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North Dam Park may go brown


A common sprinkler on a brown spot sprays what may be some of the last water the grass at North Dam Park will get this year after the park's irrigation pump broke last week. - Jacob Wagner photo

If you notice the grass turning to brown at North Dam Park, blame a faulty pump.

The Bureau of Reclamation installed a submerged pump in Banks Lake several years ago just over North Dam, which abuts the park.

That pump quit working last week, Wade Taylor told the Coulee Area Park and Recreation District Monday night.

His Taylor Enterprises has been watering and mowing the lawn at the park this year, but on Thursday no water flowed to the sprinklers.

Taylor reported to district commissioners that USBR workers had pulled the pump for repairs on Monday.

The problem may be compounded by the fast-approaching end of the fiscal year for the federal government, which means no new pump could be ordered quickly. USBR personnel are trying to order a rebuild kit for the old pump.

Taylor said he stopped mowing the grass to keep it long, which will help preserve the water already in the ground and the green above it.

Taylor is watering the brownest spots reachable by regular hose from a separate water source, but the irrigation system for most of the park, including the ball fields, is without water.

The last major event for the park is set for this weekend - Harvest Festival, organized by the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, noted district Chair Bob Valen. The festival features a Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association-sanctioned contest, helicopter rides, a race, beer garden, kids' activities and more.

Coulee Medical Center has also scheduled a walk/run in October to raise funds for cancer patients, Valen said.

Those events may look a little less green this year.

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