Tag Archives: Hamilton County

Valdosta Sewage Spills Workshop at Florida Senate 2019-03-20

A Florida Senate Committee has scheduled a Workshop on Valdosta Sewage Spills.

Table, Committee

The same session this Wednesday afternoon will hear three water bills, SB 1100 about funding water well testing, which is relevant to the recent detection of E. coli in for example Hamilton County wells, SB 1758, which includes some changes to Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) requirements and requirements for wastewater treatment plants to notify customers of unlawful discharges, and SB 1552 about Red Tide mitigation.

Event: facebook, meetup

Florida Senator Bill Montford, District 3 When I went by Senator Bill Montford’s office last Wednesday, his staffer said they would be scheduling this workshop, with public input. They have done so. Senator Montford is the Chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. His District 3 includes Hamilton, Madison, and Taylor Counties, all of which are members of the twelve-county Florida Rivers Task Force and signatories on its Resolution asking for assistance from Florida and Georgia about Valdosta sewage spills. The Withlacoochee River, into which much of Valdosta’s raw sewage spills have gone, is the border between Madison and Hamilton Counties, and the Alapaha River, into which basin other Valdosta spills have gone, runs through Hamilton County. Taylor County is not on either of those rivers nor on the Suwannee River, yet its economy is affected by the stigma of Valdosta’s sewage spills.

The Florida Senate, COMMITTEE MEETING NOTICE,

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Senator Montford, Chair
Senator Albritton, Vice Chair

MEETING DATE: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

TIME: 4:00—6:00 p.m.

PLACE: Mallory Horne Committee Room, 37 Senate Building [404 S. Monroe, Tallahassee, FL 32399]

AMENDMENT DEADLINE: Continue reading

Elected officials from Valdosta and 12 downstream Florida Counties 2019-04-10

Update 2019-03-14: The Valdosta City Clerk says the Valdosta City Manager says “the public will have an opportunity to speak.”

As discussed in Lake City when the dozen downstream Florida counties passed their resolution, and as foreshadowed by Emma Wheeler on WCTV, and now confirmed by Valdosta City Clerk Teresa Bolden, elected officials from Valdosta and twelve Florida counties will meet to discuss Valdosta wastewater spills and how to stop them. She also confirmed that since there will be a quorum of the Valdosta City Council there, this will be a public meeting.

When: 6PM, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Where: General Purpose Room,
Valdosta City Hall Annex,
300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, GA 31601

Event: facebook, meetup

Valdosta City Hall Annex
Photo: Ellis, Ricket & Associates.

It’s not clear the public will be able to speak, but you can come and see for yourself. As I told the Valdosta City Clerk, this afternoon I already invited the Suwannee River Water Management District and everybody else who was in their meeting. Valdosta will probably publish an announcement soon, but so far we at least know the meeting will happen and it will be public. Y’all come.

Back on Continue reading

WWALS Booth at Wild Azalea Festival, White Springs, FL 2019-03-16

This festival is new to WWALS, with music and dance, arts and crafts, foods and contests in historic White Springs, Florida. You can volunteer to help WWALS talk about our outings and advocacy, including, yes, Valdosta wastewater, plus the Second Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest coming up in August. We’ll have the froggy toss game, the EnviroScape, and a kayak raffle.

Wild Azalea Festival logo

When: 10AM-4PM, Saturday, March 16, 2019

Where: Downtown Streets, White Springs, FL 32096

Event: facebook by the festival, meetup

What: “Come out for music and dance by Florida entertainers, arts and crafts, regional foods, contests and other outdoor activities. Visitors can also purchase azaleas and other local plants to take home.”

For more WWALS events and outings, see Continue reading

Florida buys Hardee Spring on the Withlacoochee River

Florida bought second magnitude Hardee Spring, with its karst window and 1.6 miles of Withlacoochee River frontage!

Map: River Error Farms Inc., Hardee Spring, Hamilton County, FL
Map from SRWMD PARCEL ASSESSMENT SUMMARY.

The new Florida state administration has done some surprising things, such as revoking dozens of appointments by the previous governor, but this one is really surprising. I’m pretty sure I’ve recommended this purchase to the Suwannee River Water Management (SRWMD) Board. SRWMD had written up a property assessment on it years ago, but I thought the asking price of $8.5 million for River Error Farm was prohibitive. Apparently the state got Hardee Spring for less than a quarter of that price.

DeSantis, Florida Cabinet approve $2.54 million in Florida Forever land acquisition, Samantha J. Gross, Tampa Bay Times, 26 February 2019,

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet Tuesday voted to spend Continue reading

Paddle Georgia, Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers, into Florida 2019-06-15-21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, February 13, 2019 — From next to the largest Suwannee River Basin city, Valdosta, to between some of the smallest, Mayo and Luraville, Paddle Georgia brings 300 people this summer to venture for the first time across the state line from Georgia to Florida, on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Suwannee Rivers, June 15 through 21, 2019.

Banners picture,
WWALS Withlacoochee River outing 2017-06-24

“Five years ago I suggested our Withlacoochee River to Joe Cook for Paddle Georgia, and he went one better, adding the Suwannee River, past two of the few second-magnitude springs in Georgia, McIntyre and Arnold, and two of the famous first-magnitude Florida Springs: Madison Blue and Lafayette,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Plus Spook Bridge and the orphaned railroad trestle near Madison, with many shoals and rapids at the GA-FL line! Special thanks to The Langdale Company for permission to take out just below Spook Bridge. Personally, I like that this paddle starts at my birthplace in Valdosta, Georgia and ends at my grandmother’s birthplace at the ferry site for Luraville, Florida.”

