Stormwater runoff is becoming a threat to one Columbia County community.
Spring Lakes homeowners have seen a steady increase in silt pouring into their lake.
At an HOA meeting tonight they demanded answers from their district leader.
Columbia County Commissioner, Trey Allen, says, “all running water is water of the states, water of America, part of the Corps., part of the water retention system in Columbia County.”
This retention system has steadily increased silt in Spring Lakes waters.
Savannah Riverkeeper, Truck, says, “it can deplete the oxygen in the water, which of course effects everything that lives in the water.”
All of the water flows to the Savannah River and if nothing in this area is done…
“It can become stagnant, which raises mosquitos, and then we can get into a situation where there is an environment that was not supposed to be there,” says Truck, “and that can become a health issue at that point.”
Commissioner Trey Allen says Spring Lakes privately owns their lake, so only their homeowners can use it.
“If we are fixing them as a county, we have no right to tell people they cannot come in here, they can’t swim, they can’t get in a boat they can’t do anything they want in our lake,” says Allen.
Fixing it out of homeowners pockets can cost them up to 7 million dollars. Homeowners believe if Columbia County uses it, they should contribute to fixing it.
Resident of Spring Lakes, Al Yarbrough, says, “we’re the biggest, one of the largest sediment ponds the storm water system uses.”
Columbia County says if they do it for one private lake, they have to do it for all.
This isn’t a recent issue.
“The county one time told us that it was effecting the storm water, and we needed to about three years ago say if we didn’t take care of it, they would come take care of it and pack taxes for it,” says Yarbrough.
When asked if they have, Yarbrough says “they haven’t. They haven’t done anything in three and a half years.”
The homeowner’s association still has yet to find a solution.
The HOA filed an application with EPD and a permit to the US Army Corps. of Engineers, to which they said they don’t need a permit to move the sediment as long as they have a place to dispose it.