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Lions Park in Temple closes for wastewater overflow fix

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Posted at 4:20 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 17:20:46-04

TEMPLE, TX — As a part of a five-phase project to address wastewater overflows in the city, Lions Park in Temple has been closed since Thursday.

On Tuesday, nearby parks were full of people looking for a new place to play.

Jade Pierce and her son Wilder typically play at Lions Park, but they had to find somewhere new to play.

“We went to the park on Saturday and it was under construction. That's how we found out,” said Pierce.

Jade and Wilder were one of many families who made their way to Oak Tree Park on Wednesday.

In an effort to fix a wastewater overflow issue the city has battled since 2001, Lions Park has been closed since Thursday.

"Well the parks close when they have spring rains the park backs up with sewage and toilets overflow and they have to close the park go in and disinfect it,” said Temple resident Larry Cowan.

“The Lions Park project is we're increasing the pipe capacity, the pipe size, so that more flow can be handled through the system and the goal is that we’re going to we're making every effort to eliminate overflows,” said Ed Kolacki, project manager for the City of Temple Department of Public Works.

Back in January after the city received almost three inches of rain, more than 600,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Lions Park.

Lions Park is closed as a part of the second to last phase of a five-phase project designed to decrease wastewater woes in Temple.

"Well it's increasing the capacity, so it's going to be able to take more flow so the design of the system is to actually accommodate future build out," said Kolacki.

Park-goers shared they were just thankful that the city has taken action.

"Because it's been a perennial problem and I'm glad they're doing that finally," said Cowan.

"Yeah I mean that's good for the city, so it's good for us. We're fine with the park being closed if it means that it improves the city," said Jade.

City officials said on Monday Lions Park should be open for play.

The work on site will pause from next week until June and then be completed sometime in July.

While the entire Interceptor Sewer project will be complete within the next two to three years.