Central New York, Community, Environment

Skaneateles Lake in danger of losing waiver

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By Saniya More SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —After health officials found a strain of potentially toxic algae in Skaneateles Lake last month, things have gotten worse.

A few days ago, county health officials announced algae toxins had been found in the lake’s deepest pipeline.

Recent events could potentially lead to Skaneateles Lake losing a special waiver from the state that has allowed authorities to distribute unfiltered water to Syracuse for years. 

Greg Boyer, a¬†professor at SUNY-ESF whose research team has been testing toxin levels in the lake’s recreational and surface waters since the algae bloom was first reported, says the lake could certainly lose the waiver.

“They’re very concerned, obviously, that they might lose this waiver because if they have to put in a filtration plant, we’re talking about $150 million,” Boyer said at his lab as he tested samples from the lake.

Despite this, Boyer says the only people who have reason to worry are the ones who draw water directly from the lake, as opposed to drinking from a water system.

“I would tell the common person in Syracuse that they have no reason to be concerned,” he said. “The water quality in the Skaneateles Lake drinking water is excellent.”