New splash park in Traverse City rains sewage on kids

Jul 3, 2013

They shut it down when they discovered the problem, but still... it makes for a not-so-fun splash park.

Brian McGillivary and Michael Walton from the Traverse City Record-Eagle have more on how the new splash pad in Clinch Park happened to rain "water contaminated with human waste on a half-dozen children":

A sewage back-up on Sunday pushed raw sewage into the 2,000-gallon reservoir that feeds the splash pad, rain arc, and mister, primary features of the $360,000 waterscape named after former Michigan Gov. William G. Milliken...The splash pad has an overflow drain that connects to the city's sanitary sewer in case of heavy rains. A sewer pump station at the Open Space failed over the weekend, and sewage backed up and flowed into the 2,000-gallon water reservoir that feeds the park's fountains.

The back-up was discovered shortly after the park opened this past Sunday.

McGillivary and Walton report that "political pressure" pushed officials to open the park without the necessary permits. The permitting process might have caught flaws in the circulation system.

There's no doubt those flaws will be fixed now.