BUFFALO, NY - A 2 on Your Side viewer contacted us about an unsightly and smelly situation in the heart of one of the most beautiful parts of the Queen City.
“It was just a putrid, smelly, green field of algae which was really disgusting," said Joe Macchia, as he gazed upon an unsightly and odiferous cesspool of material that had collected near a trash gate at Scajaquada Creek, just before it enters Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park.
As someone who walks here at least twice a week, Macchia knows that such filth does tend to accumulate at this location, but he said the situation he encountered was unusual.
“This is almost the worst I've ever seen it," Macchia told WGRZ-TV.
It was so vile in its appearance and stench, he even took pictures of a dead mammal, and fish, floating among the usual assortment of trash items.
“They need to spend a little more time and attention to this,” Macchia said.
We contacted the Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy which holds sway over the park, but they told us the problem may have been exacerbated by the ongoing dredging upstream of Scajaquada Creek, as part of a multi-million dollar project to improve it water quality—and that we'd best get in touch with the Buffalo Sewer Authority.
“This is an area where the flows kind of bring things from the entire length of the Scajaquada,” confirmed Oluwole McFoy, General Manager of the sewer authority.
McFoy, who insisted that crews come out with a large vacuum pump to clear the area of debris every two weeks or so, remarked that chain link fences his crews put up to serve as temporary trash gates (and which have much smaller holes than the permanent ones that are currently under repair) may be responsible in part for the additional accumulation.
According to McFoy, crews just cleaned the area on Friday, three days before Macchia noticed the mess.
“We’ll get right on this and come out here and do it again,” McFoy promised, while also pledging to re-assess the situation to see if the basin needs to be cleaned more often than currently scheduled.
In the meantime, McFoy said crews are making great progress on the dredging program which should be completed sometime in the the fall.
“Everything that we're doing is going to make this entire system work better. It’s going to make it flow better, and it’s going to keep it a while lot cleaner all around,” he said.
Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 on Your Side reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Bob Mancuso