By Mike Anderson
According to residents, raw sewage from the Ramada Jackson’s Point Resort & Spa has been leaking into Bonnie Park since January.
The source of sewage may be a septic tank used to service the motel wing of the resort.
But Ramada management declined to comment on the matter, referring the Post to the Town for an explanation.
The Town says it confirmed sewage was leaking onto Bonnie Park on July 20, and that the spill was caused by a malfunction in Ramada’s plumbing system, which has now been fixed.
However, Paul Brady, who lives across from the park, says he notified the Town of the spill six months ago.
Brady says he first noticed the spill in January when the area remained wet after the rest of the park froze and called the Town, but was told to talk to the Ramada himself.
He then emailed Mayor Margaret Quirk, Ryan Cronsberry, the Town’s CAO, and Town staff about the issue in March, but the Town did not address the problem.
Ward 4 Councillor Frank Sebo was also copied on an email about the flooding in Bonnie Park on April 4.
On July 15, residents began posting their concerns about the spill on a group Facebook page, Friends of Jackson’s Point, and at least one resident contacted public health.
Last week, the area was cordoned off with yellow caution tape to keep park users, specifically children, away from the spill.
On July 20, Brady again tried emailing the Mayor, CAO and Town staff, but this time he attached a picture of the spill, which clearly showed human feces, sanitary tissue and a used condom.
After Brady’s email, the Town erected a temporary fence around the spill.
“Last week, I went under the caution tape and took a picture of where the sewage is coming out of the ground at the back of the wall,” he said.
“I sent the photo to the Town. That’s what finally activated this. If I hadn’t done that, I’m sure we would still just have the tape.”
While the area is now fenced off, there is no signage to warn residents and visitors about the spill or potential health hazards.
The Post approached several people using the park this past weekend, and they were surprised to find out about the spill. They also wondered why signage was not posted.
Brady says a vacuum truck soaked up most of the sewage over the weekend.
But he believes the soil around the spill is probably contaminated and needs to be either removed or treated.
The Town says its insurer will hire an environmental remediation company to test the soil to determine the extent of the contamination and formulate a clean-up plan if testing deems it necessary.
According to the Town, the insurer will administer the work and decide whether Ramada should bear any cost.
While it appears the Town is now taking action, Brady says it has been a frustrating experience.
“I said to the Mayor in one of my emails; I’ll bet this is the first time since the 1930s that a town resident has to write to town officials, begging them to stop sewage coming onto a town park.”
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