News Release 027

Department of Natural Resources refers Camden County restaurant, bar to Attorney General for enforcement action in clean water case

Volume 38-027
(For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 21, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today referred the case of a Camden County restaurant and bar to the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue legal action for clean water violations.

The department referred the case against Buccaneer Bay LLC alleging that the company's wastewater treatment facility was improperly built, maintained and operated.

Buccaneer Bay owns and operates Captain Ron's Bar and Grill, five lakefront single-family residences and seven two-bedroom cabins at the 34-mile marker of the Osage River Arm in the Francis Hollow Cove of the Lake of the Ozarks.

On June 3, and July 7, 2009, department staff inspected the wastewater treatment facility serving Buccaneer Bay and discovered that the facility was not constructed according to department-approved engineering plans and specifications. Staff found that only one of the three required BIOPOD treatment units was installed, the reaeration tank had not been constructed and flow measurement device had not been installed.

Staff also observed sludge below the outfall pipe and that the pipe was not properly marked in the field. The facility also lacked the required fencing and signage. In addition, monthly discharge monitoring reports submitted to the department by Buccaneer Bay showed that effluent discharged from the facility has been in violation of a number of permitted effluent limitations: ammonia as nitrogen and total suspended solids during the months of June, July, August and September 2009; total residual chlorine during the months of October 2008 and June and August 2009; and biochemical oxygen demand during the month of September 2009.

The Missouri Clean Water Law exists to protect public and environmental health and the department is responsible for enforcing the law and regulations.

The department's enforcement actions help protect human health and the environment by requiring facilities to maintain compliance. The main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with the standards and then ensure it has the tools to remain in compliance. As part of that process, penalties may be used ensure future compliance by removing the economic benefit of continued noncompliance.

The department strives to work with owners and operators to fix problems before an issue is referred. In situations where the responsible party is unwilling or unable to cooperate to bring the facility into compliance and be protective of human health and the environment, the department will refer the case.

For more information, contact the Department's Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.