The Ottumwa Courier

Community News Network

July 8, 2013

Sewage-contaminated splash pad prompts illness complaints

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Health department officials in a Lake Michigan county received about a dozen calls reporting illnesses consistent with exposure to raw sewage after children played in a public park’s contaminated splash pad.

Reports of gastrointestinal illnesses and one rash complaint came from people who played in the water at Clinch Park in Traverse City, Mich., on June 29 and June 30.

City workers discovered June 30 at mid-morning that sewage backed up when a pump station failed and pushed raw sewage into an underground reservoir that feeds sprinklers for the splash pad, rain arc, and mister.

"We can't absolutely positively say they were caused by the splash pad, but all had symptoms consistent with exposure to raw sewage," said Rose Ann Davis, spokeswoman for the Grand Traverse County’s health department.

Symptoms that could indicate exposure to raw sewage include rash, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, infections in open wounds, and jaundice, a yellowing of the eyes and skin which may indicated damage to the liver, health department officials said.

None of those who reported illness after using the splash pad required hospitalization, but the health department instructed people to keep a close eye on those who fell ill. Some of the illnesses that can develop from exposure to raw sewage may take up to two weeks to incubate.

"It's raw sewage, it ... can contain all sorts of things," Davis said.

Nicole Miller of Buckley said she believes splash pad contamination problems began before June 29. Her eight-year-old son began vomiting after he played in the splash pad for about three hours on June 27.

"I'm certain it was the splash pad," Miller said. "He was violently ill for six and a half hours, and we reported it to the health department the next day."

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National