water quality

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GREAT LAKES TODAY - What does a dairy cow have to do with keeping the environment healthy? At the recent Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Buffalo people were invited to witness that connection first hand -- and how it played into one farmer’s economic survival. 

John Kramer can trace the history of his family’s farm back to the 1800s. Despite that long history, a few years ago, like a lot of other farmers, he suffered a setback.

JON HURDLE/STATEIMPACT PA

Water impacts continue at numerous Pennsylvania sites where Sunoco is building the Mariner East 2 pipeline two months after a court-brokered agreement. The settlement between environmental groups and Sunoco Pipeline was designed to prevent horizontal directional drilling from damaging aquifers and spilling fluid into wetlands. 

Buffalo (WBFO) - Yet another discharge of cloudy black water was seen in the Niagara River Monday morning, just below Niagara Falls.

A chlorine smell could also be detected by observers at the Falls. According to the National Weather Service, more than 1.2 inches of rain fell at the Niagara Falls International Airport weather station as of about 8 a.m.

Chris Caya, WBFO

BUFFALO (WBFO) - The Niagara Falls Water Board is facing more criticism from state regulators following another unplanned discharge from its wastewater treatment plant late Wednesday afternoon. 

The state Department of Environmental Conservation responded to a report from the board anddiscovered badly discolored water in the Niagara River. The discharge occurred as the region encountered heavy rain.

ELIZABETH MILLER / GREAT LAKES TODAY

GREAT LAKES TODAY - I meet Kim Smith-Woodford on a rainy day at Euclid Creek Reservation east of Cleveland.  It’s a big wooded area, with a trail lining the creek and shelters for birthday parties.

The park is an urban oasis – where folks from all backgrounds go for exercise or a picnic.  And it means a lot to Smith-Woodford.  It’s where she became more interested in the outdoors.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. Thursday

Onondaga County health officials continue to say that the city of Syracuse's drinking water, along with the drinking water of other municipalities that draw water from Skaneateles Lake, is safe to drink. 

Samples tested Thursday at the state’s Wadsworth Lab in Albany found 0.25 parts per billion inside the City of Syracuse Gatehouse located in the Village of Skaneateles, but prior to the completion of the chlorination.

This level is consistent with prior reported sampling at the Gatehouse and below the health advisory levels for both adults and sensitive populations. All other locations in the water system – including the City of Syracuse, the Town of DeWitt, the Town of Skaneateles, the Village of Elbridge, and the Village of Jordan – showed non-detectable levels of algal toxins in finished water. These levels remain below the EPA’s 10-day health advisory level of 0.3 parts per billion for sensitive populations and well below the EPA advisory level for adults of 1.6 parts per billion.

Residents in the Village of Skaneateles and the other municipalities which use this drinking water source can continue to drink the water.

Original Post

Elevated levels of toxic blue-green algae have been discovered in the water of Skaneateles Lake. The lake is the primary water supply of the city of Syracuse’s water system. While tests show the public water is still safe to drink, residents who live along the lake’s shoreline and drink water directly from the lake could be at risk.

Chris Caya, WBFO

BUFFALO (WBFO) - The Niagara Falls Water Board is being fined by the state over its "black water discharge" near the base of the Falls on July 29. Governor Andrew Cuomo calls the incident inexcusable. 

robotbrainz / Flickr

 

(Harrisburg) - The state Department of Environmental Protection is working to speed up the training of several new water inspectors, in an effort to bring water safety measures across the state up to snuff. 

A plant in the North Country that produces the famous Philadelphia-brand cream cheese has triggered a mandatory water conservation order in the Village of Lowville, and the issue may have been a result of a misunderstanding between village leaders and the owner of the plant.

BUFFALO (WBFO) - It is now an international incident - and soon to be a possible criminal investigation. Canada and the Niagara County Legislature are calling for further investigation into the sewage dumped into the Niagara River over the weekend.  

Niagara Falls Blob Violated State Regulations

Aug 3, 2017
Twitter/@MaidOfTheMist

GREAT LAKES TODAY - The recent black, odorous wastewater discharge near the base of Niagara Falls violated New York regulations, a state official says. But it's unclear whether any fines will result. 

Associated Press

The Tompkins County Health Department says harmful blue-green algae has been found in Cayuga Lake. In a press release, the Department says the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have been "visually identified" on each side of the Southern end of the lake, and that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed the HABs. 

A project that could reduce the amount of toxins in Oswasco Lake, a primary source of drinking water for about a dozen communities in Cayuga County, is stalled.

