Lock 30

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It was a surprise seeing bright work lights shining into Lock 30 on the Erie Canal as we drove by one night.  In December Lock 30 usually drained and dark for the winter. We had returned to enjoy the holidays with family and it was only by chance we’d driven by and noticed the bright light.  Curious we stopped by a few days later to see what was happening.

Summertie at Lock 30

Over the years Lock 30, being the closest lock to where we base Odyssey is the lock we have used most frequently both by locking through on Odyssey and passing by or across the gates by bike heading to Macedon from the canal pathway.

Seeing the lock fully drained with its normally underwater chambers exposed made it feel a bit dangerous.  I was surprised to see the lock tender and recognized him and he remembered Odyssey.  He proceeded to explain what was going on—answering most of my questions before I had a chance to ask.

Mounds of Zebra Mussels in the lock.

  • Lights at night were for safety since the lock was fully drained.
  • The mounds between to the water inlet/outlets at the bottom of the lock were zebra mussels. The zebra mussels had filtered out a significant amount of oil, gasoline, diesel, and other stuff from the canal water and are considered hazardous. They would be removed once a hazardous waste permit and disposal site was found.
  • The lock gate was getting new seals a normal maintenance item.

Lock gate and lock chamber drain exit.

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One Response to “Lock 30”

  1. Martha Says:

    Maybe zebra mussels are a low-tech way to clean up the water.

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