Marina residents face uncertain future after sewage violations
KINGSTON, Okla. (KTEN) — The sewage lagoons at Marina del Rey — where waste water from the marina and surrounding mobile homes is flushed — were found to be in violation of Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality standards.
Rather than modify the lagoons, marina owner Garrett Johnson agreed to close them by March 1, 2023.
That decision leaves property owners in a scramble to sell or move their homes, which are sited on Army Corps of Engineers land that's leased by Johnson.
The DEQ issued an administrative order over the sewage violations several years ago.
"The issues were not fixed, so the facility did not come into compliance," said DEQ spokesperson Erin Hatfield. "As such, the DEQ elevated that case to district court."
Along with closing the lagoons, Johnson faced a hefty fine of $117,000.
An attorney representing the marina said replacing the waste system is too expensive. With no way to get rid of waste, the mobile homes around the marina must be moved.
Homeowner Lyn Welch say she has heard nothing from Johnson about the situation.
"Officially, no one who lives here has heard anything," Welch said. "There has been no letter sent; there has been no communication with the man who leases this property from the Army Corps of Engineers."
Welch said her rent doubled when Johnson assumed management of the marina in 2015.
"I can understand if you want to do upkeep and some improvements, because the elderly lady who owned it hadn't done a lot... she really couldn't," Welch said. "But he never did any of those upgrades."
Johnson did not respond to requests for comment.