Niagara Falls Water Board explains July discharge

In this July 29, 2017 photo provided by Rainbow Air INC., black-colored wastewater treatment discharge is released into water below Niagara Falls, in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The water near the base of the falls that border the U.S. and Canada turned an alarming shade of black before tourists' eyes following a foul-smelling discharge from a nearby wastewater treatment plant. The water board for the city says the discharge was part of routine maintenance of one of its basins, that the discharge was within permitted limits and had dissipated. (Patrick J. Proctor/Rainbow Air INC. via AP)

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Friday afternoon, the Niagara Falls Water Board released an incident report on the July discharge into the Niagara River.

“AECOM and our extended professional team has worked diligently over the last few weeks to assemble and review as much incident detail as possible, in order to ensure that we looked at every aspect of the July 29th discharge,” Jim Perry, NFWB Director of Administrative Services, said.

The water board says that the July 29 discharge of dark water when a pump ran longer than intended. They say there was a misunderstanding between employees that day.

“Verbal instructions were given at the commencement of the dewatering operation on July 29th that the “primary” operator on duty should turn off the pump when the plant’s effluent exiting the CCT became dark in color,” the water board said. “The NFWB has concluded that, if these instructions had been successfully communicated and understood, the discharge of dark water from the CCT to the plant effluent would have been minimal. However, due to a misunderstanding, this procedure was not followed and the pump was allowed to continue pumping until a significant amount of settled material had been pumped to the Niagara River.”

To stop this from happening in the future, the water board says they will implement new features for emptying and dewatering any tank or basin.

“The NFWB is committed to treating wastewater from the City of Niagara Falls in the most safe, appropriate and lawful manner possible, as well as to providing these services in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible for it ratepayers. The board will continue to make any and all improvements necessary to do so.”

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