Water Test Update (08/05/21)

Building Permit Policy Updates
July 24, 2021
Inappropriate Signs/Flags
August 5, 2021
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Water Test Update (08/05/21)

On Monday, August 3rd, we conducted a round of e.Coli testing with Ozark Testing. After our tests ahead of July 4th indicated higher than acceptable levels in Cove 9 and near the beach, we wanted to make sure that we re-tested and took appropriate actions to ensure the safety of all of our members.

The E.coli tests conducted this week did not show significant signs of E.coli at this time. This is excellent news, and we will be removing the warning signs at the beach for the time being.  Speaking with our testing partners, the results around the July 4th weekend may have been impacted by the heavy rains we experienced prior to the holiday weekend, which our partners at the Missouri Department of Conservation believe contributed to the fish kill that weekend as well. If you missed the previous communications regarding the July 4th weekend,  please see the Fish Kill post here and the  E.coli results from July 4th weekend here.  

We also conducted Algal testing on August 2nd this week which is our 6th test of the 2021 lake season for Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB). We continue to use independent lab Phycotech for this testing. As has been the case all year, we continue to see the presence of potentially toxin-producing algae, but no toxins are present at this time.  A reminder to all members to stay out of areas where there are obvious signs of algae and scum, and to continue to use the lake at your own discretion.

8/3/21 Test Result Documents

Finally, we are sharing additional information below regarding septic systems.

BUR #4 says “No waste shall be permitted to enter into Indian Hills Lake….“ It is every member’s responsibility to keep a healthy working septic system, as it is imperative to keep a SAFE environment for you, your family, and your neighbors.  In addition, as we are in the beginning stages of our Lake Restoration program, and we cannot afford to have faulty systems leaking into the lake working against the Lake Restoration activities.  It is important for all members to know that all systems in Indian Hills, whether on or off the water affect our lake.  Indian Hills has a complex series of creeks and culverts that drain the rainwater from the upper tiers through association and member’s properties into the lake water.   

As the infrastructure of our community ages, we must maintain, and in some instances repair and replace the systems that keep us safe like the bridge, and this infrastructure also includes each member’s septic system.   

Below is a review of articles that we have previously published:

Do You Know the Signs of Trouble in a Septic System?

  • Sewer Odors inside the house or yard
  • Slow Draining, gurgling sounds
  • Sewage backups
  • Soggy soil or wastewater surfacing around tanks in the yard or in the house or basement.
  • Overgrowth of grass at the soil treatment area

Responsible Septic Practices

  • Obtain the necessary permits from Crawford County before installing or making any major repairs to your septic.  Use a registered service provider.
  • Do not overload your system with more people than your system is rated for.
  • Conserve water to avoid overloading.  Use high-efficiency fixtures and repair any toilet/faucet leaks immediately 
  • Have your septic tank pumped routinely and as needed
  • Use commercial bathroom cleaners and laundry detergents in moderation.  Do not put items such as feminine hygiene products, flushable wipes, diapers, cigarette butts, cat litter, paper towels, etc into your system.
  • DO NOT enter a septic tank.  Gasses/lack of oxygen can be fatal.
  • Do not use caustic drain openers for a clogged drain.  Instead, use boiling water or a drain snake to open clogs.

If you believe you have a problem, step #1 is to contact a certified contractor immediately to diagnose the problem.  A plan of action will be formulated, and that may include an engineer’s design.  Any new systems or major repairs are to be submitted to Crawford County Health Department for review and a permit. You must also submit for a permit with Indian Hills.  (Please note that a holding tank is NOT an allowable solution for a leaking system.  A variance is only allowed for a holding tank if there are absolutely no other solutions available.  Cost is not a reason to request a variance). 

If you believe your neighbor has a problem, PLEASE call the Crawford County Health Department at 573 775 2555 and report – it is your responsibility to do so.  The Association would also appreciate a call or email AFTER you make the call to Crawford County Health Department.

Remember the health of our members and the lake is dependent on properly working septic systems.  Too often, members will wait far too long to address their septic problems, you are jeopardizing the safety and well-being of you and your neighbors!

Although we are aware of a small number of septic problems in Indian Hills, it is not believed to be an overall problem at this time.  It is critical that all members be diligent about reporting/maintaining/repairing faulty systems and systems that have passed their expected life span.  Should there become an overall problem at Indian Hills, the authorities would have the responsibility of requiring an overall sewer system be installed – or our lake be drained.   The cost of building a total sewer system has been evaluated in the past and the costs are astronomical, even when shared by 1,800 lots.  As with our other infrastructure, it is important for all to remember that we are a PRIVATE community, responsible for all such costs.  So again, being diligent about your septic system is not only to be responsible for the health of you, your neighbors, and the lake but to avoid huge costs in the future.

Thank you

Joe Mischik Chair – Lake, Dam, and Spillway   (bod.jmischik@ilpoa.org)