Category Archives: Quality

Wade Spring, 7 miles east of Quitman, GA, May 2017

Local cave diver Aaron Sirmons took these pictures and videos of the formerly famous Wade Springs of Brooks County, Georgia, between Blue Springs Road and the railroad, west of the Withlacoochee River. He has a letter of permission from the landowner.

Concentric circles, late March 2017

Concentric circles, late March 2017

Almost dry, May 2017

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VDT corrects Valdosta drinking water story 2017-05-17

Congratulations City of Valdosta! You got the VDT to issue a correction for that one sentence a week ago, even though the VDT blamed it on “a source cited in the article”, and came up with yet another number of violations that doesn’t match what NRDC says nor what Valdosta says, with still no specific comparisons to other local governments. So it’s a correction that doesn’t resolve anything. And you’re not helping your credibility problem, Valdosta, by quibbling over a single digit while neglecting to mention an entire year in which you did have drinking water violations that match what’s in NRDC’s map.

Correction, red faced non-admission
Valdosta Daily Times, page 3A, 17 May 2017

CORRECTION

An article headlined “Report. Georgia 5th in drinking water violations,” published 1n the May 10 edition of The Valdosta Daily Times contained an error that originated from a source cited in the article.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division said in an email, “Valdosta had six violations: two total coliform violations (one monitoring violation and one MCL exceedance) and four haloacetic acid violations (four consecutive quarters of a running annual average MCL exceedance from one sample location). These violations have all been resolved in an old database that preceded our current database. This actual violation was resolved in 1998.”

This correction is on page 3A, below the Crime Report. It does have a big red CORRECTION header, but Continue reading

SDWA Health Violations: Valdosta, Lowndes County, and beyond 2017-05-02

The VDT and the City of Valdosta are feuding again about water quality, this time about drinking water (not sewage). Lowndes County They’re both wrong and both right, and neither named any of the other poor local water sources. The VDT didn’t make this story easy to follow by omitting the key piece from its first online story and not quoting its source, and the city didn’t acknowledge some main points the VDT made.

Kimberly Cannon, Valdosta Daily Times, 10 May 2017, City celebrates water: Mayor refutes water quality report, Continue reading

Valdosta and Lowndes County water treatment quality compared to region

Valdosta indeed didn’t have the worst water treatment violations in Lowndes County, Georgia, but it was worse than any nearby city in Georgia or Florida (and Lowndes County was worse than any nearby county). Once again, the Valdosta Daily Times said (twice) that Valdosta “is now in full compliance”. This is about drinking water treatment; sewage is another story. But in both cases, if Valdosta doesn’t want the local newspaper to treat the city as the villain of the piece, maybe it should stop reacting like one.

Georgia and Florida

The above screenshot from Threats on Tap: Widespread Violations Highlight Need for Investment in Water Infrastructure and Protections shows Georgia has been pretty bad, but Florida was much worse.

Let’s look at the area around Valdosta. Continue reading

Suwannee River: standard for dissolved organic matter

A primary objective of the WWALS Science Committee is to compile published scientific literature for the Suwannee basin. We are doing this using online search engines including the University of Georgia System Galileo program and Google Scholar. Remarkably, our searches have identified thousands of published scientific papers and reports that link to the keyword, “Suwannee”. Examination of many revealed that they describe research using dissolved organic matter isolated from the Suwannee River near Fargo, GA. This is the material that gives the water its special color.


Photo: Richard T. Bryant, in Pamela P. Holliday, Sherpa Guides, unknown date, The State of the Swamp: The Suwannee River Sill and DuPont’s Mining Proposal Grab attention and Concern in the Okefenokee

Digging further Continue reading

Video: Pilgrim’s Pride effluent pipe directly into Suwannee River

With the Suwannee River low, you can see the effluent coming out of the pipe west of Live Oak, FL. Pilgrim’s Pride just rejected a shareholder resolution to curb water pollution from its operations. And Aviagen is opening a chicken breeding operation in Brooks County, GA, in the watershed of the Withlacoochee River, upstream of the Suwannee.


Pilgrim's Pride, Proud to Dump into Suwannee River? from Merrillee on Vimeo.
“Pilgrim’s Pride discharges over 2 million gallons a day of liquid poultry wastes in the Suwannee River from a meat rendering facility located north of Live Oak, FL.”

Thanks to Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of Sierra Club for .this video, which she showed me, along with many pictures, when she was in Valdosta for the VDT interview with Randy Dowdy about Sabal Trail destroying his farmland.

I asked Merrillee whether Continue reading

Video: Randy Dowdy in VDT 2017-05-05

“We’ve got loss of production for the future that will take not my lifetime, not my kids’ lifetime, but my kids’ kids’ lifetime to recover from,” Randy Dowdy

Daniel DeMersseman, Valdosta Daily Times, 5 May 2017, Farmer: Sabal Trail devastated farm,

QUITMAN — A Brooks County farmer said Wednesday the controversial Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline has ruined his farmland.


“We’ve got loss of production for the future that will take not my lifetime, not my kids’ lifetime, but my kids’ kids’ lifetime to recover from,” Randy Dowdy, interviewed by Daniel DeMersseman, Valdosta Daily Times.

Randy Dowdy is a major corn and soybean producer. In fact, he holds a world’s record for soybean production and a U.S. record for corn production but now he says his award-winning farm is in jeopardy.

Daniel Demersseman (VDT), Randy Dowdy (farmer)
Daniel Demersseman (VDT), Randy Dowdy (farmer), photo by John S. Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition

Environmentalists held a press conference this week alongside Dowdy to say their worst fears about the pipeline have been realized.

“Sabal Trail gouged its pipeline through Continue reading