Universal Studios sues Orange County, hotel over storm water system

Universal Studios is suing Orange County, as well as a local hotel, over the use of a storm water system.

The theme park said it owns part of the water system near Wet n’ Wild.

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But Channel 9 anchor Jamie Holmes found out that some county officials said the lawsuit is a bit of a slap in the face after the county invested millions in taxpayer money to help Universal.

Sandy Lake is a small manmade body of water behind Wet n’ Wild.

It’s bordered by hotels and tourist spots, and is used as a drainage area.

Universal claims nearby businesses could be dumping pollutants into the lake.

But Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke said he does not know of any health concerns.

The lawsuit targets Orange County, as well as the Enclave hotel, and is seeking an injunction to stop the activity.

“We do everything by the rules and regulations. Sometimes we overdo,” said Clarke.
Universal Studios said the use of the retention pond by others could pose a health hazard and a serious risk. But Wet n’ Wild, which is owned by Universal, has a fuel pump system by the water.

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Just a few years ago, the county agreed to pay for a pedestrian bridge at Universal Studios, which cost millions in taxpayer money and benefited only Universal’s guests.

Clarke said the county has bent over backward to accommodate Universal.

“It’s like suing your parents. I think we’ve been very good to them. It’s like raising kids, you’re not always their friend, but you try and do the right thing,”

said Clarke.
Universal is seeking $15,000 in damages.