Traverse City splash pad fixes could cost $400,000 after sewage problems, report finds


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TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan — A city-commissioned report found the Traverse City splash pad that rained sewage-contaminated water on children could cost up to $400,000 to fix.

The study by Wisconsin-based Water Technologies Inc. lists 18 separate design flaws, operational deficiencies and safety hazards at the Clinch Park water fixture, The Traverse City Record-Eagle (http://bit.ly/1puztFP ) reported. Repairs will cost anywhere from $54,000 to more than $400,000, depending on the number of corrections made.

The $360,000 splash pad, basically a playground that douses visitors with water, opened last June as part of a $2.9 million reconstruction of Clinch Park.

City commissioners requested the report after a sewer pump station failed and human waste-tainted water flowed into the splash pad's fountains soon after it opened.

"I thought all the problems were centered around the back-flow problem, and as it turned out the problems plague almost every aspect of the design and the execution of the splash pad," said city Commissioner Ross Richardson. "It's really pretty disheartening."

Primary concerns include an unknown amount of buried pipe that may not meet state plumbing code. The report also identified several items that require immediate action, including adding steps to stop children from climbing on the rain arch, smoothing sharp edges and checking the water pump's electrical connection.

Officials said they are concerned with the report's findings and will take the necessary steps to address the issues.

The report, released to the Record-Eagle after repeated requests under the state Freedom of Information Act, does not assign blame for the problems.


Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com

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