Tag Archives: GA EPD

Testing for firefighting chemicals in wells and waterways 2019-01-18

Those firefighting chemicals that leaked from Moody Air Force Base are on the front page of the Valdosta Daily Times today:

Moody recommends private well owners contact their county representatives for information on testing personal wells.

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County clerk and public information officer, said this is an opportunity for county residents such as Tann to have their water tested. Not only for PFAS but for any other contaminants that might be there.

Indeed, and Lowndes County operates the Moody AFB wastewater treatment plant that spilled into Beatty Branch and Cat Creek. So it’s an opportunity for Lowndes County to help organize testing for these per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs), because testing for them isn’t nearly as simple or inexpensive as testing for other contaminants.

Reporter and photographer at Beatty Branch, 2019-01-07, VDT
Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, nearby resident Debra Tann, VDT reporter Thomas Lynn and photographer Derrek Vaughn, at Beatty Branch, January 7, 2019. Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS.

Debra Tann and I were back at Beatty Branch on January 7, 2019, this time with the VDT, about the firefighting chemical issue that was in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the first week of January. This time it was for local reporters. Moody neighbor wants water tested, Continue reading

Quitman spill amount 2019-01-14 for 2019-01-03

Finally we see in the GA-EPD data from yesterday a total for Quitman’s spill of the third of January:

120,000 gallons of raw sewage, Diff

120,000 gallons of raw sewage. That’s far more than my previous guess.

Maybe you’d like to join the new WWALS water quality testing program. Or maybe you’d like to join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Let’s add up Quitman’s recent spills: Continue reading

Quitman LAS spills again 2019-01-03

Quitman spilled raw sewage again yesterday, January 3, 2019, from its Land Application Site (LAS) east of town, south of US 84, next to Okapilco Creek. GA-EPD in its Sewage Spills Report of today finally got the river basin right (Suwannee), but seems to have forgotten which creek that LAS is near.

Quitman Land Application Site, Map
Quitman LAS on the WWALS google map for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

No amount is reported yet, but Quitman usually spills between 20,000 and 80,000 gallons of raw sewage. We shall see.

Spills reported to GA-EPD through 2019-01-03

That Quitman spill is the only new one in the Suwannee River Basin for the past 30 days.

GA-EPD spreadsheet 2019-01-03, Report
WWALS diff of 2019-01-03 and 2019-01-04 GA-EPD Sewage Spill Reports.

A bunch of other reports are rolling off the end, as indicated by Continue reading

No new Suwannee River Basin Spills in Georgia 2018-12-31

No new spills reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia! We do have some clarifications on old spills, some even with raw sewage totals.

Since the Sewage Spills Report GA-EPD posts each day replaces the previous one, WWALS has started picking up those reports daily and parsing out differences.

Diff 2018-12-20 and 2018-12-21, Tables

This has revealed a total for a Quitman report, some Smithbriar Drive spelling corrections, a total for one Valdosta spill location, and where it goes (spoiler: into the Alapaha River Basin).

We don’t see any new spills in the past two weeks in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia.

We also don’t see Continue reading

Tifton * 2, Quitman, Valdosta * 6 2018-12-22

Not just Valdosta: Tifton spilled two places, and Quitman one, in the most recent rains. Those cities were not in the data available online from GA-EPD yesterday, but they are in the online data today.

But Valdosta spilled the most sewage and from the most locations: six places, not just the one Valdosta told the public. Plus we finally have a total for the previous WWTP spill, and all the others from the beginning of December, and those totals are not pretty.

Valdosta Warning Sign, Sign
Photo: Julie Bowland, of Valdosta sewage spill sign at Troupville Boat Ramp, 21 December 2018.

That Valdosta sewage spill sign is stuck loosely into a hole WWALS dug to plant our Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) signs, which someone has yet again pulled up and thrown into the river, but I digress….

Context wide, Context Maps

Tifton

First let’s look at the city people in Florida ignore: Tifton, Georgia, the second largest city in the Suwannee River Basin (that’s right: in both Georgia and Florida). Tifton had Continue reading

More rain, more Valdosta WTP spills 2018-12-17

Update 2018-12-18: And a Florida Department of Health warning.

