CASSADAGA - A white substance in Cassadaga Lake has caught the attention of the village.
"We have sediment built up at the lake front," said Bob Reuther, Cassadaga Lakes Association director. "It is a strange white liquid, and we want to do something about it."
The mysterious white matter shows up in the lake only after a significant amount of rain, and it is coming from the storm drains on Route 60.
OBSERVER Photo by Jasmine Willis
Cassadaga Lakes Association Director Bob Reuther discussed the white matter found in Cassadaga Lake.
Mayor LeeAnn Lazarony explained the water pours under Route 60 into the storm drains, across the road, into the ditch, between two homes on Park Avenue, and into the lake.
Reuther added it also pours down Dale Drive, which is a county road. This problem involves the state, county, and private property so the village itself can't do anything about it.
"We have two major concerns," Reuther said. "If we dig out the ditch, material will get into the lake faster. When we get heavy rains foreign matter is getting into the lake."
The Cassadaga Lakes Association will ask an engineer to look into the problem, and find out what the white stuff is.
The origin of this problem is coming from the storm drains. Is the run off contaminating the lake? This is something the village needs to know.
"The state has known for a very long time about the problems with those storm drains," Lazarony said.
"We can't change the drains or the ditch because the state owns it."
"The houses (Park Avenue) get flooded after hard rain and it empties into the lake," she continued. "We can't as a village fix private property."
Lazarony wants to know if this is a pollutant harmful to the fish or swimmers.
"The beach has been tested for bacteria," she said. "The health department hasn't found any high bacteria count. They haven't closed the beach or swim area."
The village has tried for years to get this fixed.
Reuther and Lazarony agree the problem is where the storm drains are. They both believe the storm drains should be placed where they use to empty into the swamp on the otherside of Dale Drive.
The New York State Department of Transpor-tation is the agency that changed the storm drains location so the runoff empties into the lake.
Lazarony said the new findings are alarming. The white matter is a new discovery.
"It is concerning and something needs to be done," she said. "There is a ton of traffic on Route 60 and we don't know if this is causing pollution in the lake."
Lazarony hopes by contacting an engineer the state will feel pressured to do something about it. The village has tried in the past to get the state to do something, but maybe with the unknown white matter showing up the state will listen.
The mayor is happy about Reuther's dedication to finding answers.
"The Lakes Association is very proactive about this," Lazarony said. "They are doing what is right for our lake. I am glad they are squawking about it, now maybe the state will do something."
Cassadaga Lake is a natural resource for the village, which has been a source of pride for generations.
After the situation in Toledo, Ohio, the harmful blue algae found in Chautauqua Lake, and a pollutant being addressed at Bear Lake in Stockton, people are taking these strange findings seriously.
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