News Release 036

Department of Natural Resources refers Climax Springs homeowners' association to Attorney General for clean water law enforcement action

Volume 38-036 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, FEB. 2, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today referred the case against a Climax Springs area homeowners' association to the Missouri Attorney General's Office for violations of Missouri's Clean Water Law.

The department referred the case against Admiral's Point Homeowners, Inc. to the attorney general alleging clean water law violations at the association's wastewater treatment facility located off Lake Road 7-13M, near Climax Springs in Camden County.

The wastewater treatment facility serving the homes in Admiral's Point Subdivision consists of a septic tank and recirculating sand filter with chlorination; effluent from the facility discharges into the Lake of the Ozarks. In October the department inspected the facility and reviewed its files, documenting that the sand filter bed was overgrown with vegetation and that alarms were not functional. Staff also documented the association failed to submit accurate and timely discharge monitoring reports as required by the operating permit.

Additionally, department records indicate that the facility's operating permit expired on Dec. 4, 2008, and the association failed to name a valid continuing authority, which identifies a permanent organization responsible for operation and maintenance of a facility. Due to the continuous nature of these violations, the department has referred this matter directly to the Attorney General's Office.

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 achieve and maintain compliance. The main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with regulatory standards and then ensure it has the tools to remain in compliance. As part of that process, penalties may be assessed to 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 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.