The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Tompkins County Health Department officials are responding to a manure spill that is currently impacting Salmon Creek and Cayuga Lake.
As a result of a structural issue with a satellite manure storage lagoon at Sunnyside Farm, emergency applications of manure were made to fields beginning Thursday, February 16th. Rapidly warming temperatures resulted in increased snowmelt that is now causing runoff of manure from several fields to enter Salmon Creek. A portion of the discharge has reached Cayuga Lake, but is not threatening municipal water supplies.
DEC continues to work directly with the farm owner and Tompkins County to address this issue. The county advises anyone on a beach well or using lake water in that area to avoid consumption until more information is available.
Residents that drink water from Southern Cayuga Lake Inter-municipal Water Commission (SCLIWC or Bolton Point) should not be affected. The treatment process at the Bolton Point plant should disinfect any contamination. Further protection is provided by the location of their intake – about 400 feet off shore and 60 feet deep.
Information on how to disinfect contaminated water can be found on the Tompkins County website: http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/health/eh/water/flood.
State and County officials also advise avoiding direct contact with waters in Salmon Creek or on Cayuga Lake’s shore near the Salmon Creek inlet.