The city is about to spend nearly $1 million to make water quality improvements to Durand-Eastman Beach.
For years, people swam at Durand even though it was not legal. There was the occasional drowning. Recognizing that people were in the water anyway, Mayor Bob Duffy created a legal swimming area with lifeguards in 2006. The beach attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year, including 12,000 swimmers, according to the city budget.
Although Durand has always been perceived as a cleaner place to swim than Ontario Beach, it also has problems with bacteria. Storm runoff is a big problem.
The mayor asked City Council to approve spending $982,000 on an “antimicrobial storm water treatment system at the outfall of Sherry Swamp to Lake Ontario to improve the quality of water flowing to the public bathing area at the beach, and thereby reducing the number of beach closings resulting from high bacteria levels.”
Sherry Swamp has been identified as a big contributor of E. coli bacteria to the swimming area. Wild animal waste and contamination from sewer leaks are problems. (See this paper on Durand-Eastman water quality issues.)
Plans for a bathhouse have yet to get off the ground.
Meanwhile, Ontario Beach Park struggles with algae. A pump system was found to be effective, but there’s no word on whether anyone will shell out the money for permanent installation.
Links of the Day:
– An 1856 painting of Niagara Falls will be the backdrop of the presidential inauguration luncheon.
– A Buffalo blogger thinks Wegmans shoppers are an entitled bunch who “stride around like stormtroopers” making a racket with their carts on the cobblestone floors.