An explanation for the trash at Columbia Park - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

An explanation for the trash at Columbia Park

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6-20-17 UPDATE:

KENNEWICK, WA - A look into why there is trash filling a corner of the fishing pond at Columbia Park shows this problem has roots that stretch farther than the park itself.

Reporter Rex Carlin looked into the cause of the problem today, and learned that according to the City, this isn't a park specific problem.

The water you see in the fishing pond at Columbia Park and the trash that comes along with it actually originates in Zintel Canyon, so the trash accumulates on the water's path all the way down to the park. Then the water's supposed to flow through a drainage tunnel, around the inlet, through the pond, and then down, where it gets blocked off.

The water filters through and goes under a bridge to the Columbia River, but the water flow is low, so the trash isn't moving. And to add to the problem, the Columbia is actually higher than usual for this time of year, so the water that should be flowing outward to the river is flowing back upstream, creating a backlog. This is what results in the trash we see today.

A City of Kennewick employee was out today to start the cleanup, instructed to get what he could...but much of the trash is actually out in the water, making it tougher to reach safely.

But the needles that were seen raises the question: is there a problem with drug use at the park? Representatives from the City say, like all the other trash found in the pond, those needles could have come from anywhere along the water's path.

For now, the City says it's trying its best to clean up what it can while figuring out a way to get that hard-to-reach trash out of the pond. But we can do our part too, by throwing our trash away properly, so it doesn't end up like this.



KENNEWICK, WA -  A viewer sent in a picture of Columbia Park's fishing pond covered in garbage this weekend, so we decided to check it out for ourselves. Another picture showed a syringe and referenced about how much trash is sitting in Columbia Park, and reporter Rex Carlin went down there to see that it was true.

He also found out that there's so much of it spread out into the water that it's hard to believe a group of messy people could have just left it that bad..

Just from what he saw, turtles, birds, and ducks were all trying to maneuver around the trash.

Rex reached out to the City of Kennewick earlier today to see why all this trash ends up in one particular corner of the pond. They say they're looking into it and could get back to us later.