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.
Update 2019-07-05:: Some WWALS videos on YouTube.
The first day of #PaddleGA2019 was a fun day, with a confluence, greetings by VIPs, creeks, small rapids, a limpkin, Valdosta’s notorious Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant Outfall, one bad water quality reading (not there), swimming, an even more notorious fracked methane pipeline, and Spook Bridge, with a pet deer across the river. Thanks to The Langdale Company for that takeout and the Port-A-Potty location, and thanks to the Battery Source for the loan of the golf cart to WWALS.
Here’s Gwyneth Moody, Georgia River Network Water Trail coordinator, getting her orange kayak in the water.
Somebody was flying a drone. Continue reading
Pretty clean at the bottom of Vallotton Park (33.3 cfu/100 ml), but rather dirty at the top of Drexel Park (533 cfu/100 ml), on Onemile Branch, with the site of last week’s FOG sewage spill in between; that’s what WWALS water quality testers Sara Squires Jones and Scotti Jay found Monday. These numbers are for the disease-causing bacteria E. coli. The state limit is 200 colony-forming units per 100 mililiters of water (cfu/100 ml). That 533 reading is still below the state’s 1000 limit for real alarm, but it’s still not good.
This map shows in red the spill location on Ashley Street near La Jalisco Supermercado, with the testing locations in blue, at North Lee Street near Mr. B’s IGA at Vallotton Park, and at Williams Street at the east end of Drexel Park.
WALB TV in Albany, Georgia called me while I was at Lafayette Blue Spring on the Suwannee River in Florida, because reporter Ri’Shawn Bassette had read the WWALS report, Sewage spill, Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA 2019-06-19. Later that same day, Friday, WALB carried his story, Valdosta sees manhole sewage overflow.
He had already contacted Valdosta Utilities, which had confirmed it happened, and blamed it on Continue reading
According to a WWALS member eyewitness, raw sewage ran across Ashley Street, with a very strong odor, about 11:50 AM yesterday, Wednesday, June 19, 2019.
About 1300 block of Ashley Street. WWALS google map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.
She said it was near the old Coca-Cola bottling plant. Which means near One Mile Branch, which runs through Drexel Park and VSU, then into Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River.
There was nothing about this in yesterday’s GA-EPD Sewage Spill Report, which was published before the eyewitness saw the sewage.
While the numbers were way down at US 84 on May 7, bacterial counts were up upstream on the Withlacoochee River, and on Mud Swamp Creek; up more in Fecal coliform than E. coli. These readings seem to indicate nonpoint sources.
The high readings are all from stations upstream of Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the low reading at US 84 is downstream of the WWTP. Continue reading
Last Thursday, NCFRPC E.D. Scott R. Koons noted that Appointments to the task forces for each of the toll road corridors would start soon. Among the types of representatives that are supposed to be appointed, are environmental organizations (two of those listed in the bill are on record opposing it).
Koons also discussed approved funding for a hurricane evacuation study. Why, you may wonder, was the toll road bill, supposedly largely about hurricane evacuation, passed before that study was even started?
Ken Cornell of Alachua County noted “There’s a lot of election cycles before this is going to be done.” Indeed, a new governor could decline to implement this toll road boondoggle, and if enough elected officials on the task forces oppose it, that might even stop it. He also said:
Cornell asked for new Executive Committee members to get together before the next Council meeting,
So we can have some discussions at this Council like what we’re doing for Valdosta, and have a united front. Alachua County and I know many others will stand in support of this issue.
Suwannee Riverkeeper stands in support of the counties opposed to the toll roads.
Below are the WWALS videos from that North Central Florida Regional Planning Council meeting in Lake City, FL, with more details. Continue reading
Update 2019-05-28: See also Videos: toll road planning –E.D. Scott R. Koons & Ken Cornell @ NCFRPC 2019-05-23.
Eight citizens from across the region spoke Thursday against the toll road boondoggle, at the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council meeting in Lake City, FL.
Below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker, followed by a WWALS video playlist.
See also Continue reading
Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the toll road bill, SB 7068, Suwannee Riverkeeper — which was among the 90 organizations throughout Florida that asked him to veto it — continues to oppose that boondoggle and propose actual benefits to Florida’s economy and waters.
Google map of one likely route of the Suncoast Connector.
One of these three unneeded turnpikes would have to cross the Suwannee River, plowing through counties where we have many members. All this very poorly written bill says about its route is: “Suncoast Connector, extending from Citrus County to 164 Jefferson County.” Apparently that means from Crystal River to Monticello, and on to Thomasville, Georgia, through farms, forests and swamps. If this toll road builds its bypasses, bye-bye local businesses in Chiefland, Fanning Springs, Old Town and Cross City.
Yes, the turnpike bill has a “project development phase” for $45 million and increasing each year, with a Continue reading