Positive follow-up tests after sewage spill

LAKE PLACID — The tests that have been conducted in the weeks since sewage leaked into Mirror Lake earlier this month are showing favorable results.

Brendan Wiltse, science and stewardship director for the AuSable River Association, reported to the Lake Placid Board of Trustees last week that the association determined the lake water below the outfall where the spill occurred is “well within the acceptable range for recreational contact.

“The E. coli concentration coming from the outfall is down, but still high,” Wiltse said. “I collected a sample on Tuesday Oct. 10. The discharge was very low; it took a few minutes to fill a 100-milliliter bottle. It is possible there is still some residual in the system even after the big rain event on Monday.”

Wiltse added that the association is still waiting on the results of chemistry samples of water taken from the lake, samples that should arrive in the next couple of weeks. The association will also continue to monitor the location in the ensuing weeks.

“They will be there until we are sure it is all out of there,” Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said.

The follow-up testing comes after the state Department of Health informed village officials earlier this month that Mirror Lake was clean and safe following a sewage spill into the lake that was subsequently repaired.

The leak into the lake was due to a hole in an old, unused pipe that’s part of the more than century-old sewer line infrastructure underneath Main Street. The village Department of Public Works repaired the hole when they found the problem, effectively plugging the leak and stopping the sewer line runoff from entering the lake at a drainage located near One Main Street.

The leak was entering near the northern terminus of the street. Village officials were alerted to the leak by Nevton Dunn of the Mirror Lake Watershed Association, who described black water and a smell near that shoreline outlet in recent days.

The hole in the old system and leak came at a bad time for the village as its board awarded a $1.2 million bid Monday to repair that system – work village officials had hoped would start this fall but is now being pushed back to the spring.


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