Tag Archives: Tifton

Two sewage spills from Tifton, GA

Tifton spilled twice into the New River watershed, 36,000 gallons and 5,400 gallons, both into the New River watershed upstream of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee Rivers, apparently both spills during or after Tropical Storm Alberto, and there was no public notice until two weeks later.

Stuart Taylor, Tifton Gazette, June 11, 2018, 36,000 gallon raw sewage spill enters drainage system, cited as source Thomas Coker, “plant manager with ESG Operations,” who is also listed by the City of Tifton as Wastewater Superintendent. I called him to clarify some details. Here is information about the two spills, both related to Tropical Storm Alberto:

  • 36,000 gallons, Wednesday, May 30 through Thursday, June 7, 2018, from 315 E. 20th Street, into Tifton’s stormwater system, after 2 inches of rain.

    Spills located in Suwannee River Basin, Maps
    Google map by WWALS.

    Because this spill was more than Continue reading

Pictures: BIG Little River Paddle Race 2018-04-28

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, April 29, 2018 — With the first-ever winner from Florida and a new record time, the next two categories one each from Tift and Lowndes Counties, Georgia, and a record number paddlers from 4 to 67 years old, the BIG Little River Paddle Race at Reed Bingham State Park Saturday was a fun time and a successful fundraiser for Friends of Reed Bingham State Park (FORB) and WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS).

Trophy, The winner: Lloyd Reeves, Crescent City, FL

Lloyd Reeves drove three hours from Crescent City, Florida, with a very fast kayak, to become the first-ever Florida winner, and he proved himself a winner in another way with the prize.

Trophy, The winner: Lloyd Reeves, Crescent City, FL

In addition to the First Prize trophy, winner Reeves got a hundred dollar bill from race organizer Bret Wagenhorst of WWALS. and a matching hundred dollar bill from Dianne Walters of FORB. Reeves then Continue reading

PR: Florida man wins Suwannee Riverkeeper kayak raffle drawing at Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, December 13, 2017 — People got kayak raffle tickets for three months at festivals from Alapaha, Georgia to Live Oak, Florida, and online, until the drawing at a Suwannee Riverkeeper outing Sunday at the top of the Suwannee River in the Okefenokee Swamp. The lucky winner of a kayak donated by Malibu Kayaks is Chris Newton from the Atlantic coast of Florida. “No way!” he said.

At Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, Georgia, Gretchen Quarterman, Acting Executive Director for WWALS Watershed Coalition, said:

“These are all the tickets that we sold. And these are the ones that Shirley [Kokidko, WWALS board member] sold. These are the ones that came from Phil [Hubbard, WWALS board member of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia]. These are the ones that came from Hulaween [Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida]. These are the ones that came from Skillet Fest [Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia, suggested by WWALS member John Horton of Quitman and Suwannee, Dixie County, Florida] ….”

Gretchen Quarterman assembles the tickets at WWALS kayak raffle drawing 2017-12-10

WWALS board member Shirley Kokidko of Pearson, Atkinson County, Georgia, had the video camera at Continue reading

Third Regional Plan Update: SGRC in Tifton 2017-12-07

If you haven’t been to one, here’s another chance to get your input into the SGRC regional comprehensive plan.

When: 10AM to 12:30 PM, Thursday, December 7, 2017

Where: Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce,
100 Central Avenue, Tifton, GA 31793

What: 3rd Regional Plan Update Workshop

Specific Areas, Threatened regionally important resources
Page 19, SGRC Regional Plan Update Workbook

The notes in red look familiar.

Reminder received yesterday: Continue reading

SWIM Plan Meeting, Live Oak 2017-10-03

Nitrates, agriculture, and silviculture were already in, and sewage, phosphate mines, and the Floridan Aquifer got added yesterday afternoon in Live Oak in public comments on updates to SRWMD’s SWIM Plans, plus new SRWMD E.D. Hugh Thomas spoke.

Audience with back of Hugh Thomas, Coastal Rivers Basin Presentation

Thanks to presenter Tom Singleton, the slides presented are on the WWALS website. Here are a few notes and pictures.

