A neighborhood in the Osage Beach area is looking for answers to an all-too-common malady at Lake of the Ozarks — sewage issues.

A neighborhood in the Osage Beach area is looking for answers to an all-too-common malady at Lake of the Ozarks — sewage issues.
Established some 50 years ago, St. Moritz is a well-established subdivision at Lake of the Ozarks located on St. Moritz Drive off of Route KK. The 62 residences of St. Moritz are currently looking for solutions to replace aging septic tanks.
With many of the Lake area’s original residential developments now getting to a more vintage age, many subdivisions are or have had this issue to deal with in recent years. More stringent requirements have been put in place by the state through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) over the years for septics and other wastewater systems to protect water quality.
St. Moritz includes 54 townhouses, one duplex and four single-family homes with homeowners ranging from retired military and other retirees to young professionals. These residences are served by 20 septic systems that do not meet current state regulations, according to subdivision representative and resident Art Fultz.
The old septics need to be replaced, but simply replacing them with new tanks is not feasible because the soil on site don’t pass percolation tests, he said. Essentially, the ground is bad for septics, and a treatment facility of some kind is required.
Fultz and the other residents of St. Moritz have been working with multiple engineers — most recently Matt Marschke, PE — and MDNR on a solution. This process has been underway for at least five years and is growing in urgency, according to Fultz, with the state agency now making quarterly visits to the subdivision.
Fultz recently visited the Camden County Commission to explore the possibility of a Neighborhood Improvement District. A NID would allow the subdivision to bond out the project through the county and pay back the bond over a more extended period of time through an additional assessment on their properties.
The subdivision isn’t looking to the county for help in establishing a wastewater system though, it is simply seeking help financing a possible hookup to the existing treatment plant of the nearby City of Osage Beach.
The property owners of the subdivision would have to pay for a pressurized main line to move sewage up to the city’s closest line at Route KK with a lift station. Tentative cost estimates for the project were around $1 million.
The municipality is willing to take properties outside its limits in certain circumstances — and have had discussions with subdivision residents, city officials confirmed — but the cost for the people of St. Moritz to connect to the municipal system is significant.
With the annexation of the large residential and commercial Arrowhead Centre being developed through tax increment financing, St. Moritz is now contiguous to city limits. Voluntary annexation is an option, although the interest level from either party in that step is unclear.
Camden County Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty questioned whether the subdivision could wait for infrastructure at Arrowhead Centre, or another large proposed commercial development in the area, to extend sewer lines closer to St. Moritz. With a growing urgency from MDNR to resolve the issue, Fultz was not sure whether residents could hold off that long. Arrowhead Centre is a multi-contraction-phase project estimated to extend to 2022.
Hasty and Associate Commissioner Don Williams heard the presentation from Fultz and Marschke and agreed to begin exploring the feasibility of a NID or some other way to help St. Moritz residents.