Gold Hill RV residents are involving Oregon DEQ in septic system issue

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – Residents at a Gold Hill RV park are outraged about a potential failing septic system growing in their community. They told NBC5 News when they tried to complain to management they got nowhere. Residents have now formally complained to Oregon DEQ about the septic system. The agency said this is a high-priority complaint due to the magnitude of health and environmental concerns it has on the community.

Angela LaFazio is a resident of the Gold Hill RV Park. A stinky problem is growing and it’s not getting any easier as summer approaches.

“The smell is just absolutely horrendous,” said LaFazio, “I’m just sick to my stomach about it”.

LaFazio first noticed a foul smell late last year, but it wasn’t until warmer weather hit that it became a bigger problem.

“We just had triple digits this last week, it got up to 102 [degrees] here in the valley. And it was – I don’t even have words to describe it. We had to leave,” said LaFazio.

She complained to the on-site manager. She said he told her he’d pass the message along to the owners. But after that, the phone went silent.

“We’ve had no communication from the owners here at the park. No notices sent to us or posted on our door,” said LaFazio.

LaFazio isn’t the only resident who can’t escape the smell. Greg Dolling is a longtime Gold Hill RV Park resident. The new ‘water feature’ is practically in his backyard.

“This is my home almost 11 years I don’t wanna go anywhere else I like it here,” said Dolling, “I don’t know of anybody who’d wanna have this smell right at their backdoor”.

After months of no progress, LaFazio sent a formal letter to DEQ. She felt she had to.

“You can see it all along there raw, saturated sewage. And it’s running a little river right underneath our home,” said LaFazio.

When an official came out to the property this month, it quickly became obvious this was serious.

“DEQ considers this a high priority complaint due to the potential harm to public health and the environment,” said Dylan Darling, Public Information Officer at DEQ Western Region.

A formal letter was sent this week to the owner Brochton Kaveny, who lives out of state. He told NBC5 News he wasn’t aware of the magnitude of the issue but is now working alongside DEQ to resolve it.

DEQ and Kaveny said they are doing an onsite inspection next week. After that, they’ll figure out a game plan on fixing the potential failing septic system. However, both DEQ and Kaveny said the issue could take months.

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