Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
BRIGHTON - Lake Darling State Park completed its new sewer system a week ago, and the park's campsites will be open and ready for the Memorial Day weekend.
"It was great to have it done before Memorial Day," said Merrill Lucas, area manager for Lake Darling State Park. "That's why we're open."
Before the sewer system was completed, campers at the park had to rough it. There were no water hook-ups, and the showers were closed. But now that everything is operational again, nearly every campsite at the park has been reserved for the Memorial Day weekend.
"We're full in the campground now except for a few without electricity," Lucas said. "We have a good crowd. I think we have about 10 campgrounds open out of 118."
Lucas expects from 5,000 to 10,000 people to visit the park this weekend.
"Hopefully everyone will come out and have a good weekend," he said. "We're looking for a good crowd."
The sewer system, which cost nearly $800,000 and took approximately six months to complete, was part of the effort to make Lake Darling's water cleaner.
"We were outdated," Lucas said. "We needed to be updated. Our system was emptying into the lake, and we needed to get it so that it was emptying outside of the park."
Since the park began efforts to clean up the lake, the results have been positive.
"All of our water tests this spring have come back perfect," Lucas said. "Every Monday they take a water sample, and we get the results every Friday."
With cleaner water in the lake, the fishing has been very good, Lucas said. He also hopes that swimmers return to the lake's beach.
The six-month project was finished on time, Lucas said.
"Everything went well," he said. "They had a good winter. All winter the weather cooperated, and they worked on it almost every day."