Tifton, and any other cities: if you keep spilling from the same place whenever there’s a big rain, maybe it’s not the rain that’s excessive. Maybe your sewage infrastructure is inadequate and you should fix it.
One day a week ago GA-EPD included latitude and longitude in the spreadsheet, with this for Tifton’s Agrirama Lake Lift Station: 31.464770, -83.530532, shown here on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).
In yesterday’s GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report we have a little more detail on the 300-gallon Rochelle, GA spill: they’ve realized it’s in the Suwannee River Basin, and they say it “Did not enter state waters”, but they don’t know what caused it. Also there’s still no wastewater treatment permit listed.
The January 6, 2019, Tifton 8,500 gallon spill into Agrirama Lake gets highlighted again, although there doesn’t seem to be any new information.
Let’s add up how much and how often Tifton has spilled there.
Here’s a table of all Tifton spills from that lift station since the beginning of 2015, which is the earliest data we have from GA-EPD:
|2014-01-13||5,000||Raw Sewage||SCADA showed Panel and 2 pumps tripped.||Storm passed through and may have caused power outage.|
|2016-02-03||670||Raw Sewage||Hydraulic Overload||The cause of the spill was due to rainfall which created surcharges in the system.|
|2016-04-02||12,600||Raw Sewage||Hydraulic Overload||Rainfall event on April 1-2, 2016|
|2016-12-06||4,100||Raw Sewage||Wet weather||The cause of the spill was heavy rainfall.|
|2018-12-03||35,400||Raw Sewage||Hydraulic Overload||Excessive Rainfall.|
|2018-12-17||7,500||Raw Sewage||Hydraulic Overload|
|2019-01-06||8,500||Raw Sewage||Hydraulic Overload|
|Total||73,770||Raw Sewage||Hydraulic Overload|
That’s 73,770 gallons of raw sewage spilled from Tifton’s Agrirama Lift Station since the beginning of 2015. More than half of it spilled in the past two months. That is not improvement.
How many times can Tifton report the cause as “rainfall”, or even claim “Excessive Rainfall”? If rain is enough to cause a spill, maybe your infrastructure is inadequate. Maybe you should fix it.
FYI, downstream from Agrirama Lake is Reed Bingham State Park, popular with people of all ages fishing and boating. How do we know whether and how much of this raw sewage got that far?
This is not the only place Tifton has spilled. It’s not even the only place Tifton has spilled more than once. It’s just one very frequent place Tifton has spilled.
For context and more information, see wwals.net/issues/vww/ga-spills.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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