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Home » Cayuga County » Local officials call for strict state action to protect Owasco Lake watershed

Local officials call for strict state action to protect Owasco Lake watershed

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Officials in the Cayuga County area want to see stricter watershed enforcement around Owasco Lake.

Owasco Lake, a crucial source of drinking water to the city of Auburn and neighboring towns, has seen the deteriorating quality of water due to the burgeoning growth of harmful algal blooms.


A coalition of local officials convened recently to press for the imposition of rigorous safeguards to protect the lake and the drinking water supply.

The Citizen reports that local officials believe that revising watershed rules and regulations for Owasco Lake, in place since 1984, would be pivotal. After approval from the city of Auburn and the town of Owasco in 2020, the new rules were submitted to the state, expecting progressive changes. However, the response from the state Department of Health left the local leaders disappointed and aggravated, as the changes were perceived to be inadequate to combat the algal blooms effectively.

Local officials are now appealing for the establishment of a total daily maximum daily load for the lake. The goal being to control how many pollutants make their way into the lake.