From the Morning Memo:

That inky black discharge in the water below Niagara Falls was back Monday morning. The city Water Board confirmed that “heavy and prolonged rainfall” caused an overflow from the wastewater system.

Those so-called discharges have happened numerous times and to different degrees throughout the summer and this fall, including one less than a week ago. Last month, the Department of Environmental Conservation asked the board to sign a consent order agreeing to no more discharges without consent.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Monday in Niagara County, said another thorough investigation should be conducted.

“The first one they found was human error. That’s very bad,” Schumer said. “Hopefully they can correct that.”

The DEC said its investigation is ongoing and it’s unclear what kind, if any, further action it might take. For its part, the water board said the overflows can’t be avoided when the system hits capacity, nor can it control the color or cloudiness during a wet weather event.

Schumer did agree, the system needs updates, regardless of whether the people running the plant are doing their job correctly.

“I would say this, the infrastructure of our water supply here in Niagara Falls and in Western New York is old and we need a major infrastructure bill,” he said.

The Senate Democratic Leader is trying to strike a deal with Republicans and the president to dedicate up to $1 trillion for projects over a decade. Schumer said if they can pass a bill, the wastewater treatment plant would be the type of project that would have a good chance to get an upgrade.

“In the old days the federal government would pay 75 percent,” he said. “We got cleaner water, better water, etc. Hopefully we can restore that if we do a major infrastructure bill and this is just what an infrastructure bill is aimed at.”