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County project looks to stop sewage runoff

Work is underway on another project to eliminate sewer line overflows going into area rivers and streams.  Erie County is in the early stages of a $17 million dollar project to end overflows into Rush Creek through Blasdell and the Town of Hamburg.

Deputy Environment and Planning Commissioner Joseph Fiegl says the county has spent years getting ready.
"This is something that we inherited. But, it's something we've been working on tirelessly to move ahead and to effectuate good change," Fiegl said.

"I'm really excited that we have, that we finally have this project with shovel in the ground and performing that work."

The county took over sewage treatment into that area from Blasdell and Hamburg treatment plants. Albany studies say getting these overflows out of Rush Creek will likely cut the number of days when Woodlawn Beach is closed because of bacteria from the creek, although there are other sources of pollution.

Some similar projects have been completed on other creeks and there will likely be more.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.