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Broken valve shuts Beltzville for three hours

  • Larry Neff/TIMES NEWS Volunteer State Park Ranger Dan Petrecca directs motorists away from the entrance of Beltzville State Park after it was closed Monday morning due to a valve malfunction in the park's restroom plumbing.
    Larry Neff/TIMES NEWS Volunteer State Park Ranger Dan Petrecca directs motorists away from the entrance of Beltzville State Park after it was closed Monday morning due to a valve malfunction in the park's restroom plumbing.
Published June 01. 2010 05:00PM

Beltzville State Park delayed opening yesterday for three hours one of its busiest days of the year because of a bathroom problem.

The park wasn't able to open until 11:30 a.m., said park manager Tony Willoughby.

At no time was the beach or water in the lake compromised by the problem, he stressed.

The problem couldn't have come at a worse time for park personnel. Beltzville Park normally fills to capacity on Memorial Day weekend because this is when it opens for the season.

Unseasonably warm temperatures heightened the anticipation of sun bathers and swimmers for the opening of the park yesterday, but those who got there early found it closed.

"We couldn't open without the restroom opening," said Willoughby.

"The valve had to be repaired before we could use the restroom."

The park officially opened on Saturday and was almost filled to capacity, the park manager said.

He noted that Sunday the beach was filled and by early afternoon yesterday, despite the morning problems, people had to be turned away because capacity was reached.

Franklin Township police, state police, and park rangers assisted with traffic control both yesterday morning when the park failed to open promptly, and yesterday afternoon when the park filled.

In 2005, Beltzville Lake Park was closed to swimming twice because of high bacteria levels.

A portion of the swimming area of the lake also was closed in 2003 because of high bacteria counts.

Willoughby stressed that no such situation was responsible for Monday's delayed opening and that the problem was strictly related to the restroom plumbing.

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