Big Georgia Wastewater Permits in the Suwannee River Basin

Schedules of testing, with permissable levels: these are in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater permits, so we need to see those permits. You’d think they’d be on the EPA or GA-EPD website, but….

The U.S. EPA has delegated NPDES permitting to Georgia. You can get draft wastewater permits right off the GA-EPD website, but to get the actual current approved permits, you must get GA-EPD to send them to you. I found this out from Audra Dickson, Wastewater Regulatory Program Manager. I asked her for permits for half a dozen cities and one county, and the next day Alyssa Thomson, Environmental Specialist, Wastewater Regulatory Program, Municipal Permitting Unit, sent them via email.

They’re on the WWALS website now.

Instream Monitoring Requirements, Valdosta Mud Creek WPCP
Instream Monitoring Requirements, Valdosta Mud Creek WPCP

Why this list? Valdosta, Tifton, and Moultrie are the biggest cities in the Suwannee River Basin, and Valdosta and Tifton have had the biggest spills. Quitman and Lowndes County have had spills in the last year or two. Hahira and Adel are in between. I may request more later.

Why Georgia? Because, according to Florida’s Public Notices of Pollution, posted on the web the same day FDEP gets them, apparently none of the wastewater facilities in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia ever spill.

How to get draft permits from the GA-EPD website

On the right-hand menu, click on GEOS: Georgia EPD Online System and Public Inquiry Portal. Do not log in!

In the middle down a bit click on Public Inquiry Portal: Search for Applications and Permits Submitted in GEOS.

Once you get there, Under Program select Wastewater, and put in whatever you’ve got to search for: permit number, city, or other.

Do not click “Permit Issued Only” because that doesn’t do what you might think.

Click Submit.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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