Overloaded houseboat burying human waste in the sand

Pegasus

Well-Known Member
#1
We had an experience last week I thought you all may be interested in hearing about. Last Sunday (6/18) we found a fantastic beach on the West side of Kane Creek Wash that provided us shade at around 4 p.m. – perfect for the 110-degree weather last week! When we arrived, there was a houseboat already beached next to us named Desert Oasis. One in our party spoke with one of their party briefly – he was told that they were families from Idaho and had over 20 children and many adults in their group – all on one +/- 70’ ‘normal’ 1990’s houseboat. Seemed like a lot of people on one boat, but OK. It’s nice to see families having fun on the lake.

Monday morning, we are having coffee on our back deck and we observe a steady stream of persons from said houseboat carrying a shovel and toilet paper up the sandy beach in front of their houseboat and over the top of the sand dune out of sight, then reappearing a few minutes later without toilet paper, only the shovel. We observed this many, many, times on Monday and Tuesday, both adults and children, men and women.

I did not actually know if they were burying human waste and told our guests that they may have a bucket behind the dune that they are shoveling their waste into – trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. But if they have a bucket, why the shovel?

On Tuesday, I called NPS and reported what we were observing. They were genuinely concerned and promised a ranger visit early Wednesday morning to investigate. Unfortunately, the houseboat left the next morning before the ranger arrived – but we did go look over the top of the sand dune after the houseboat left and was shocked. Toilet paper everywhere, MANY holes dug in the sand and covered with sand. I did not go down the sand hill, but it was clear there was no bucket that was used and it was highly likely raw human waste was buried everywhere.

The ranger arrived around noon Wednesday and confirmed our worst fears – lots and lots of human waste buried behind the sand dune in many separate holes. Yes, I did see the ranger digging some out himself. The ranger said they were trying to locate the Desert Oasis boat and the persons responsible for the mess. The ranger said the area required a clean-up and someone would be out soon to do it. Two of us provided witness statements and the rangers left. As of this morning – 3 days later, I’m pretty sure the clean-up had not started yet (I didn’t go verify before we left today but had not seen anyone).

Moral of the story – Lake Powell is a great place to bring family and friends, but common sense should tell you that if your holding tank on your houseboat is not large enough to handle 30 plus people for a week, an option IS NOT to bury all the extra waste in the sand very near what will be high water this year (or bury it anywhere at all for that matter). This makes me furious on one hand and sad on the other that people would think this action was acceptable on the lake in full, clear view of 4 beached boats including our own. I hope the mess gets cleaned up and that the perpetrators on Desert Oasis are treated appropriately from a legal perspective.

BTW – the ranger told us that the fine for leaving human waste behind in your campsite is $310….. wait for it…….for each poop left! This same houseboat party also was observed burying food waste in the sand in front of their boat – I don’t know what the fine is for that but the rangers did find it.

p.s – I contemplated not mentioning the name of the houseboat in this post, but not knowing if the NPS had actually located the perpetrators of this crime, I decided to post it hoping that possibly someone on Waynes Words may know who the individuals are who did this – if you do, please contact NPS and let them know. If NPS knows who this is I'll edit the post and remove the incriminating information.
 
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Dungee Fishing

Well-Known Member
#2
Saw a YouTube video where they were doing the same thing, the camera guy was following around one guy making fun of him for needing to go the bathroom while the guy was gathering a shovel and TP. The whole time I'm thinking "uh, you're on a houseboat with a toilet, what are you doing!?" Sure enough it shows him dissapear over the sand dune. Couldn't find the video just now but it was from a pretty famous cross fit gals vlog.
 

Dorado

Well-Known Member
#5
People can be so clueless and selfish! A few years ago, my wife and I found a huge latrine, complete with driftwood frame and attached toilet seat up in Good Hope Bay. It has been there a while, and was likely flooded by the water in 2011. I have been on many camping trips where the every likely bathroom spot is littered with TP....as if they are the first and last people to ever be in that spot and no one else is going to look there!!!
 
#6
All of the floating toilets on the lake are equipped with pump outs. If you fill your tanks mid week, it would be a simple matter to pull out leaving your anchors on the beach, pump, and return. No excuses...
 

Randy Helzer

Well-Known Member
#7
My guess is the week before them (Desert Oaisis) didn't pump out and they didn't discover their dilemma until they were well down the lake. They didn't want to expend the time and money to motor to a pump out so they made the decision let everyone else deal with their lack of dillagence.
 

Cookie

Active Member
#8
Let us know when you think that area will be underwater, I would like to avoid that beach for awhile. People are not very smart.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
#10
When I worked on Powell we called the big sandy island in Navajo Canyon on the right side"the litter box". Makes me want to find someone who has done this and crap in their living room.
 

Gem Morris

Well-Known Member
#11
This makes me furious.

I have a phone call into Antelope Point Marina and Sunrise Peaks houseboats (who originally sold the boat). I intend to find the current management team of Desert Oasis then find out which owner used the boat that week and make sure the Park Service knows exactly who it was that did this.

$310 per incident would be perfect and I'm going to do what I can to make sure that happens.
 

Pegasus

Well-Known Member
#15
This makes me furious.

I have a phone call into Antelope Point Marina and Sunrise Peaks houseboats (who originally sold the boat). I intend to find the current management team of Desert Oasis then find out which owner used the boat that week and make sure the Park Service knows exactly who it was that did this.

$310 per incident would be perfect and I'm going to do what I can to make sure that happens.
Gem, please post any updates that you are able to gather. I assume NPS took this report very seriously from my discussions with them, and at $310 per 'incident' the fine could easily top $30,000. -Doug
 

Gem Morris

Well-Known Member
#17
I got a phone call back from Sunrise Peaks. He was very aware of the post already here on Waynes Words. (By the way, Sunrise has nothing to do with this boat, they simply sold it years ago). He had already talked to the management/owner of Desert Oasis about the post here. The owner said he would talk to the person who was using the boat that week. He respectfully declined to tell me the owner of houseboat.

I'm still waiting to talk to Antelope Point Dry storage.

Tomorrow I will call the NPS directly and see if they have followed up and what is the current status.
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
#18
No excuse! We had 20+ on a 59' Admiral. Had to go to DR once to pump out. There are plenty of pumpouts. I am glad I got to experience The Lake before the rich inconsiderate, &*^%^&#$%'s found it! Remember when you could save a campsite while cruising by just leaving a chair and an anchor rope on the beach? And no one would encroach?
 
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Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
#19
All of the floating toilets on the lake are equipped with pump outs. If you fill your tanks mid week, it would be a simple matter to pull out leaving your anchors on the beach, pump, and return. No excuses...
Just a question, could I pump out a houseboat at one of the floating toilets? It seems like it would not have the capacity for that.
 
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