Category Archives: Quality

Organizational meeting, WWALS Water Quality Testing Committee 2018-08-21

After years of trying to get local or state governments to do it, WWALS is starting a water quality monitoring program.

The new Chair of the WWALS Water Quality Testing Committee, Bobby McKenzie, has called an organizational meeting. Anyone can attend, and anyone can send in reports. Please sign up for Water Reporter at waterreporter.org, and join the Suwannee Riverkeeper group.

Suwannee Riverkeeper group, Water Reporter

When: 5-7:45 PM Tuesday 21 August 2018

Where: Community Hall 2,
South Georgia Regional Library,
2906 Julia Dr, Valdosta, GA 31602
There will be dialin for remote committee members

Event: facebook, meetup

If you want to join the WWALS Water Quality Testing Committee, you must be a WWALS member and apply.

The meeting will be about Continue reading

135,000 gallons from Valdosta Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant 2018-08-13

Valdosta spilled again, and again bigger than any recently from Albany or Tifton. This news was first seen on WALB TV out of Albany 5:10 PM last night. Valdosta sent email to WWALS at 10:17 PM.

Should Suwannee Riverkeeper have to watch WALB in Albany to learn first about a wastewater spill in Valdosta, the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin?

More importantly, if “Spills of any nature are unacceptable,” why do you keep having them, Valdosta? Especially with only 1.5 inches of rain? What will you do in another tropical storm or hurricane? And how and when will we know?

WALB TV, TV

Krista Monk, WALB TV, 5:10 PM, 14 August 2018, City of Valdosta reports 135K gallon sewage spill, Continue reading

Lowndes County lift station pumps 2018-08-13

Once again the Lowndes County Commission considers replacing a lift station pump at Bevel Creek. The agenda sheet says:

The Bevel Creek lift station is a triplex lift station on our main trunk line that delivers over 60% of our wastewater flow to the LAS. This station is currently running on two pumps. We have a quote from AAG Inc. to repair the pump that is out of service for $13,971.04. Staff recommends the pump be repaired for $13,971.04.

Replacing that pump sounds like a good idea. LAS is Land Application Site, as in spray field, a few thousand feet from the GA-FL state line and slightly upstream from the Withlacoochee River. Lowndes County does not have a wastewater treatment plant, and nobody wants sewage leaking at Bevel Creek or at the LAS.

Lowndes County Utilities Director Steve Stalvey
Lowndes County Utilities Director Steve Stalvey, 8 May 2018.

I do wonder, though, why we’re needing to replace a pump at Bevel Creek again, after just replacing Continue reading

World’s largest phosphate company after 20 years loses to DeSoto County, FL

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Mosaic Co., market cap $11.5 billion, just lost to DeSoto County, Florida, annual budget $84.3 million. Maybe this will help Bradford County to do the right thing about phosphate mines.

Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times, 26 July 2018, Mosaic spent 20 years planning new phosphate mine. DeSoto County has rejected it,

Mosaic Co., the world’s largest phosphate company, has spent two decades lining up a new mine in DeSoto County as part of a broader effort to move its operations south.

W across PCS Phosphate Mine,
Photo: Jim Tatum on Southwings flight for WWALS, 2016-10-22: W across PCS Phosphate Mine, 30.4429360, -82.7851800

But DeSoto County commissioners last week slammed the door in the company’s face, voting 4-1 against rezoning 18,000 acres from agricultural to mining.

A major concern: Continue reading

Hurricane Season Open House by Lowndes County, GA EMA 2018-07-26

Tropical Storm Alberto already caused two sewage spills from Tifton, the biggest of 36,000 gallons, both into the New River upstream from the Withlacoochee, and Valdosta spilled 300,000 gallons last month, uphill from the Withlacoochee River, without even a tropical storm to blame. So preparing for a hurricane or tropical storm seems like a good idea. Maybe the various utility managers would like to say a few words about how they’re not going to be asleep at the wheel.

When: 6-8PM, Thursday, July 26, 2018

Where: 250 Douglas St, Valdosta, GA 31601-5029

Event: facebook

Join local emergency responders and Meteorologist Kerri Copello, News Manager for WFXL/Fox 31, for a tour of the EOC and an informational session on the 2018 Hurricane Season to include preparedness information.

