Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Scoop on Terrace Lakes Septic Problems: Show Up Saturday!

By Ilene Johnson

Terrace Lakes is holding a fourth meeting regarding their septic system problems on Saturday, December 10, at 11 a.m., in the Multi Purpose Room at Garden Valley School. Anyone who would like to attend is welcome.
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This letter is to explain some misconceptions about Terrace Lakes Resort and their septic system problems.

I am pleased that Terrace Lakes Resort has finally made the news in Boise County.
It is too bad that it sheds such a bad light on the Resort. We have about five-hundred happy members and property owners that are very helpful and supportive and we are truly thankful for them.

I would like to clarify some of the negative publicity and rumors about our situation that has been publicized.

I tried to have a letter published in the Idaho World when we first had our Septic Tanks capped off three days before Labor Day weekend, by Central District Health Department (CDHD) and the Department of Environmentel Health (DEQ), after being given four days notice. The letter was to let everyone know about what was happening so there would not be much doubt as to our problem. At that time, we had to start pumping and hauling all of the effluent from our septic system to South Fork Landing. This included the clubhouse, pool, nine rental rooms and forty private properties, of which only ten are full-time residents. These are the properties close to the creek and around the edge of the golf course. I wanted the letter published so everyone would be aware of the facts about our situation.

The letter could not be printed unless we paid $400 or wrote four letters to the editor, to come out over a four-week period. If you would like a copy of the letter I would be happy to send it to you.(Or see GVDailyNews post 10/24/2011.) It is the whole story. I have sent this letter to all of our members and property owners because it is so important that they are all aware of our problem. It is also important to us that the public is aware. Terrace Lakes started in 1965. How we survived this long is a miracle. It is a good thing I believe in miracles.

Central District Health Department (CDHD) and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) called two meetings last week, one in Garden Valley and one in Boise. They cannot attend our meeting on December 10, because I was told it was unacceptible.

It was announced last week, and came out in the paper, that our system that was installed in 1983 has been failing for over 30 years. Actually, our system was installed in the 70s before CDHD was formed.

We realize we have to put in a new Sewer System; $345K is the bid. We have been working on this for two years and have already spent about $80K, and we have nothing but some plans and permits to show for it. We were shut down, and now it is costing us $10,000 a month to pump and haul. We do not have the money to put in a Sewer System and we cannot get a loan because we are not a municipality or non-profit. Small businesses cannot get a loan. But, that is of no concern to the powers that be.

These are more facts regarding an article that was in the November 30 edition of the Idaho World:

1. We paid for meters to put on the properties that are on the septic, in order to monitor where all the excess water is coming from that contributes to what is causing our system to fail.

2. Lon Allen was in the article last week. He has two rentals at Terrace Lakes and brings in about $875 a month. He knew about this before he spoke at that meeting. His two rentals were using approximately 1,000 gallons a day because of a toilet and a shower in the two rentals that were running and had been for a long time. That did not include the household use. Lon fixed the problem before the meeting. So it looks like the meters are already working. Sometimes the only way to get people to conserve and pay attention is to charge them.

3. Terrace Lakes drinking water system did not fail. We were running short of water because of an excessive amount of sprinkling and we have a flat fee for water. We upgraded our water system to the tune of $1,285,000 that was completed in 2009.

Within twenty-four hours after the upgrades were completed and the system was approved by DEQ, we received notification that we had to put in two new Sewer Systems.

Times are tough right now for everyone and it is a terrible time to have this happen.

Our members are our sustenance and if we had to close our doors it would affect all of Garden Valley and for that matter, all of Boise County.

The letter that is referenced will be sent to any one who would like a copy.

Yours truly, Ilene Johnson, Secretary
Terrace Lakes Recreation Ranch, Inc.

For a copy of the full story, contact me at Terrace Lakes, 208-462-3250, Sat, Sun, or Mon, or 377-2121, in Boise, Tues thru Fri.


  1. "The letter could not be printed unless we paid $400 or wrote four letters to the editor, to come out over a four-week period."

    Now the true colors of the Idaho World are revealed. Only a for-profit enterprise that could care less about news and the truth!

  2. Use All-Natural Advanced Formula Septic-Helper 2000. It has the 8 natural bacteria and enzymes that liquefy the waste in the tank AND out in the drain field. Both for less than $4 per month.

    Check the septic and water rules in your State and County. In 2011 the EPA TMDL Mandates that States clean up their water supplies. A failed inspection would include a slow drain in your leach field, low bacteria levels or elevated Nitrate levels could require replacement of your entire system for $10,000 to $80,000 or connect to the city sewer system. 2011 Septic, Well & Water News Stories: Twitter MillerPlanteInc Search the News by State: Facebook Miller.Plante

  3. I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. I have read most of them and learned a lot from them. You are doing some great work. Thank you for making such a nice website.

  4. Hopefully your action here to highlight this matter made everybody aware and avoids the negative publicity. Most people would not be bothered but what you have done here is different. Keep up the good work and hopefully it achieves the objective.

  5. That doesn't sound fun. I hope the Calgary septic system doesn't run into these problems.