Monday, October 24, 2011
By Ilene Johnson
This is not a good thing to publicize but I feel it is necessary to inform the public what the issues are regarding the septic system problems at Terrace Lakes Resort in Garden Valley, because we may be shut down by Central District Health and the Department of Environmental Quality.
It is important to me that everyone knows the truth about this.
First, I want to tell a brief history about Terrace Lakes. It was started in 1965 on $10,000 of other people’s money. The idea was to have a place where average families could go in the mountains for a weekend get-away. The plans were to have a golf course, swimming pool, snack bar, campground, and a travel trailer park (this was before self-contained trailers); our first construction was two outhouses: a his and a hers.
The idea worked and it evolved to what it is today because of a lot of wonderful people who had faith in the idea, trusted us, and wanted to help so they would be able to use it. We sold memberships and our own stock, which was worthless at the time, to get started. When the pool was finished in 1967, we started charging our members $10 a month dues for the use of the pool and the grounds. Before the pool opened, we put in a sewer system that was an open lagoon that worked on oxygen. That is what was common at that time. The rules were changed in the late '70s, so we put in a 10,000 gallon septic tank and field drain. It was adequate until 2010.
In those days, there were not a lot of government agencies or regulations. We just tried to do everything right as long as it benefited everyone concerned. We always had a lot of knowledgeable professionals involved to advise us when we needed advice. They bought memberships or stock and really cared about the project. They came up and helped out on their days off, weekends mostly, just to be there.
I am writing this in order to get public support in Garden Valley and Boise County and to alert the public to what every property owner in our County has in store for them in the future, because they all have septic tanks. There are only two functioning sewer systems in the whole County: both are cities, Idaho City and Horseshoe Bend. If your septic system fails, you will be required to put in a system than will cost you $7,500 to $10,000. Septics have been gravity flow for hundreds of years. My common sense tells me that is especially good in the mountains. How have we ever survived without government regulations? Now, the new systems will all require electricity and many of them will have to be pumped uphill. Therefore, if the power goes out, they will not work.
There are no lots in Boise County that can be sold or built on without one of these expensive systems. The new systems will have to be inspected every year for a hefty fee or a lien will be put on your property.
Posted by Angel (Anjali DeWitt MacAngel) at 2:01 PM