Marsh Creek Spill Update: State Park Bans Swimming, City Does Not

Seneca Lake State Park announced via Facebook that all swimming at the park was prohibited beginning on Sunday, August 6 2017 at 3:27pm until further notice, due to possible contamination from the Marsh Creek sewage spill on August 4 2017 at 6:00am.

The state park made the announcement, and then followed up with a few comments and answers to questions from the public:

Highlights from the Seneca Lake State Park Facebook page statement on the Marsh Creek untreated sewage spill:

8/6/17: Due to possible contamination from a recent sewage spill in Geneva, swimming at Seneca Lake State park will be prohibited until further notice.

Our workers at the park were made aware of the sewage release on Sunday morning by several patrons as they entered the park. Unfortunately we were unable to verify the release until the afternoon. At that time, steps were taken to inform all our patrons of the potential of contamination.

As is indictated in the FLT article, the City of Geneva notified of the spill. Until yesterday, the park did not have an account with this system.

A water sample from our beach has been taken to the lab for analysis. The test for E-coli baceria takes 24 hours from the time the lab receives the sample. We expect to hear from the lab before 10:00am Tuesday morning. The results of the test will be posted on the NYS Parks website.

Unfortunately, we were unable to find enough lifeguards to open the marked swim area this season However, this year Parks has opened all of its shorelines to unguarded swimming except where known hazards exist.

  • It’s both frustrating and refreshing to hear the state park admitting that they hadn’t been subscribed to the NY-Alert system for updates. It’s frustrating because the state office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the state Department of Environmental Conservation should be working closely in the event of an environmental incident, but it’s also refreshing that the state park admitted that they had dropped the ball by not being subscribed to NY-Alert.
  • It’s worth noting that Seneca Lake State Park is “has opened all of its shorelines to unguarded swimming except where known hazards exist.”
  • Seneca Lake State Park sent a water sample from their beach to the lab for analysis. The results are expected to be posted at the following link after 10:00am EST:
Water Quality – Beach Results

No Water Alerts from the City of Geneva

As of this writing, at 11:00pm EST on August 7 2017 , the City of Geneva has made no public statement other than the Sunday August 6 Finger Lakes Times story in which they acknowledged the spill but issued no warnings to the public related to any contamination risk. The Finger Lakes Times notice was published approximately 48 hours after the spill occurred.


Leave a Reply