Sewage plagues newly opened splash park

When cloudy water came out of the water spouts at the splash pad, it was shut down within 15 minutes.

The water is still shut off at the brand new Clinch Park splash pad in Traverse City after sewage got into the water lines over the weekend.

â??The system is new and we are testing the system. We're working with the filters and so forth. There was someone there that noticed right away that something didn't seem right,â?? said Makayla Vitous, Traverse City Interim City Manager.

What they noticed was cloudy water coming from the water spouts at the splash pad. The new attraction was shut down within 15 minutes.

A pump that pushed sewage from the entire marina and Clinch Park area to the treatment plant failed allowing the sewage to get onto the splash pad and the water tanks.

The focus now is making sure this doesn't happen again.

â??Putting back-flow preventers on the line from the splash pad into the sanitary sewer, some sort of check valve. What that would do is if there were a failure at the pump station again, or lift station, when the sewage backed up into that line it would hit that one-way valve and would not be able to get as far as the splash pad,â?? said Casey Rose, CH2M Hill Project Manager.

The Grand Traverse Health Department says they have received about a dozen calls after it warned that anyone who was at the splash pad either Saturday or Sunday could get sick.

â??Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, a skin rash or an infected sore; a new cough. They definitely want to seek medical care,â?? said Martha Thorell from the Grand Traverse County Health Department.

With the National Cherry Festival steps away from the park, officials are hurrying to get the clean water flowing and the splash pad open.

â??It'll be a little longer until they find a solution that makes sure that it doesn't happen again,â?? said Vitous.

If you were at the splash park last weekend and have any health questions you're encouraged to call the Health Department at 231-995-6132.