BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Billions of gallons of partially and untreated sewage flow into Western New York creeks, streams and rivers every year in the form of sewage overflows.
In 2012, the state required municipalities to disclose the information to the public, but we now know the problem may never be fixed because there’s not enough money available to do so.
Newly released research by environmental advocates show Western New York accounts for nearly 70 percent of the reported sewage overflows in the state.
The age of treatment plants and outdated technology in places like Buffalo and Niagara Falls are the biggest contributors to a problem that is only growing worse.
Because of a lack of funding, much needed repairs to some of the most critical facilities in these communities are too expensive to fix.
General Manager of the Buffalo Sewer Authority, Oluwole McFoy said it could cost “billions and billions of dollars” just in this area.
“It really is about managing the problem, because what we’re talking ultimately about here is water quality. So we need to manage it to a point where water quality is not affected,” McFoy said.
News 4’s Dave Greber talks to leaders charged with cleaning wastewater before it enters the country’s biggest source of fresh water, the Great Lakes in a special report tonight. That report airs on News 4 at 6 and 11.