This event is organized by Paddle Georgia, with catered dinners and buses to and from the rivers. WWALS is assisting, for example by organizing the Spook Bridge takeout, and by pointing out many sites that non-locals might miss, ranging from springs, and Withlacoochee River agates, and the halberd-leaf rosemallow, whose blooms last only one day, to perpetual bothers such as Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Continue reading

WWALS invites downstream counties to Valdosta City Council meeting 2019-01-16

Update 2019-01-22: Yes, that’s the same day as the 4PM meeting in Lake City, Florida of the Task Force of the downstream counties. Since each county only has one Task Force delegate, maybe they can send other people to the Valdosta City Council meeting. Or, if Valdosta is too far for you, maybe you’d like to go to Lake City Thursday.

WWALS Watershed Coalition board member Eileen Box invited downstream counties and residents to come speak to the Valdosta City Council this Thursday. Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman added, “Every Valdosta City Council agenda has Citizens to be Heard. They’re tired of hearing from me about sewage spills. Maybe if some of the affected parties downstream spoke to them directly they would notice. Come on up and give it a try!“

Eileen Box, WWALS Board Member, Suwannee Democrat
Photo: Jamie Wachter, Suwannee Democrat, Youtube video, 2019-01-14.

Jamie Wachter, Suwannee Democrat, January 16, 2019, ‘IT’S A SHAME’ Residents, officials share wastewater spill concerns with legislative delegation,

[Eileen] Box, who is a board member of the Suwannee Riverkeeper, said North Florida residents may need to expand the reach of their complaints. She said those concerns need to be directed at the people who can do something about it — the Valdosta City Council.

“If they start hearing from Suwannee County and Hamilton and Madison and all these counties that are affected, when you come and talk, it does have an effect, she said. That may be one little thing that we can do.”

The next Valdosta City Council meeting is this Thursday:

When: 5:30 PM, Thursday, January 24, 2019

Where: Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
Valdosta City Hall
216 East Central Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601

What: Agenda Item 5. Citizens to be Heard Continue reading

Hike at Little Shoals 2019-01-19

Approximately 3-mile loop hike through a riverine slope forest, led by Hamilton County Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price. It is a mature hardwood forest with open understory. Small creeks, spring seeps and seepage slopes are common, near the Suwannee River, northeast of White Springs. Hiking on and off trail. We end up back where we started.

This is the rescheduling of the former Hike to Dead River, because the Alapaha River is too high there.

When: 12:00 PM, Saturday, January 19, 2019

Put In: Little Shoals Entrance:
In white springs on US 41, turn onto CR 135 at flashing light across street from S&S food store.
About a mile or two north of White Springs on County Road 135 is the entrance to Little Shoals in the Big Shoals State Park.
It is a wide open entrance and you can see the parking area once you turn into entrance.
(Do not go to the main entrance to Big Shoals, which is 4 miles north of the Little Shoals entrance.)

GPS: 30.342129, -82.734417

Take Out: Little Shoals Entrance

Bring: drinking water, snacks, hiking shoes, warm clothes, and first aid kit. No boat required: this is a hike, on foot. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. $4 park entrance fee per car. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Big Shoals, Map
Map: Little Shoals and Big Shoals by SRWMD, including PDF map.

Continue reading

Florida Health Advisory lifted for Withlacoochee River 2018-12-26

Recieved a few minutes ago via email as a PDF.

Madison, Fla. —The Florida Department of Health in Hamilton and Madison counties have lifted a health advisory issued on December 17, 2018. The city of Valdosta, Georgia reported a large spill of untreated sewage that overflowed into the Withlacoochee River. The advisory urged individuals not to come into contact with the Withlacoochee River along the Hamilton and Madison County borders.

WastewaterAdvisory Lifted Hamilton Madison County 12-26-18-0001,

Water samples taken by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Department of Health indicate Continue reading

Florida Health Departments warn on Valdosta sewage in Withlacoochee River 2018-12-17

Once again, Valdosta sewage spills prompt Florida Health Department warnings for the Withlacoochee River.


Map: USGS Streamer.

There is nothing on the websites of the Health Departments of Hamilton or Madison Counties. I found this on the facebook page of the Madison County Florida Board of County Commissioners. It’s also on the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management, “Posted on behalf of the Florida Dept of Health Hamilton”.

December 17, 2018

HEALTH OFFICIALS IN HAMILTON, MADISON COUNTY ADVISE OF POSSIBLE WASTEWATER CONTAMINATION IN THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER HEALTH

Possible Impacts from Valdosta, GA Wastewater Overflow Continue reading

Pictures: Hike to the Dead River Sink 2018-01-27

It was a nice day for a Hike to the Dead River Sink in the Alapaha Quest on the Alapaha River Water Trail, with Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida. Here are some pictures and a Google map from Saturday, January 27, 2018.

[Almost there, 13:16:34, 30.5837666, -83.0535975]
Almost there, 13:16:34, 30.5837666, -83.0535975

You can come along when we do it again in January 2019. Continue reading