Valley View Golf LLC received violation notices from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality for irrigating the Farmington, Ark., golf course with water from two ponds, the ownership of which is in question. The organization that controls the sewer system claims the golf course’s usage of the ponds interferes with bringing the system into compliance with state laws.
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality issued violation notices last week against Valley View Golf LLC for irrigating its golf course at The Golf Club at Valley View in Farmington, Ark., with water from two ponds near the clubhouse. Ownership of the ponds is in question, and the golf course and Valley View Estates are embroiled in a lawsuit, the Little Rock, Ark., Arkansas Online reported.
Valley View Golf and Communities Unlimited, the court-ordered receiver that controls the Farmington subdivision’s community sewer system, are at odds over whether water from the ponds near the clubhouse can be used to water the golf course, Online reported.
Washington County Property Owners Improvement District No. 5 operates a sewer treatment facility that includes the two storage ponds and irrigation system for the golf course. The system accepts wastewater from homes in the Valley View Estates subdivision. This water goes through a treatment system and is then stored in the two ponds before it is applied by a sprinkler system to the golf course, Online reported.
The sewer system’s wastewater permit expired January 31, and the improvement district, now under the direction of a receiver, is trying to get a new permit. Communities Unlimited claims the ponds are a critical element of the wastewater system and that the golf course’s usage of the ponds for watering interferes with the receiver’s ability to bring the system into compliance with state laws and obtain a new wastewater permit. The group also claims that Valley View Golf is watering the course with effluent, Online reported.
The golf course owners dispute the claims, saying the ponds belong to them and that the receiver only has access to the ponds as part of an easement agreed upon years ago. Valley View Golf also claims the ponds contain only rainwater, not treated effluent. Valley View Golf is represented by attorneys Donald Kendall, Susan Kendall, and John Peiserich, Online reported.
Peiserich said Valley View Golf and the Environmental Quality Department tested the ponds’ water quality and both found it was within regulatory limits. Treated wastewater has not gone into the ponds for the past five months, and that water is long gone, he said. “When you look at it, what you find is that there’s no treated effluent in it. That’s the reason it tested the way it did,” Peiserich said.
The receiver filed a motion asking the court to stop the course from using the pond water. Washington County Circuit Judge John Threet is scheduled to hear arguments at on August 1, Online reported.
The department’s Wednesday violation notice demands that the golf course stop using the ponds for irrigation until a professional engineer certifies that the course drainage system does not connect to Farmington’s municipal storm sewer system. The notice also demands that the golf course obtain the department’s approval for a no-discharge permit and for a national pollutant discharge elimination system permit, both of which the department says are required by the federal Clean Water Act. The violation order also fines Valley View Golf $38,000, due within 30 days, Online reported.
Valley View Golf can appeal the notice by filing a written request for a hearing with the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission, Online reported.
The violation states that an Environmental Quality Department inspection in March showed parts of the sewer system were not working, and inspectors found evidence of waste solids in and around the west storage pond. This pond also was overflowing on the south side into a golf course drain, which then flows into Farmington’s municipal storm sewer system, Online reported.
The Environmental Quality Department on June 16 notified Valley View Golf that it could not use the ponds to irrigate the golf course until proof had been submitted that the storage ponds had been cleaned of all wastewater and solids and been disconnected from the improvement district’s treatment system, Online reported.
The notice claims that Valley View irrigated with water from the storage ponds June 11-21 in violation of state law, which governs the storage and land application of treated effluent, Online reported.
The state agency notified Valley View Golf to cease irrigation from the storage ponds on June 22, but said it received complaints from residents on June 23, June 25, June 27 and June 29 that the golf club was again using the pond water to irrigate the course, Online reported.