Posts Tagged ‘Niagara Falls’

  • Dark cloud of sewage seeped into Niagara Falls Saturday afternoon around 4pm 
  • Tourists were left shocked as they boarded the area’s ship, the Maid of the Mist 
  • Photos showed ship docked as the foul-smelling black gunk poured into river 
  • The sewage dump came from the Niagara Falls Waste Water Treatment Plant
  • Officials at plant said they had proper discharge paperwork to release sewage
  • The Water Board apologized for the untimely release of the sewage promising better communication in the future  

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Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More forgotten history that hides in plain sight: It’s not a stop for the Japanese tourists who visit Niagara, but they might be interested to know. The shores of Lake Ontario and the Niagara River are the resting place for high-level radioactive waste leftover from the project to build the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. Who knew?

Niagara Falls is a place to escape the present. When I go there I remember day trips from Toronto with my parents, or visits I made later with my own children. I can contemplate the Ice Age scraping out the Great Lakes, or imagine the first French explorers coming up the river with Indian guides in the 17th century. Later, slaves escaping from plantations took the Underground Railroad, and crossed the Niagara River to freedom. The N.A.A.C.P, at first called The Niagara Group, began in 1905 in a hotel on the Canadian side. A statue on the American side commemorates Nikola Tesla and the 1895 launch of the first large-scale AC power system in the world. This heralded the industrialization of the area on the American side.

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The Great Lakes

Image by caribb via Flickr

They’re branding it a “sewage crisis” in the Great Lakes.

A new study has found that five cities — including Buffalo — dumped 41 billion gallons of untreated sewage and dirty storm water into the Great Lakes last year.

How much is 41 billion gallons? That’s how much water flows over Niagara Falls in a 15-hour period.

Discharges happen when heavy rains overwhelm storm and sanitary sewers, as many local residents know firsthand. After torrential downpours, people are often discouraged from swimming in some local waterways.

“We want to be able to swim, and we’re not going to take excuses anymore,” said Julie O’Neill, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.

Solving the problem will cost communities along the Great Lakes $23.3 billion. Locally, the Buffalo Sewer Authority may have to spend as much as $500 million to eliminate all sewage overflows, according to the report, which was authored by the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

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