Accidental wastewater spill enters Keuka Outlet

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

An accidental spill from the Penn Yan Wastewater Treatment Plant Aug. 24 resulted in about 35,000 gallons of treated sludge entering the Keuka Outlet.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the state Department of Health responded to the spill and worked with local officials to contain the spill.

The Department of Health, working with local health officials, has determined no public drinking water systems have been affected by the spill and will closely monitor area systems to ensure drinking water is not impacted.

While initial reports reveal operator error, the DEC is launching a full investigation into the incident.

The Keuka Outlet flows from Keuka Lake to Seneca Lake, entering Seneca at the southern edge of Dresden.

Penn Yan Village officials have issued a warning advising that no one should enter the water of the Keuka Outlet until further notice. The flow gates at the Main Street bridge will remain open for increased flow of water along the waterway to help clear the spill.

It was planned to close the gates Friday to reduce the flow along the Outlet so volunteers could safely work near the waterway during a major work event on the trail. Friends of the Outlet volunteers will be working with 400 Keuka College students and staff all along the 7-mile trail on various projects. The event is part of the new students' orientation to the community during Wolf Week.