Category Archives: VWW

Four weeks of fecal coliform 2018-10-09 2018-10-09

This is why we alway say “as near as we can tell” or “according to the latest data” or words to that effect. The last data we had last week said fecal coliform at GA 133 on the Little River was below the state limit. But the actual most recent data, from last Tuesday, just received today, shows 610, which is three times the state limit of 200 cfu per 100 mililiters.

Graph, Withlacoochee Basin

Meanwhile, on the Withlacoochee River, the count went up at US 41 and down at GA 133, with both still well above the state limit. But downstream of Valdosta and its Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP), at US 84 and at Horn Bridge at the GA-FL line, counts that were already within the limit Continue reading

Worse upstream and far downstream, Valdosta water quality testing 2018-09-19, 2018-09-25 2018-10-02

Water quality is worse upstream of Valdosta’s Withlacoochee WTP and far downstream of its Mud Creek WTP, according to Valdosta’s most recent data, received last week in response to a Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request from WWALS. This is the recent data I mentioned in the tour of Valdosta WTPs.

Does this data mean Valdosta is perfect and will never spill again? Nope. But it does mean there’s more than one source of fecal coliform and E. coli. We need to find those other sources, which is one reason WWALS is starting a water quality testing program.

Mud Creek WTP

Valdosta’s smaller WTP is in the Alapaha River Basin.

Map, Mud Creek WTP

The WTP is the image left of top center, St. Augustine Road is the green diamond top left, Johnson Road is the grey diamond below and left of top center, and GA 135 Alapahoochee is the grey diamond bottom right.

Map, Mud Creek WTP

St. Augustine Rd., Mud Creek, Mud Creek WTP

100 and 10 are good readings for Fecal Coliform and E. coli, upstream of the Mud Creek WTP. Continue reading

Videos: Tour of Valdosta WTPs 2018-10-03

Thanks to Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse and staff for the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants Wednesday. Afterwards, I got them to sit down in a conference room and say again the most important points. They said what they had done to prevent future spills like the big ones this year.

Valdosta staff,
Counterclockwise from front: Utilities Director Darryl Muse, Public Information Officer Ashlyn Becton, Environmental Manager Scott Fowler, Mud Creek WTP Superintendent Mud Creek Stanley K. Martin.

We also elicited Valdosta Utilities’ view on the letter establishing the Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force, which was mainly Continue reading

WCTV at Hagan Bridge on Withlacoochee sewage spills downstream into Florida 2018-10-02

WCTV came to Hagan Bridge Landing at GA 122 on the Withlacoochee River to interview Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman about what Madison County and 10 more Florida counties are doing about Valdosta sewage spills into local rivers. Don’t forget the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants 9:30 AM this morning, Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

Enough is enough when it comes to sewage spills in local rivers, Hagan Bridge

Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 2 October 2018, North Florida communities look to solve sewage spills in Valdosta, Continue reading

Request GA-EPD to timely publish spill reports 2018-10-02

Update 2018-10-18: Two Florida signers makes sixteen so far. You can still sign here to ask GA-EPD to tell us so we’ll know when they happen.

Update 2018-10-17: Fourteen signers so far. And here are the forty spills since last time. You can still sign here to ask GA-EPD to tell us so we’ll know when they happen.

Update 2018-09-03: The WCTV report and the text of the letter establishing the Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force.

On WCTV tonight, Emma Wheeler will report about wastewater, Valdosta, and how at least eight downstream counties in Florida are organizing about it. She asked me for suggestions. My suggestions start with: sign a resolution asking GA-EPD to timely publish spill reports, and help WWALS with its new water quality testing program. And the Florida Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) could have more effect on the Suwannee River Basin than sewage.

Plus let’s not forget the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants 9AM tomorrow morning, October 3, the WWALS Troupville Boat Ramp Cleanup October 13, the WWALS Boomerang paddle race November 3 from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and back, and 300 of our closest friends coming to the Withlacoochee River mid-June 2019 in Paddle Georgia.

printed, Resolution

The resolution asks the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) to do what Florida and Alabama already do: publish pollution spill reports online the same day they receive them, with signup for email notices. The first step in fixing pollution is Continue reading

Valdosta water quality testing data 2018-09-12

Here is most of a year’s river water quality testing data from the city of Valdosta, on a Water Reporter map:

Valdosta stations, Map

Click on any of the colored diamonds for graphs. Scroll right to see more graphs. Click on any graph to see every datapoint. Clearly fecal coliform (FCOLI) and E. coli (ECOLI) have significant spikes way beyond the Georgia state limit of 200 cfu/100 ml.

