$1 million secured to improve Scajaquada Creek problems

Millions of gallons of untreated sewage were dumped into Scajaquada Creek on May 25, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Millions of gallons of untreated sewage were dumped into Scajaquada Creek on May 25, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – $1 million has been secured by local state leaders to help mitigate problems with the Scajaquada Creek watershed.

Assemblymembers Monica Wallace and Sean Ryan announced Wednesday that they have secured $1 million in the 2017-18 state budget for infrastructure repairs and clean-up efforts to the Scajaquada Creek watershed.

Cheektowaga Chronicle has learned that the money will be appropriated to the Department of Environmental Conservation and they will determine how the money will be distributed.

Ms. Wallace says that water pollution is putting the health of our communities at risk and is harming our environment, our wildlife, and poses a serious risk to the area residents.

“Addressing this issue is vital so we can ensure Western New York water is clean and safe. This is a long term project that I will continue fighting for to protect our communities and future generations,” said Ms. Wallace.

Mr. Ryan says this funding is an important step forward in making Scajaquada Creek a healthy, swimmable, and fishable waterway.

“This critical funding from New York State will help to clean up Scajaquada Creek and begin investing in upgrades to improve the future health of the creek. We recognize that significantly more funding will be needed for efforts to clean up Scajaquada Creek,” said Mr. Ryan.

Cheektowaga Chronicle recently reported that millions of gallons of untreated sewage were dumped into the creek.  Town of Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski said it’s a typical event because the storm water from so many homes drains into the sanitary system.

The non-profit Investigative Post reported that nearly 500 million gallons of sewage overflow are dumped into the creek each year and that in 1993, the DEC said five-foot-deep portions of sludge at the creek’s bed and fecal bacteria levels 20 times higher than what’s considered safe for recreational use.