Press Pass: Pollution plagues Scajaquada Creek

Jan 26, 2016

Attention is now focused on the level of pollution in the Buffalo's Scajaquada Creek. "It's the only one (waterway) in the entire Niagara River Watershed where it's unfit for aquatic life," said Investigative Post's Dan Telvock during WBFO's Press Pass.

"Really all you'll see in there is carp. Carp can survive almost anything."

Pollution has become a major problem at Scajaquada Creek.
Credit Dan Telvock

Telvock describes a stunning presence of sewage in the creek. Most of it comes from inadequate storm sewer systems which overflow during heavy rainfall.

"I wouldn't go as far as to say that homeowners are responsible because they may not know, but they do have some responsibility because they may have a rain downspout connected to the sewer line directly," Telvock explained.  

"That's illegal. It shouldn't be happening, but it does and it happens in Cheektowaga and it still happens in Buffalo."  

Efforts to clean the creek are underway. Some grant money has been allocated to improve sewer systems in Cheektowaga and Buffalo, though millions more will be needed.

Telvock is intrigued by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper's plans to establish a park and paddle boat launch into the creek in the city's Black Rock section.

"This is an ugly section of the creek. There's an oily sheen to the water. There's just stuff floating in there that just doesn't look right," Telvock said.

The presence of recreational users would likely increase the push for cleaner water.

Telvock explained that the Scajaquada Creek is now an "area of concern," which could prompt the flow of state and federal funds to boost clean up efforts.

A similar designation was once given to the Buffalo River.   

"We have all seen what has happened with the Buffalo River."