Tim Skubick: DEQ's role in Traverse City splash pad incident - New York News

Tim Skubick: DEQ's role in Traverse City splash pad incident

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You've heard of egg on your face.

How 'bout mud on your kids?  Or more correctly, raw sewage on your kids.

Imagine the shock and awe when parents discovered their children were contaminated with raw sewage on a splash pad, hurriedly erected at Traverse City's Clink Park to coincide with the grand Cherry Festival.
Unless you just got back from another planet, the story has been plastered around everywhere

But for the first time the guy who runs the Department of Environment Quality, has revealed the DEQ's role in all this.

First of all Dan Wyant wants you to know it's not the state's fault but yet when asked if his staff made any mistakes, he could only offer, "I don't think the department made a mistake.  Those who operate the facility had a problem."

Oh yeah, they did.

But the DEQ did participate in a "decision" that cleared the way for the splash pad to be used but Mr. Wyant recalls, "I didn't try to let them do this without a license" while denying any political pressure to speed up the process.

The screw up came when somebody missed the fact that the water line feeding into the pad had some how been hooked up to a raw sewage line, too.

"Should you have caught that?" the director was quizzed.

"I don't know.  It's possible.  I just don't know."

Perhaps he'd should find that out in order to make sure he can pay-off on his pledge that this won't happen again.

Meanwhile the parents who saw "mud" on their kids are worried about illness while the state and locals wipe the egg off their mugs.

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