Why do we get to find out in the newspaper Tuesday about a Saturday sewage spill that just “occurred”, and didn’t even show up in GA-EPD’s online Sewage Spill Reports until after the newspaper was printed and distributed? Rest assured it’s not Valdosta’s responsibility, according to Valdosta.
Thanks to Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse and staff for the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants Wednesday. Afterwards, I got them to sit down in a conference room and say again the most important points. They said what they had done to prevent future spills like the big ones this year.
We also elicited Valdosta Utilities’ view on the letter establishing the Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force, which was mainly Continue reading
Here is most of a year’s river water quality testing data from the city of Valdosta, on a Water Reporter map:
Click on any of the colored diamonds for graphs. Scroll right to see more graphs. Click on any graph to see every datapoint. Clearly fecal coliform (FCOLI) and E. coli (ECOLI) have significant spikes way beyond the Georgia state limit of 200 cfu/100 ml.
WWALS will tour Valdosta’s Wastewater Treatment Plants (WTPs). Thanks to Scott Fowler and Director Darryl Muse for the longstanding invitation. WWALS invites you to come, from both Georgia and Florida, especially people downstream on the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, or Suwannee Rivers.
When: 9AM, Wednesday, 3 October 2018
Valdosta Utilties, 1016 Myrtle Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601
The Myrtle Street off of E. Force Street between Troup and Forrest (not the one in Remerton).
Where: We will go to the Withlacoochee WTP next to the Withlacoochee River, and the Mud Creek WTP on Knights Creek, upstream from Mud Creek, the Alapahoochee River, and the Alapaha River. We may go to other points such as force mains or lift stations. If we have time we will also tour Valdosta’s drinking water treatment plant.
Duration: Probably several hours, but should be done by noon.
Free: There is no charge. This tour is primarily for WWALS members, but we won’t turn away anybody else and I doubt Valdosta will, either. We do recommend you join WWALS today.
Why: For why so many people are interested in Valdosta’s WTPs and what Valdosta has done to date, see Valdosta (and other) Wastewater.
This is not a regular WWALS outing or event, but for more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
Many sewer spills tend to be small, many caused by fats, oils, or greases (FOG) that people should not be pouring down the drain anyway. On August 8, 2018, I visited Scott Fowler, Environmental Manager, Valdosta Utilities. Joseph Gangler, who handles the city’s FOG program, posed somewhat reluctantly with the city’s new FOG pamphlets.
Valdosta has started a YouTube video program called Keeping You Informed (KIY), which includes FOG Program KYI, Metro 17 Valdosta Production, 27 August 2018, in which FOG Prevention Program Technician Joseph Gangler shows you what it’s about. Continue reading
Kenneth Lowe, Assistant Plant Superintendent of the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, explained that plant’s that recent spill to the organizational meeting of the WWALS Water Quality Testing Committee.
He apologized profusely several times for the spill. Continue reading
Valdosta spilled again, and again bigger than any recently from Albany or Tifton. This news was first seen on WALB TV out of Albany 5:10 PM last night. Valdosta sent email to WWALS at 10:17 PM.
Should Suwannee Riverkeeper have to watch WALB in Albany to learn first about a wastewater spill in Valdosta, the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin?
More importantly, if “Spills of any nature are unacceptable,” why do you keep having them, Valdosta? Especially with only 1.5 inches of rain? What will you do in another tropical storm or hurricane? And how and when will we know?
For a year and a half, Valdosta had no major sewage spills. Until yesterday. The 300,000 gallons Valdosta spilled uphill from the Withlacoochee River is far more than the 90,000 gallons Albany spilled into the Flint River a month ago, and far more than the 36,000 + 5,400 gallons Tifton spilled into the New River a few weeks ago. It’s even more than the 250,000 gallons Tifton spilled into the Little River last September during Hurricane Irma.
Sure, 300,000 is less than the millions of gallons Valdosta spilled in January 2017. And sure, Valdosta has spent tens of millions of dollars building a whole new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) uphill out of the flood plain, and a force main, and mamy other improvements. Sure, the situation is better than it used to be, as I’ve been bragging about on the radio and in this blog recently.
But it was that same new WWTP that spilled yesterday. Sure, what spilled was mostly rainwater.
But people in the seven Florida counties downstream (or in Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia downstream) are not Continue reading
Thanks to new Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse, we think we have communication channels clarified between Valdosta and WWALS, and we have a proposal for the state of Georgia to do what Florida and Alabama are already doing to prevent communication issues in the future.
Especially since we expected paddlers from Atlanta and Gainesville, Florida, at the Saturday October 14 Withlacoochee outing and Rivers Alive Nankin Landing Cleanup in conjunction witih KLVB, I called upstream the Thursday before to check with Valdosta Utilities, and was told no spills in October.
Much to our surprise after the outing, WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman noticed this online: Thomas Lynn, Valdosta Daily Times, 13 October 2017, Sewer blockage causes city pill,
A sewer line blockage caused nearly 4,000 gallons of sewage to spill earlier in the week.
The City of Valdosta Utilities Department staff responded to a sanitary sewer spill at the 400 block of Connell Road around noon Thursday, according to city officials Friday.
That’s in the top center edge of the Two Mile Branch watershed.
Noon was an hour before I called; keep reading for what happened.
The VDT story continues: Continue reading