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Cayuga County officials prepare for blue-green algae season, meet with crisis communicator

From about 1955 to 1985, families and service members at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents that cause cancer and birth defects. Though the Marine Corps said it did not know the chemical was cancer-causing at that time and thus were not testing for it, families across... more

Playground, music and food are focus of new Emerson Park proposed plan

Steve Lynch is determined to make Emerson Park a destination location, with or without state funding. The director of the Cayuga County Planning and Economic Development Department proposed a three-year park programming and capital improvements plan to the county Parks Commission Wednesday night. It’s a more concentrated version of the original Emerson Park Master Plan, something Lynch had hoped would... more

District wants to keep Owasco Lake Inspection Program, but council moves forward

The Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors does not want the Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection Program to be pulled from its purview. The Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council passed a resolution in January to explore taking responsibility for the inspection program, something that Steve Lynch, director of planning and economic development, had said the council was... more

Auburn council considers temporary measure to treat water for algae toxins

Reaching a permanent solution to protect Auburn’s drinking water from harmful algae toxins will likely not be implemented until 2018 at the earliest, engineers said Thursday. City officials are keen not to have a repeat of last summer, during which low levels of microcystin — toxins that can be released from blue-green algae blooms — were detected on multiple occasions... more

DEC works with town of Owasco on water line project following storm water violation

The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued a violation to the town of Owasco when construction of a water line caused sediment and nutrient runoff into Sucker Brook, a tributary of Owasco Lake. Through the engineering firm Barton & Loguidice, the town is constructing a water line connecting an old water tank to a new one. But along Melrose Road... more

Owasco Lake’s water quality better, but cyanobacteria problem worsens

John Halfman’s annual report on Owasco Lake called 2016 “a year of recovery.” While drought conditions distressed homeowners and farmers alike, the lack of rain gave the lake time to heal by preventing nutrients and sediment from running into the watershed. While the news appears good at first, Halfman, who is a professor at the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart... more

Three hunters ticketed for shooting 35 ducks on Owasco Lake

On Jan. 15, off duty ECOs Scott Angotti and Josh Crain were waterfowl hunting on Owasco Lake in the town of Scipio when they observed three individuals shoot a large group of redhead ducks swimming into the men’s decoy spread. The three subjects all emptied their shotguns into the flock, killing a total of 35 redhead ducks and possibly wounding... more

Owasco hires same engineering firm as Auburn for blue-green algae treatment study

GHD Consulting Services, Inc. will conduct a study of the town of Owasco's water treatment plant to identify ways to get rid of blue-green algae toxins in the finished water. GHD is the same consulting firm that is wrapping up its study of the city of Auburn's water treatment plant. Both plants' studies will propose options for eliminating microcystin, a... more

Owasco Lake council pleased with state funding news on blue-green algae toxin treatments

The state’s announcement on Monday that it will devote funding to the studies and implementation of blue-green algae toxin treatments to the town of Owasco and city of Auburn’s water filtration plants was “great news” to the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council members. In a release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state would provide $150,000 for the study of both... more

Cuomo: Auburn, Owasco get $2 million for drinking water system upgrades

The city of Auburn and town of Owasco will receive more than $2 million to upgrade drinking water treatment systems, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. The funding, according to Cuomo’s office, will be used for the “design, engineering and construction of upgrades to the drinking water systems.” Both municipalities receive water from Owasco Lake. The lake is a drinking water... more

Auburn and Owasco water plants consider blue-green algae toxin treatments

An engineering firm working with the city of Auburn’s water treatment plant has proposed a list of nine options to help it rid the water of blue-green algae toxins. The city is seriously considering three of those, including the extension of the plant’s intake pipe, utilizing powder activated carbon and utilizing ozone. Plant operators in both Auburn and the town... more

Local officials consider upgrading Owasco Lake’s watershed rules and regulations

The last time Owasco Lake's watershed rules and regulations were updated was 1984. The Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council is looking to change that. There were no blue-green algae blooms reported in the lake in the 1980s, and not only has that changed dramatically over the last few years, but toxins from the blooms made their way through the treatment... more

Owasco Lake group collects over 1,000 signatures requesting state aid

More than 1,000 people signed a petition calling on the state to clean up Owasco Lake and upgrade the city of Auburn and town of Owasco's water treatment facilities. The petition, created by a new grassroots organization called Save Owasco Now, specifically calls on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to implement a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) on Owasco Lake. A TMDL... more

How an RIT startup could help remove thousands of pounds of nutrients from Owasco Lake

When Bill Jones looked at a map of where farm-based digesters were located in New York State, he was a bit surprised to see that Cayuga County had about one-third of them. Living on Owasco Lake, Jones said he is aware of the blue-green algae blooms that have plagued the watershed. But seeing 10 locally based digesters, most of which... more

Local officials discuss future plans for fighting blue-green algae toxins in Owasco Lake

Blue-green algae, also know as cyanobacteria, remains on the brains of local officials as they gear up for next summer. This week, water operators for the city of Auburn’s treatment plant continued exploring new design options to keep toxins called microcystin from getting into the treated water, and state and local officials continued their discussions on next steps, too. Members... more

Cayuga County Health Department says Owasco Lake warning signs are misleading

Cayuga County Health Department says Owasco Lake warning signs are misleading
Red and white signs were posted around the city of Auburn and the town of Owasco Tuesday and Wednesday, warning people to avoid the water and Owasco Lake. The signs read, “Danger: Avoid all contact with the water, Lethal toxins at unsafe levels have been detected in Owasco Lake.” The Citizen: Read More more

Owasco Lake Nine Element Watershed Plan moves forward

A Nine Element Watershed Plan is slowly taking shape as part of Cayuga County's efforts to identify sources of pollution and stop blue-green algae from blooming in Owasco Lake. Michele Wunderlich, associate planner with the county's Department of Planning & Economic Development, updated members of the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council at its meeting on Tuesday. The Citizen: Read More more
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