Posted By Tom Plahutnik, Web Editor/Producer - email
A boy enjoying a spash park.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -
Officials in Michigan's northwestern Lower Peninsula issued a health alert after a sewer backup fouled Traverse City's new $360,000 splash pad.
The new $360,000 splash pad that was fouled by a sewer backup didn't have some permits that typically are needed.
Paul Sisson, an environmental engineering specialist with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, gave the city permission to open the Clinch Park splash pad June 27 without a construction permit or state license to operate. Sisson says there was "political pressure" on the agency for approval.
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports city officials discovered Sunday morning that sewage backed up into the Clinch Park splash pad's reservoir as five or six children played in and around a waterscape feature that opened last week.
Officials issued a warning for anyone who used the splash pad Saturday or Sunday.
The newspaper says the backup resulted from a failed pump that tripped a circuit breaker at a pump station, and that also knocked out a pump failure alarm. A city employee Sunday morning saw sewage bubbling up from a manhole cover, and called officials.
The splash pad is part of a $2.6 million Clinch Park renovation project.
The waterscape is named for former Michigan Gov. William Milliken.
City planner Russ Soyring says Traverse City also failed to obtain electrical and mechanical permits from Grand Traverse County.