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Published: Wednesday, 9/12/2007

Failed pumps push Detwiler under water

BY JC REINDL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
James Goda, assistant superintendent at Detwiler Park Golf Course, surveys a flooded green. The course has been closed for three days because of flooding caused by the failure of two pumps. Detwiler Ditch and Mud Creek overflowed their banks and submerged all of the course's foot bridges. James Goda, assistant superintendent at Detwiler Park Golf Course, surveys a flooded green. The course has been closed for three days because of flooding caused by the failure of two pumps. Detwiler Ditch and Mud Creek overflowed their banks and submerged all of the course's foot bridges.
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Detwiler Park Golf Course now features the most dramatic water hazards in all of Toledo.

"We've got lakes where there are supposed to be fairways," says Judy Pasch, who staffs the clubhouse.

Just don't misinterpret the observation for a boast.

The Point Place public golf course remained closed yesterday for the third consecutive day after mechanical failures in a pair of water pumps resulted in flooding throughout the 18 holes.

Lynne Murnan, the course's general manager, estimated that 10 acres of turf have been damaged since Sunday, when the flooding became serious enough to close the course.

Detwiler Ditch and Mud Creek, which run near the center of the course, have overflowed their banks and submerged all of the course's foot bridges, making it unplayable.

Swaths of the course were under water yesterday afternoon, and large portions of several greens and fairways were drenched.

Along with the inconvenience to recreational golfers, the flooding has forced the cancellation of several high school golf team practices and competitions, including a girls' tournament that was scheduled for yesterday by Whitmer High School, staffers said.

"We never flood like this," Miss Murnan said. "There are fish swimming in places they shouldn't be."

The flooding started after the second of two permanent electric pumps at the course failed, said Tom Kroma, assistant chief of staff for Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, who pointed out that the pumps are owned by the city and are operated by the Department of Public Utilities.

The first electric pump broke down earlier this year and has stayed offline while replacement parts were on order.

Mr. Kroma said the parts just recently arrived, and that city crews hoped to have the pump running again by last evening.

Although the city has been using portable pumps to try to alleviate the flooding, Detwiler groundskeepers said that the smaller pumps do not seem to be working well because water levels only have been rising.

Detwiler is one of Toledo's three public golf courses, which include the Collins Park and Ottawa Park courses. Each course is managed by American Golf Corp., of Santa Monica, Calif., which last year paid the city $162,907 to lease all three.

When operational, the pumps move water out of the creek and ditch and into the Maumee River.

Both streams used to empty into the river, but years ago engineers cut them off from the larger body of water because they were backing up and spilling onto the golf course during storms, Mr. Kroma said.

Miss Murnan said she hopes to reopen Detwiler once the water recedes but isn't sure when that can happen or in what condition the course will be.

"Anything that's been under water for three days or four days is going to be dead," she said.

Contact JC Reindl at:

jreindl@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.24-6050.



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