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No health threat from Mountain Falls spill

State officials, responding to inquiries about a treated liquid waste spill at Mountain Falls Golf Club in mid-December, said they will take no action against property owners.

JoAnn Kittrell, public information officer for the Nevada State Department of Conservation, said in a telephone conversation following press deadline on Tuesday, that a review of the initial report issued by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection indicated that there was “no spill” and therefore, no corrective action will be taken by the agency.

Kittrell said the report indicates that the overflow from the pond was from “fresh water not effluent.”

“We were out there and didn’t find any evidence of a sewage spill,” she said. “The release was stormwater and there will be no follow-up (by our agency) unless new information becomes available,” Kittrell said.

An initial report, issued by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection on Dec. 31, 2014, indicated they visited the spill site on Dec. 16 and determined, after investigation, that the seepage into the road was caused, in part, by heavy rains which caused the freshwater artesian well pond to overflow.

Upon discovering the overflow, the report continues, Mountain Falls Golf Club personnel took the artesian well off-line, which, in essence eliminated the issue of ponding water in the public road.

NDEP determined that the artesian well system that feeds into the freshwater lake was the cause of the overflow spill.

Officials also determined that the irrigation system, which carries effluent, or treated liquid waste, is operated independently of the freshwater lake.

The report does note, however, that “Treated effluent could potentially enter the freshwater lake system through irrigation over-spray or accidental over-watering.”

Nye County Planning Director Darrell Lacy, who is also tasked with water district and natural resource issues said it is likely action was taken by Public Works Director David Fanning to protect public infrastructure. “At this time, as long as water is not getting into the road, I don’t see an imminent health and safety issue to the general public,” Lacy said.

Lacy said his understanding of the situation was that as soon as the seepage problem was brought to the attention of Mountain Falls personnel, the pumps were shut off, which stopped the flows into the roadway.

Project Manager Greg Moynahan of William Lyons Homes, which operates Mountain Falls, said they will implement a policy to address any potential future spills on the property.

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