Some relief in sight for Hoyt Lake odor

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Delaware Park is one of the best places to spend a sunny day. But anyone traveling along the bike path may have noticed a rather unpleasant odor coming from waters of Hoyt Lake.

Last September, a new fountain was turned on. Not only did it enhance the aesthetics of the park, but it aerated the lake and at least reduced a foul odor which has been so common. Then came winter.

“It’s kind of in shock from all the horrible weather that we had this past winter. We lost something called a digital readout on it. So we ordered a new one,” said Thomas Herrera-Mishler, President and CEO of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, as he addressed the problem Friday.

But that’s not good news for those jogging or walking the bike path adjacent to the lake right now.

“It’s kind of nasty.”

That’s what Danielle Guttman said while jogging the path today. She just moved to Buffalo from New York City.

“It’s pretty tough,” added Anne Bliss.

Next week, the fountain will be hard wired just to get it running again while electricians await the delivery of the new part.

According to Mishler, “I think it will help a little bit with the aromatic qualities of the water, which you can smell.”

While visiting the park today, City of Buffalo Public Works engineers turned on two freshwater wells, which provide for a constant flow of clean water into the lake. And even though the fountain and well water will help the situation, they will not eliminate the problem.

“The nature of a man-made lake is that it wants to turn into a swamp,” Mishler said.

Presently the Army Corps of Engineers are wrapping up a study that will suggest eventual dredging of the lake, but that could be five years away.

“A lot of odor problems are coming from Scajaquada Creek. That’s a longer term issue that the fountain can’t address,” Mishler explained.

According to him, 1.8 million people visited Delaware Park last year, making it one of the of most utilized parks in the country. He and the conservancy is responsible for 1,200 acres of park lands and parkways in the City of Buffalo.

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