The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

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
Top News
  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014

  • Way of the Cross photo The Way of the Cross By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer The Way of the Cross

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Hood A year after 'chaos'

    It happened two hours after John Hood finished his run. Like many, he thought the loud boom was just the sound of cannons going off, something that shook the ground. It was odd, but Hood — a 1989 Clinton High School graduate — tried to make it logical, associating the noise with another good happening at the Boston Marathon.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • AGENDA: 4-22-14 Clinton City Council

    The Clinton City Council will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. followed by a committee of the whole.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

    U.S. Circuit Judge Jerome Holmes is seen as the swing vote on the three-judge panel that heard the Oklahoma appeal and a similar case from Utah last week.

    April 18, 2014

  • NASA's moon-orbiting robot crashes down as planned

    April 18, 2014

  • Eyewitness testimony no longer a gold standard

    The American legal system offers few moments as dramatic as an eyewitness to a crime pointing his finger across a crowded courtroom at a defendant.

    The problem is that decades of studies show eyewitness testimony is only right about half the time — a reality that has prompted a small vanguard of police chiefs, courts and lawmakers to toughen laws governing the handling of eyewitnesses and their accounts of crimes.

    April 18, 2014

AP Video