NF Water Board explains black water release

Posted at 11:29 PM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 23:31:50-04

We're getting a better sense of what happened on Saturday that lead to black water flowing just below Niagara Falls.

The problem started at the wastewater treatment plant run by the Niagara Falls Water Board. The board says they were upgrading a portion of the wastewater plant on Buffalo Ave. In order to make the change, the plant needed to clear its sediment tank. Thats done by putting what's called backwash water through a carbon filter. That filter is what makes the water black. Before it's discharged it's mixed with a disinfectant.

On Saturday, too much of this backwash was released into the lower Niagara River. Why that happened is still unclear.

On Thursday, the Niagara Falls water board made a brief statement addressing the incident.

We are confident that we have identified the cause of this unfortunate incident and we know what needs to be done to make it not happen again, said Dan OCallaghan, the chairman of the NFWB.

The board did say they are looking into whether or not the excessive discharge into the river was a man-made problem.


Despite Governor Andrew Cuomo insisting this investigation take priority with the DEC, its unclear when there will be more answers.