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Scajaquada Creek runs red 10 miles from spill site in Lancaster

Posted at 6:30 PM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 07:36:44-04

One day after red mulch dye spilled into the Scajaquada Creek in Lancaster, nearly 10 miles downstream in Buffalo the creek was still significantly discolored.

Officials from the DEC and Town of Lancaster say the dye is not harmful.

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is keeping a close eye on the red dye contamination and admit it is certainly an unusual sight.

"You don't see that everyday," Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, said. "Because of the nature of the contaminant, it's so visible, long-lasting and it has stretched probably close to 10 miles now from source to mouth and we're still seeing the plume work its way downstream."

Riverkeeper routinely tests the water quality at around 60 different sights along the various waterways of Western New York. They have been testing the Scajaquada Creek since the spill and say, right now, everything seems to be normal. PH levels are testing right around normal.

The main difference, according to the organization, is the color and visibility. And while there are no immediate impacts being notice, it will continue to monitor the water quality and the animal and plant life to be sure there are no long-term effects from the contamination.

Riverkeeper hope this incident shows people just how far and fast these spills can spread. It also hopes people will pay more attention to other types of pollution that may be less visible.

"This is a great lesson for the impact that storm water discharges have on our local waterways," Jedlicka said. "Every time it rains we have runoff that comes into the 2000 miles of waterways throughout Western New York. We're just seeing it this time because it's a colored dye."

Aerial views of the dye plume were provided by Buffalo Skycam.