As owners of Vista Valencia Golf Course continue to drain a stagnant, brown water hazard on its links, so goes the stinky smell neighbors of the golf course have been complaining about for five years.
American Golf Corp., owners of the golf course, have been draining the stinky pool daily since Monday and reported to Los Angeles County Environmental Health inspectors of having to drain about 150,000 gallons that remain.
“Unfortunately, we had a delay in commencing the project, but we have continued to work closely with county public health officials and they are aware of our plans for remediation,” said Rand Huguely, general counsel for the corporation. “Currently, we expect to commence the work to drain the pond within the next two to three days.”
Residents near the golf course, meanwhile, reported traces of the same bad smell they say they’ve had to endure.
“This morning it was present, but nowhere near as bad as a few weeks ago,” Cathy Freet said Friday. “To me, I would think if it was truly the lake, the smell would be worst in the heat of the day. … There are also some sort of pipes coming off the golf course at the end of Sand Wedge (Lane). This is where the smell has been at its worst.”
On July 27, Ubaid Qazi, an environmental health inspector, spent an hour at the golf course conducting a “complaint investigation,” according to a copy of the inspection report obtained by The Signal.
Qazi commented in his report: “Conducted complaint investigation regarding ‘Man-made lake is not kept up, no water movement,’ observed standing water in the lake with a sewage-like smell. Operator stated they are trying to drain lake, did not observe any mosquito breeding at the time of inspection.”
Public health inspectors are particularly concerned about West Nile virus and its transmission by mosquitoes.
On July 31, four days after the environmental health inspection, officials with American Golf Corp. announced they would begin removing the water.
Qazi returned to the pond on the last two days of July, and, according to his report: “observed (on July 30) ongoing treatment of lakes with ‘Green Clean Pro, Biozyme.’ A faint odor was still present from Lake No. 1.
On July 31, he “observed ongoing treatment of lakes with ‘Green Clean Pro, Biozyme.’ No odor present at time of re-inspection.”
This past week, after speaking with The Signal, steps were taken by American Golf to fix the problem.
On Monday, Qazi “observed two trucks onsite draining Lake No. 1 (the lake that was emitting the foul odor). Lake No. 1 is expected to be fully drained by Wednesday.”
On Tuesday, he noted in his report: “significant water removal from the stagnant lake as compared to the previous day.”
Qazi also noted: “Per golf course staff, approximately another 150,000 gallons of water must be pumped from the lake into trucks in order to empty the stagnant lake. No foul odor at time of site visit. No mosquito breeding observed.
On Wednesday, Qazi spoke with the general manager of the golf course, according to his report.
Qazi wrote: “The GM stated that he is waiting for a quote from United Pumping Service for completion of draining and sludge removal from the stagnant lake. No foul odor at time of site visit.
Qazi left the golf course with a “contingency plan for full abatement of the stagnant lake” given to him by the general manager.
Resident Mark Patti, Freet’s husband, said of the smell this past week: “I think there has been a reduction in the smell.”