TRAVERSE CITY (WWJ/AP) – Officials say they’ve received about a dozen calls reporting illnesses after Traverse City’s new $360,000 splash pad rained human waste-contaminated water on children following a sewer backup.
The Traverse City Record-Eagle said reports of gastrointestinal illnesses and one rash to the Grand Traverse County Health Department came from people who played at the Clinch Park splash pad June 29 and June 30.
The department says the symptoms are consistent with exposure to raw sewage, but it isn’t certain of a link to the splash pad. A health alert was issued by the city last week.
City officials discovered the morning of June 30 that a sewer pump station failed, and sewage backed up and flowed into the 2,000-gallon water reservoir that feeds the park’s fountains. Officials said they didn’t know how much sewage water entered the reservoir, but the contracted operator of the city’s sewage plant and pump estimated the total amount of lost sewage at less than 2,000 gallons.
The Record-Eagle reported that the backup was the result of failed pump that tripped a circuit breaker, and also knocked out a pump failure alarm.
Officials have said the splash pad didn’t have some permits that typically are needed.
The splash pad was installed as part of a $2.6 million park renovation project.
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