Waste dumped in lake

Michael Tortorich
Waste dumped in the lake in front of Spanish Oaks subdivision off of Swamp Road in Prairieville has caused concerns for homeowners.

PRAIRIEVILLE – A smelly, potentially hazardous mess polluted a subdivision lake Friday.

Spanish Oaks, located off of Swamp Road, was victimized when someone dumped what seems to be human waste into the subdivision’s lake.

Janet Kliebert, a resident of the subdivision, said she has reported the incident to multiple government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

She provided photos and information on the incident, which was forwarded to surveillance agents.

She said the smell was so strong, she could hardly stand taking the photos.

At some point between late Thursday night and early Friday morning, someone dumped the materials in the lake, Kliebert said.

“This is not the first time this has happened,” the homeowner said.

She recalled at least three times someone has dumped such materials in the lake over the last few weeks.

She said homeowners even tried putting up fake cameras to deter the dumping.

While it did seem to stop the frequency of the incidents for some time, she said the materials have returned.

“They must have wised up,” Kliebert said, referring to the inoperable cameras.

Going into the Labor Day holiday weekend, subdivision homeowners were left with a disgusting mess, and few places to turn.

Kliebert said she does not expect to hear back from anyone on an investigation into the matter until the middle of next week, due to the long weekend.

“We live in a society where everyone thinks ‘somebody else will take care of it’ when something like this happens,” she said.

The polluted lake is located in the front of the subdivision, where children often play and fish, according to Kliebert.

“Kids fish in it,” she said. “Right now they can’t do that.”

The waste may have come from some type of portable toilets or recreational vehicles, Kliebert speculated.

No matter how it got there, Kliebert has worked to get the lake back to normal and stop the dumping.