Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- One of our viewers wonders if the winter’s mild temps have affected the cleanliness of Central New York’s waterways.
Faithful NewsChannel 9 viewer Jessica isn’t complaining about the mild winter we had, but wants to know whether bacteria levels in local bodies of water are higher this spring because many lakes never froze over.
Dr. John Hassett in SUNY ESF’s chemistry department says “no.” Pathogens from things like sewage and street runoff are not affected by milder temperatures. The water still got cold, just not cold enough to freeze and even when the lakes freeze over, it’s only the top few inches or feet that turn to ice. Most of the water remains liquid anyhow. Hassett does offer this advice: You should never drink untreated lake water – no matter what the weather has been like.Got a question for the Your Stories team? We’ll try to answer it. Call 446-9900 or email YourStories@9WSYR.com.