Tag Archives: WWTP

Valdosta report of spill at Cherry Creek Lift Station 2017-09-12

City Council Tim Carroll forwarded me the appended press release yesterday. I assumed it would be on Valdosta’s News page, but it is not.

Goodyear (Skipper Bridge) Station

Also, despite assurances back in January that Continue reading

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

Ensure that Valdosta, Georgia eliminates the dumping of raw sewage into our rivers –Madison BOCC 2017-02-08

Apparently Madison County was the first in Florida to call for state help to resolve the Valdosta sewage situation, back on February 8, 2017.

Followed by Hamilton and Suwannee Counties, both on February 21, 2017, and the other three four downstream Florida counties seem to have it on their agendas. After all, people downstream have been complaining about this since at least 2013, and the 2009 old Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) overflow was one of the reasons for the founding of WWALS in 2012.

In the BOCC packet for the Wednesday March 8, 2017 Regular Meeting of the Madison County, Florida Board of County Commissioners, and see also PDF of just those two pages.

RESOLUTION 2017-02-08

A RESOLUTION BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MADISON COUNTY, FLORIDA ASKING FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE HISTORIC SUWANNEE RIVER AND THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER IN NORTH FLORIDA.

WHEREAS, Madison County is located in North Central Florida and is bordered by the State of Georgia to the North and the Withlacoochee River and Historic Suwannee River to the East; and

WHEREAS, the Withlacoochee River starts its journey in Valdosta, Continue reading

FL House Rep. Elizabeth Porter asks EPA to Valdosta wastewater

There’s been an outcry for the EPA to intervene, from people downstream of Valdosta on the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers. Representing Hamilton, Suwannee, Columbia, and Baker Counties in the Florida statehouse, FL Rep. Elizabeth Porter [R-10] has taken up that cry.

In the current political climate of the EPA being downsized after it already was underfunded, 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!

Valdosta WWTP spilled millions of gallons and didn’t tell the public for days 2017-01-25

Update 2017-01-30:

Valdosta also didn’t tell the public all day after the spill stopped, and then posted something that’s flat not true.

I just called Valdosta WWTP Superintendent John Waite, as it says to do on the city’s PR posted Wednesday, January 25, 2017 5:09:00 PM, Withlacoochee Plant Warranty Repairs Underway, which says “The plant is under warranty and the repairs will be complete by end of day Jan. 25 at no cost to the city.” Meanwhile, the Valdosta Daily Times posted yesterday evening City sewage spill stopped.

I asked Superintendent Waite when the spill stopped.

Answer: Continue reading