This is the first Valdosta spill press release that mentions the proposed additional catch basin. It still doesn’t acknowledge the other 13 spill locations from last time, nor does it say which, if any, of the previous spills was finally stopped.

I have requested an update from GA-EPD for what reports they have received, and I’ll post their response tomorrow. Meanwhile, you can sign the petition to ask GA-EPD to tell everyone when anyone spills.

Received 3:13 PM, Valdosta PR 17 December 2018, Weekend Storm Results in Sewer Overflow,

Buffer tank, Outside Withlacoochee WTP
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, of one of four processing units, during WWTP tour, 3 October 2018.

During the past two weeks, The City of Valdosta and surrounding areas have received a combined total of 15 inches of rain during several storm events. Included in that total is the 3 to 4 inches of rain that Valdosta received over the weekend. During the most recent weekend rain event, city infrastructure operated as designed. While the WWTP has a normal average daily flow of 3.5 million gallons (MG), this past weekend, the influent flow peaked at more than 22 MG—nearly seven times the normal rate. As a result of recent rainfall totals into the plant, the structures were overwhelmed. The current system has four processing units, although during normal operations the system only requires one. During this storm event, the Withlacoochee Plant was running all four units plus the excess flow equalization basin. Additionally, the city is working with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to design and install additional storage capacity at the facility.

On December 15 and 16, the City of Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant identified intermittent sewage spills. The spill was caused by Continue reading

Ask GA-EPD: tell everyone when anyone spills: petition

Update 2018-12-21: GA-EPD has started publishing online each business day a Sewage Spills Report! So that’s item 1 from the Petition. We thank GA-EPD and we await items 2 and 3.

By popular demand, here is a petition to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD): Tell everyone when anyone spills.

Ask, Slides

This petition is for individuals. Organizations can still sign the Continue reading

Tifton, Thomasville, Atlanta, Dekalb County, and Columbus, but no Albany spills 2018-12-09

Tifton spilled at three locations, adding up to 105,100 gallons of raw sewage into the Little River watershed from the Agrirama Lift Station and from TC Gordon Road, and into the New River watershed at 26th St. & Ridge Ave., upstream from the Withlacoochee River.

201809--recent-spills,
GA-EPD data through Sunday, 9 December 2018; see also raw data obtained by WWALS via GORA request.

Thomasville spilled 9,000 gallons into the Ochlockonee River watershed. Macon spilled 2,400 gallons into the Ocmulgee River watershed. Columbus spilled 9,260 gallons into the Chattahoochee River watershed, although exactly when seems hard to determine.

The big winners were Atlanta, still ongoing, and Dekalb County, with a total of 42,260 gallons of raw sewage.

Valdosta, Lowndes County, and Quitman reported no new spills, although many of Valdosta’s spills are still listed as ongoing.

Prominently missing is Albany, Georgia, which Continue reading

WCTV: Spills, Lowndes County, Valdosta, and WWALS testing and EPD ask 2018-12-06

The local TV station is keeping Lowndes County and Valdosta on their toes about sewage, while WWALS starts testing and continues urging GA-EPD to tell everybody when anybody spills.

Bacteria, WWALS: Suwannee Riverkeeper

Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 6 December 2018, Heavy rain causes sewage spill in Lowndes County, Continue reading

Spills reported to GA-EPD Atlanta, 2018-11-13 through 2018-12-03

Thanks again to GA-EPD Atlanta for rapid response to a request for an update on spills reported to them. They note that some spills due to the recent rains, including Valdosta’s weekend multi-million-gallon spill, have not yet been reported to Atlanta.

This update does include a spill of raw sewage by the city of Quitman. I wonder, though, was it really 2 gallons? Or did they mean in units of thousands or millions? Also, Quitman is in the Suwannee River Basin, not the Ochlockonee River Basin.

Last two weeks, Spreadsheet
The past two weeks extracted from the GA-EPD update, sorted by begin date, and with the River Basin column shifted left for visibility.

Posting this data enables some debugging of the data such as Continue reading