Deer carcasses found in source of drinking water in Owasco

Cayuga County health professionals concerned

Town of Niles, NY (WSYR-TV) - When you think of water pollution, chemicals or trash may come to mind, but in Cayuga County, there's an unusual source of trouble in creeks that leads to drinking water. 
 
"This [creek] has been an area where folks have discarded carcasses, particularly deer," said Tim Schneider, watershed inspector, Owasco Lake Inspection Program.
 
In the past two years, nearly a dozen have been dumped into the water that flows into Oswasco Lake.     
 
"They take the meat off the deer and possibly the antlers if it's a buck and they just discard the carcass in the water," said Schneider.
 
And there's good reason to worry; dumped carcasses pollute the water and could lead to blue-green algae.
 
"They eventually carry water to a larger body, and this case it would be the Owasco Lake and that will eventually get to the filters plant and then distributed among the consumers," said Schneider.
 
Officials say cars will pull up and then dump the carcasses over this snow bank and into the deepest part of the water and that is what is causing the issue.
 
"The carcasses have a lot of pathogens, bacteria in its system, viruses, possibly, and in addition it's chock full of nutrients," said Eileen O'Connor, Director of Environmental Health.
 
Deepening the worry about a main source of water in Cayuga County.     
 
Cayuga County is asking hunters near Owasco Lake, to properly dispose of all carcasses, preferably in a dumpster.
 
If that's not an option, put them on a bank, away from the water. 
 

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