm, discharges of untreated sewage can often total millions of gallons in cities along the Great Lakes.

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