The goal of the Owasco Flats Wetland Restoration Project is to build the floodplain around Oswasco Lake with plants and basins that can naturally filter out the toxins in the water from the surrounding tributaries. Phase one of the project was approved for $700,000 in state funding back in 2011. Its designer Bruce Natale says they've been securing permits and contractors ever since.

STEVE JOHNSON VIA FLICKR / (CREATIVE COMMONS LICENCE

A new national database released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group shines a light on water quality across the U.S. The database allows users to search by zip code or their local water utility name– aggregating information from nearly 50,000 public water systems.

JON HURDLE/STATEIMPACT PA

Sunoco Pipeline agreed on Tuesday to pay for public water to be supplied to about 30 homes in Chester County’s West Whiteland Township where water from private wells turned cloudy after a Sunoco pipeline drilling operation for the Mariner East 2 resulted in loss of water pressure or cloudy water for some residents, a township official said. 

OSWEGO COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT / FILE PHOTO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - This spring's wet weather could make the blue-green algae problem worse later this summer.  It’s no secret that this has been a tremendously rainy spring, according to SUNY ESF biochemistry professor Greg Boyer. And that could set the stage for big algae blooms later this summer. Blooms rely on nitrogen and phosphorus that run into the lake, combined with hot and calm sunny days. 

Trout Unlimited

The upper part of the Delaware River hosts some of the world’s best trout fishing spots. The river also supports humans – about 16 million people living in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware share the river’s water. 

Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - There’s only a little more than a week left for the public to weigh in on plans to restore wildlife and recreation on Onondaga Lake. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will then put together a final plan for the lake. 

PA Proposes New Fees To Protect Water Quality

May 23, 2017
BARONBRIAN / FLICKR

(Harrisburg) -- Over the past few months, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has been warning Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection to step up its enforcement of water quality programs. Now DEP is now proposing new fees to keep up with its workload. 

Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - As the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continue asking for input into a series of restoration projects for Onondaga Lake, one group of central New Yorkers feels left out. Some southside Syracuse residents want officials to take into account a problem that’s plagued them for years -- a muddy, inaccessible Onondaga Creek.

Alex Crichton, WXXI

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Lawmakers gathered Thursday in a flooded area of a Webster tavern to announce legislation that would expedite emergency funding for counties and towns dealing with water infrastructure issues. 

Cayuga County Worries About Spread Of Hydrilla

May 8, 2017
Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Cayuga County officials want to prevent the spread an invasive species in Cayuga Lake, before it becomes impossible to contain. 

gregory monroe / Flickr

Some Pennsylvania drinking water systems have levels of contaminants that violate federal health standards, and may cause illnesses ranging from nausea and diarrhea to birth defects and cancer, according to a national report released on Tuesday. The report blames deteriorating infrastructure and lax enforcement by the federal government.

LIVINGSTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPT.

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Advocates for the environment are pleased the latest state budget contains a $2.5 billion investment in drinking water infrastructure and water quality protection. But more could be done to protect source water. 

Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - The state and federal governments want to make up for decades lost enjoying Onondaga Lake because of massive pollution. They have a plan that includes 20 restoration projects along the shore of a lake once called the most polluted in America. 

SYRACUSE (WRVO/WXXI) - Residents who live along the shoreline of Lake Ontario have been trying to stay ahead of rising water levels that are threatening their properties. 

Sandbags stacked in Sodus Point, NYCredit Veronica Volk / WXXIEdit | Remove

Dick Stewart / Flickr

Many drinking water systems in New York State are “past their useful life.” That’s how the state comptroller puts it. But they’re expensive to replace.

COURTESY HANNAH RING / CITIZENS CAMPAIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Local environmental activists are putting pressure on Onondaga County to change advisory signs about eating fish caught in Onondaga Lake. 

JASON SMITH / WRVO NEWS

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Residents along the southern shore of Lake Ontario are trying to protect their property from potential flooding as water levels continue to rise. Sodus town supervisor Steve LeRoy says sandbags are being made available to homeowners so they can create a breakwall to protect their property from surges that might be created by passing boat traffic or high winds.  

Hackathon Aims To Clean Lake Erie

Apr 10, 2017
ELIZABETH MILLER / GREAT LAKES TODAY

CLEVELAND (GREAT LAKES TODAY) - Pollution and other problems plague areas all over the Great Lakes region. And they can make drinking or swimming dangerous.  There’s plenty of blame to go around for this – city water utilities, agriculture, and politicians to name a few. 

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