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More black discharges into Niagara River

 Associated Press

A tour boat travels a long the Niagara River Monday where a series of overflow discharge from a treatment plant have drawn widespread attention. (James Neiss/The Niagara Gazette via AP)

A tour boat travels a long the Niagara River Monday where a series of overflow discharge from a treatment plant have drawn widespread attention. (James Neiss/The Niagara Gazette via AP)

More wastewater has been discharged into the Niagara River in the latest in a series of overflows since a discharge blackened water near Niagara Falls in view of summer tourists.

The Niagara Falls Water Board said heavy and prolonged rain is to blame for Monday morning’s discharge, which again darkened water below the falls on the U.S. side.

The board said the rain caused its wastewater system to exceed capacity and overflow with semi-treated wastewater.

The board said the wastewater treatment plant is overdue for upgrades and the board is looking at long-term solutions to its capacity and processing issues.

After a similar discharge just last week, state environmental officials called the recurring issues unacceptable.

The state imposed a $50,000 fine for a high-profile late July incident for which a discharge of foul-smelling water from the board’s wastewater treatment plant turned the water near the base of Niagara Falls turned an alarming shade of black.

The Niagara Falls Water Board said it also reported to the state Department of Environmental Conservation that excess sewage was discharged last Wednesday.

WGRZ-TV reported state officials said in a statement that the discoloured water is “wholly unacceptable.”

Officials said the water board must immediately make corrections. The DEC’s maximum penalty for water quality violations are US$37,500 per day.

The water board said it has no way of controlling the colour of overflow discharge during a wet weather event.