Tag Archives: spill

No spills from Valdosta wastewater plants during Tropical Storm Irma 2017-09-12

Update 2017-09-12: But one small lift station spill.

William “Ricky” Cornelius, Plant Superintendent, Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), said when I called him this morning there were no spills from WWTP nor from Valdosta’s Mud Creek Treatment Plant (MCWTP).

“I don’t think Mud Creek even lost power. We were on generator power here at the Withlacoochee plant, and our people had to work extra hours, but they were on top of it. We were prepared and had no spills.”

I have left a message at Valdosta Utilities about any manhole cover leaks. We shall see about those, and about other cities and counties and private wastewater facilities up and down the Suwannee River Basin.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

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

If we hear about a sinkhole or a leak, we’ll be there –WWALS @ WCTV 2017-06-15

It’s not over just because the gas is flowing through Sabal Trail. We’ll be watching, and we’re escalating.

Noelani Mathews, WCTV, June 15, 2017, Local environmentalist groups prepare for Sabal Trail Pipeline to go online,

“We’ve always did a lot online and through legal angles and we’re going to continue doing a lot of that,” says John Quarterman, WWALS President. “If we hear about a sink hole or a leak, we’ll be there taking pictures.”

At the Withlacoochee River @ GA 122

Sabal Trail Transmission spokeswoman Andrea Grover said, Continue reading

Sabal Trail in-service: keep watching them 2017-06-14

There are still many things you can do, from permit violations to FERC reform, after FPL gloated yesterday about starting the gas through Transco, Sabal Trail, and FSC. Pipelines leak, and another pipeline’s go-ahead just got slapped down by a federal court, plus we need to change the whole legal game. Meanwhile, continuing the rocketing rise of solar power in the Sunshine State and everywhere else is the best way to pry the clammy grip of the fossil fuel industry off our political system.

FSC spill
Photo: Mitch Allen

Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post, 14 June 2017, Sabal Trail, Florida SE Connection are now piping fuel to FPL,

“The start of Florida Southeast Connection and Sabal Trail Transmission natural gas pipeline operations is an important milestone for FPL customers and Florida’s economy,” FPL president and CEO Eric Silagy said.

It may indeed be a milestone of the last pipeline ever built into Florida or through Georgia.

It may even be a milestone of Continue reading

SRWMD says FDEP has confirmed river contamination possibly from Valdosta sewage 2017-01-26

Enteric bacteria have been confirmed in the Withlacoochee River, and in the Suwannee River downstream of the confluence, USGS Streamer say SRWMD and FDEP, while there’s still no update on the City of Valdosta website about the 2.2 million gallons of sewage Valdosta leaked into the Withlacoochee River and didn’t tell the public about for two days.

Valdosta wasn’t the only city to spill into the Withlacoochee during the recent storms. Tifton did, too, but Valdosta’s spill was more than 230 times bigger than Tifton’s. And city sewage is not the only source of contamination in the rivers: wildlife, agricultural animals, and septic tanks add to it. Baseline monitoring would help disentangle which is which. But nobody is going to believe this contamination this time came from any place but Valdosta.

SRWMD, News Flash, 2017-01-26 (no time given), Health Officials Confirm Wastewater Contamination In The Withlacoochee And Suwannee Rivers,

Madison, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Hamilton, Madison and Suwannee today issued a joint health advisory extending the previous advisory for the Withlacoochee River to include a portion of the Suwannee River. The health advisory is now in effect for residents and visitors on the Withlachoochee River and on a portion of the Suwannee River from the point where the two rivers meet, downstream along the border of Madison and Suwannee County to the Lafayette County line just above Dowling Park. The river waters are not safe for contact during recreational use at this time.

Test results from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection water sampling in the area have confirmed high levels of enteric bacteria possibly due to a large spill of untreated sewage reported by the City of Valdosta, Georgia.

People are urged to avoid contact with water in the Withlacoochee River and the impacted areas of the Suwannee River. Water contaminated with wastewater overflow presents several health risks to humans. Untreated human sewage with microbes can cause gastrointestinal issues, disease, infections or rashes.

Anyone who comes in contact with the river water should wash thoroughly, especially hands, and before eating and drinking. Children and older adults, as well as people with weakened immune systems, are particularly vulnerable to disease so every precaution should be taken to avoid contact with river water.

Additional sampling will take place to determine when the river water is safe for recreational use.

Individuals with questions about the spillage should contact Valdosta Environmental Manager Scott Fowler at 229-259-3592 or by email at sfowler@valdostacity.com.

Individual with questions for Florida DEP should contact wastewater coordinator Jim Mayer at the NE District office in Jacksonville at 904-256-1700.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Moultrie sewage spill into Ocholockonee River

The city of Moultrie also had a small wastewater spill Sunday during the storm, but it was tiny compared to Valdosta’s, and Moultrie’s WTP is on the Ochlockonee River, not in the Suwannee River Basin.

Like Tifton, Moultrie’s wastewater operator is not listed on Moultrie’s city website, because its Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) is operated by the same private contractor, ESG Operations, Inc. That arrangement was announced in June 2015, shortly before major Moultrie WWTF improvements by RTD Construction were announced in September 2015.

Pretty quickly I got through to Bryan Roland, Project Manager, who said yes, Continue reading

Small Valdosta sewer spills after big rains 2017-01-23

Update 2017-01-25: And also a spill at the WWTP.

Nobody likes sewer spills, but no, these are not the same as before Valdosta’s recent wastewater system improvements: Document-0001 nothing this time came from the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the amounts were small compared to previous years (10-62%) and in far fewer locations.

That didn’t stop WTXL from using this title: Amber Lewis, WTXL, 24 January 2017, Major Sewage Spill Reported in Valdosta,

The City of Valdosta has reported that a large amount of untreated sewage has spilled in the area.

The Florida Department of Health reports that Continue reading