This website serves as a notification system to alert the public of the occurrence of combined sewer overflow (CSO) events and as a prediction of elevated bacteria levels in Onondaga Lake and its’ tributaries. This notification complies with the intent of New York State’s Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act (A.10585A / S.6268D) and complements Onondaga County’s efforts under the Save the Rain Program to reduce pollution to Onondaga Lake and its tributaries. The pushpins will change color according to the likelihood of CSO pollution as follows:
- On a dry day, the pins will be green, signifying that a CSO event is highly unlikely and that bacteria levels in the water should be at or near background levels.
- When the rainfall is sufficient to have exceeded sewer capacity and is believed to have caused a CSO event, the pins will turn red. The red pin also signifies that elevated bacteria levels most likely exist in the water body.
- After 24 hours have passed since the CSO event, the pin will be yellow, signifying that it is less likely that a CSO is active, but there is a moderate risk of elevated bacteria levels.
- After the CSO event, when the model indicates that it is unlikely that the bacteria levels are elevated due to CSO discharges, the pins will once again turn green.
Please be advised that the information in this website is a predictive system based on a mathematical model, not data collected from actual water quality samples. The Department has been conservative in estimating the probability of combined sewer overflow events occurring. The Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection will also use this site to alert the public of sanitary sewer overflows, sewer maintenance operations, or other conditions that may impact water quality.