Lowndes County EOC facebook event cover picture
Lowndes County EOC facebook event cover picture

More in a LAKE blog post.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Valdosta rainbarrels to reduce runoff

Gretchen got a rainbarrel from the City of Valdosta, I got some concrete blocks, we set the barrel on the blocks and connected it to a PVC pipe from a raingutter. In about 20 minutes of rain, the 50-gallon rainbarrel was full. We don’t even live in Valdosta, but rainbarrels are also about preventing sewage spills; read on.

City of Valdosta Stormwater Division, Raining
Photograph: John S. Quarterman at Okra Paradise Farms, Lowndes County, Georgia.

Within an hour we had a hose hooked up and we used some of the water in transplanting trees.

Video, more pictures, and more links to materials from the city of Valdosta and the state of Georgia on a separate LAKE blog post.

Part of Valdosta’s incentive for this Stormwater Education Outreach can be inferred from Continue reading

WCTV: Celebrating victory against Sabal Trail

Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 27 June 2018, Landowners, environmentalists celebrate ‘small victory’ over Sabal Trail,

The Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline was granted eminent domain in order to run through some of the private properties along its path. In doing so it was required to offer what the defense calls ‘just compensation.’

Eminent domain

One Moultrie land owner was offered around $20,000 for an easement on his property. This week a jury, siding with the land owner, decided that was not enough.

Sabal Trail is now ordered to pay five times that amount, more than Continue reading

Valdosta spilled 300,000 gallons Tuesday 2018-06-26

For a year and a half, Valdosta had no major sewage spills. Until yesterday. The 300,000 gallons Valdosta spilled uphill from the Withlacoochee River is far more than the 90,000 gallons Albany spilled into the Flint River a month ago, and far more than the 36,000 + 5,400 gallons Tifton spilled into the New River a few weeks ago. It’s even more than the 250,000 gallons Tifton spilled into the Little River last September during Hurricane Irma.

New WWTP site near Withlacoochee River

Sure, 300,000 is less than the millions of gallons Valdosta spilled in January 2017. And sure, Valdosta has spent tens of millions of dollars building a whole new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) uphill out of the flood plain, and a force main, and mamy other improvements. Sure, the situation is better than it used to be, as I’ve been bragging about on the radio and in this blog recently.

But it was that same new WWTP that spilled yesterday. Sure, what spilled was mostly rainwater.

But people in the seven Florida counties downstream (or in Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia downstream) are not Continue reading

Quarter million dollar upgrade to Lowndes County Land Application Site 2018-06-25

Lowndes County Utilities Director Steve Stalvey wants about $20,000 for impellers and wear rings for the pumps in the Francis Lake Lift Station and about $275,000 to improve the Land Application Site (LAS), where they spray sewer waste onto a field which they then rent out for hay production (the county does not have a wastewater treatment plant).

The agenda for this morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session and tomorrow evening’s voting Regular Session doesn’t say where the LAS is, but apparently it’s these two parcels nestled between Moody AFB’s Grassy Pond and the private Pike’s Pond Fishing Club, west of I-75 and Lake Park.

Parcels 0172 119 and 0204 001
Parcels 0172 119 and 0204 001, Lowndes County Tax Assessors.

Parcel 0172 119, 537.84 acres, no location address given, but Continue reading

Videos: Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 2018-06-22

Come hear good music this afternoon, new songs about the Suwannee, Withlacoochee, and other rivers, said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman on the radio yesterday morning with Scott James. The M.C. for today’s finals of the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman, explained the raffles (kayak, swag, and silent auction), and we mentioned the buffet and cash bar at the at the Salty Snapper, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602.

You can even paddle 9AM this morning down the Withlacoochee River into Valdosta to get to the Salty Snapper.

Scott James Talk 92.1 drive-time radio show

We listed the finalists in the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, and described the format: speeches (especially by Will Eason of the Salty Snapper), finalists play new songs about the rivers, judges score on music, lyrics, history, etc., and finally the results of the raffles, and the prizes. We showed off the First Prize plaque, just handed to us by WWALS Board Member Phil Hubbard, who made it.

Here’s a LAKE WWALS video playlist:


Videos: Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 2018-06-22
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS),

Once festival season is over today, we noted we’ll get on with the programs WWALS fundraising pays for. Such as water quality testing: Continue reading