However, as we already saw on the spill followup data map, often, even usually, FCOLI and ECOLI are just as bad or worse upstream Continue reading

FDEP now maps last 30 days of spills

Pollution spill maps online, up to date, with interactive links to details: Florida is doing it, and so can Georgia.

Florida, Maps

For more than a year FDEP has been posting spill reports online in a spreadsheet the same day it gets them, with email notice signup (Alabama also does that). FDEP has added a Public Notice of Pollution (PNP) Finder: Last 30 Days, which helps a lot in finding spills in our watersheds.

Did you know there was a Phosphoric Acid spill at White Springs last week, on Continue reading

Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants 2018-10-03

WWALS will tour Valdosta’s Wastewater Treatment Plants (WTPs). Thanks to Scott Fowler and Director Darryl Muse for the longstanding invitation. WWALS invites you to come, from both Georgia and Florida, especially people downstream on the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, or Suwannee Rivers.

When: 9AM, Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Where: Valdosta Utilties, 1016 Myrtle Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601
The Myrtle Street off of E. Force Street between Troup and Forrest (not the one in Remerton).

Event: facebook, meetup

Valdosta's Mud Creek WTP

Where: We will go to the Withlacoochee WTP next to the Withlacoochee River, and the Mud Creek WTP on Knights Creek, upstream from Mud Creek, the Alapahoochee River, and the Alapaha River. We may go to other points such as force mains or lift stations. If we have time we will also tour Valdosta’s drinking water treatment plant.

Duration: Probably several hours, but should be done by noon.

Free: There is no charge. This tour is primarily for WWALS members, but we won’t turn away anybody else and I doubt Valdosta will, either. We do recommend you join WWALS today.

Why: For why so many people are interested in Valdosta’s WTPs and what Valdosta has done to date, see Valdosta (and other) Wastewater.

This is not a regular WWALS outing or event, but for more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Agenda: Water Quality Testing Training, Valdosta, GA 2018-09-16

Update 2018-10-02: Pictures and more data.

Here’s the agenda for chemical and biological testing training this Sunday. Georgia Adopt-A-Stream trainer Julie Shutters will be giving this six hour course in Valdosta.


Big Gap in Georgia Adopt-A-Stream data for Suwannee River Basin

Agenda

Please be early so we can start on time and finish at a reasonable hour.

Chemical

1:00 pm – 1:05 pm Welcome
1:05 pm – 2:30 pm Intro to Chemical Monitoring
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm Break
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm Field Chemical testing
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm Field Review and test
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm Break

Bacterial

5:00 pm – 5:30 pm Intro to Bacterial Monitoring
(if you’re only doing this part, please come early for it)
5:30 pm – 6:00 pm Field Sampling /Lab Demonstration
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Take test

We haven’t forgotten Florida training; that will follow. We’re just starting with training for the biggest problem area for sewage, which is in Georgia in the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha River Basins (Tifton, Quitman, Valdosta, and Lowndes County).

When: 1-7PM, Sunday, September 16, 2018

Where: South Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC)
327 West Savannah Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601
plus sampling at a nearby river or creek.

Bring: an idea of where you can sample at least monthly, preferably weekly.

Event: facebook, meetup

Why: Continue reading

Water Quality Testing Training, Valdosta, GA 2018-09-16

Update 2018-09-14: agenda.

Both chemical and biological testing: you can get certified to do it. Georgia Adopt-A-Stream trainer Julie Shutters is coming to Valdosta for a six hour training course.

Tropical Storm Irma and after in Georgia
Tropical Storm Irma and after in Georgia

We haven’t forgotten Florida training; that will follow. We’re just starting with training for the biggest problem area for sewage, which is in Georgia in the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha River Basins (Tifton, Quitman, Valdosta, and Lowndes County).

When: 1-7PM, Sunday, September 16, 2018

Where: Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC)
327 West Savannah Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601
plus sampling at a nearby river or creek.

Bring: an idea of where you can sample at least monthly, preferably weekly.

Event: facebook, meetup

Why: See the Continue reading