Oak Harbor Golf Course

This appeared in the Slidell Sentry News, May 31, 1999, by Parish Howard.

Oak Harbor shows no environmental problems from testing

SLIDELL - A national public health agency did not find any significant levels of contaminants in the private drinking water of a resident near the Oak Harbor Golf Course.

For the second time since 1992, a resident on the southside of the course filed a health related pesticide incident complaint regarding personal drinking water.

After the most recent round of tests, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released the results of a public health consultation regarding the levels of harmful contaminants in the petitioner's drinking well, identification of the pesticides used on the neighboring golf course and the effects of possible runoff containing contaminants into the Schneider Canal.

"The consultation concluded that contamination levels in the well water did not pose a health risk," ATSDR's report reads. "The levels of iron and manganese in the well water may cause discoloration and other aesthetic problems, but are not expected to adversely impact health." The petitioner, who lives 10 to 20 yards from one of the golf course's fairways, also expressed concern over exposure to airborne contaminants such as herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. ATSDR met with the course's superintendent who agreed to provide the petitioner copies of the Material Safety Data Sheets for all the chemicals used on the golf course and contact her by phone prior to application so that the petitioner can avoid outdoor activities at those times.

The third part of the study involved the Schneider Canal that runs perpendicular to U.S. Hwy. 11 and parallel to the golf course.

The petitioner said that she was concerned over the absence of a fish advisory on the canal while three advisories have been issued on other waterways in the vicinity of the golf course.

ATSDR found that while the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Water Resources does sample biota for mercury contamination in the state's major water bodies, the Schneider Canal is not on that sampling plan.

"The OPH indicated that they have no plans to sample the Schneider Canal," the report reads. "ATSDR will request that the Louisiana State Office of Water Resources sample the Schneider Canal for water quality and pesticide and herbicide bioaccumulation in fish, shellfish and crabs. Once the canal is sampled, ATSDR will review the results to determine whether the recreational use of the canal is of public health significance."


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