Floridan Aquifer

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of Sierra Club Florida noted Continue reading

Cow House Branch Lift Station Spill in Tifton, GA 2019 2017-09-11

Tifton spilled 277 times more sewage than Valdosta. Tifton Gazette, 20 September 2017, Power outage cause 250,000 gallon wastewater spill,

Street View, Golden Road Lift Station

TIFTON — There were 250,000 gallons of wastewater spillage due to the power outage cause by Hurricane Irma, according to Thomas Coker, water and wastewater superintendent.

The spillage occurred at Continue reading

Valdosta WWTP manned 24/7 with backup generators before Hurricane Irma 2017-09-09

Don’t spill, Valdosta. Don’t leak, Sabal Trail. Hurricane Irma is bad enough already.

Valdosta announced its WWTP would be “manned around the clock”, so I called down there before 8AM this Saturday morning, and somebody did answer immediately. I told him as Suwannee Riverkeeper I was concerned for people downstream who don’t want any spills during the upcoming rains, so I was glad to see it was true they were there. I asked him if they had backup generators. He said yes. Of course, that doesn’t handle every manhole cover. We shall see. Don’t spill, Valdosta! (Or Lowndes County, or Tifton, or anybody else.)

NOAA NHC Rain Prediction, Hurricane Irma, 9 Sep 2017
Currently expecting somewhere between 4 and 10 inches of rain on Valdosta. Map from National Hurricane Center, 2017-09-09 8AM.

City of Valdosta, PR, 8 September 2017, Valdosta-Lowndes County Hurricane Irma Update, Continue reading

Video: Will you lead to sun and wind power? —John S. Quarterman to Tom Fanning, CEO, at Southern Company stockholder meeting 2017-05-24

Update 2017-07-28: See also VDT op-ed and letter to GA-PSC.

Five years ago I asked Southern Company (SO) CEO Tom Fanning what was his exit plan when the Big Bets on Kemper Coal in Mississippi and the two new Plant Vogtle nuclear units on the Savannah River go bad. This Wednesday SO stopped using coal at Kemper Coal after the MS PSC refused to authorize further cost overruns. Thursday GA PSC staff said Plant Vogtle is no longer economical. It is time for GA PSC to do for Plant Vogtle what MS PSC did for Kemper Coal.

We dont your coal ash in any landfill in the Suwannee River Basin --Suwannee Riverkeeper

As Suwannee Riverkeeper at this year’s meeting in May, I told Fanning we don’t want SO’s coal ash in any landfill on any river in the Suwannee River Basin; I asked him for solar panels at Moody Air Force Base to shut down a natural gas pipeline; and I questioned SO’s acquisition of Pivotal LNG with its deal to ship liquid natural gas in bomb trucks down I-75 and I-10 to Jacksonville, Florida.

I reminded our genial host of my question five years ago, with the handwriting already on the wall since the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had then just referred to Plant Vogtle as a financial quagmire. This time I asked Fanning to lead us all to sun and wind power.

In SO’s own video you can see them Continue reading

Where nobody lives in the Suwannee River Basin

Obviously nobody lives in most of the Okefenokee Swamp or the Osceola National Forest, but also most of Clinch County is unpopulated west of the Swamp, as is much of the Gulf coast along the Suwannee River Estuary, from Cedar Key north to Horsehoe Bay, plus large parts of Dixie and Lafayette Counties west of the Suwannee River.

Screenshot 2017-05-12 13-15-46
Nobody Lives Here: Unpopulated U.S. Census Blocks, screenshot by jsq from interactive map by mapsbynik.

Update 2017-06-20: As someone pointed out, rangers do live in the Okefenokee Swamp, presumably in the white area along the access road.

Cedar Key is the island at the bottom of the map, and from a bit north on the Gulf Coast you can follow Continue reading

Videos: Coal Ash meeting in Valdosta @ WWALS 2017-03-01

The Georgia legislature did nothing but appoint a study committee, but you can see why they should do more, in these WWALS videos of the coal ash meeting in Valdosta that was organized by Rev. Deacon Leeann Culbreath of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL). Thanks to Rev. Floyd Rose for the venue at Academy of Excellence on Lee Street.

The Valdosta Daily Times covered this meeting, but did not mention the local landfill, which was a major topic of my presentation, as you can see in my slides. The Mayor of Valdosta disclaims any control over that landfill and the Lowndes County Commission expressed no interest. Nevermind both city and county governments have Continue reading