A sea of rich-people poop dumped in a creek by a Warren County luxury resort that bills itself as a nature sanctuary resulted in the deaths of an estimated 700 fish over the course of July 4th weekend, according to state investigators.
As first reported by the Warren County Record
, low oxygen levels in Charrette Creek, located just south of Innsbrook Resort, caused the fish kill. Those low oxygen levels were the result of a sewage contamination, courtesy of Innsbrook's overloaded wastewater treatment facility. In other words, the fish literally
suffocated in poop.
“It’s nasty. It’s the stuff you flush in the toilet, and that’s what was coming out,” Missouri Department of Natural Resources investigator Cole Hough tells KSDK
. “Raw sewage got in the water that lowered the dissolved oxygen level way below what they could handle. They killed the fish.”
Innsbrook is a private, gated resort community located in Warren County. Residents tend to be rather well-off — Governor Eric Greitens even purchased a home there
in February for $750,000. In other words, the fish specifically
suffocated in rich-people poop.
Innsbrook also partially markets itself as a nature sanctuary. "Nature is the heart of Innsbrook," reads the "Nature" section of the its website. "We're dedicated to conserving and enhancing the natural beauty that surrounds us." Yeah, sure, OK.
Hough tells KSDK
that the resort's sewage facility was designed to accommodate 1,400 people, but the holiday weekend brought crowds upwards of 10,000, "and the system just couldn’t handle it." And so the untreated poop of thousands of millionaires, probably including Greitens because that makes it funnier, found its way into the creek, killing the fish.
"Working in harmony with nature is part of Innsbrook’s company mission and is a value we take very much to heart, so we hate that this incident occurred,” Innsbrook President and CEO Charles Boyce said in a statement to the Warren County Record
. In an interview with KSDK
, though, he downplayed the event and suggested that the Department of Natural Resources would ultimately find it was "insignificant." (Spoiler: They didn't.)
“It’s definitely a significant event. Anytime we have a fish kill it is significant,” says Hough. “At the end of the day a facility has to be able to support the maximum population that's going to go into it even if it's once a year."
Labor Day approaches, as does August's full solar eclipse, which is projected to bring millions to the Missouri area. Unless they learn to breathe poop, the fish don't stand a chance.