Tag Archives: force main

Lowndes County Force Main Spill 2017-09-23

Lowndes County (not Valdosta) spilled sewage Saturday that may have reached the Withlacoochee River. The county also had “several” lift station spills during Tropical Storm Irma.

Google Map, Val Tech Road
Google map, Val Tech Road.

After tonight’s Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, I asked Utilities Director Steve Stalvey whether the county had spilled any sewage this month. He said yes, Saturday (September 23, 2017), about 25,000 gallons from the force main on Val Tech Road. He said it was due to Continue reading

One Mile Branch Cleanup, Valdosta, GA 2017-11-11

Update 2017-10-29: Meet at VSU CORE.

A first for WWALS: an urban cleanup! One Mile Branch runs right through the heart of the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin (Valdosta) and through the biggest educational institution in the Basin (Valdosta State University). It has some trash, and you can help WWALS come get it!

When: 10AM, Saturday, November 11, 2017

Where: One Mile Branch, through the heart of Valdosta and VSU.

Meet: VSU CORE, 1300 Sustella Ave., Valdosta, GA 31698
(This is a WWALS event; we’re just meeting in CORE’s parking lot.)

Event: facebook, meetup.

Map: Brookdale Drive and VSU parking lot
Map: Brookdale Drive and VSU parking lot

Hosts: Scotti Jay and Dan Phillips

Contact: Continue reading

Ribbon Cutting, new WWTP and Force Main 2016-07-12

Finally ready for prime time and a ribbon cutting: the new, uphill, out-of-the-floodplain, long-awaited Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and Force Main, New WWTP site near Withlacoochee River which have not overflowed or otherwise caused sewage spills in the recent rains, so maybe Valdosta’s chronic problem smelt downstream all the way to the Gulf is perhaps finally fixed. Congratulations, Valdosta!

When: 8AM Tuesday July 12th 2016

Where: At the new WWTP on Wetherington Lane, north off US 84, west of I-75 exit 16

Invitations: Paper invitations were mailed last week, including to counties and health departments downstream in Florida, according to Sementha Mathews. If you didn’t get one, contact her, and she says the event is in any case open to the public.

Update 2016-05-30: Sementha Mathews says the paper invitations were mailed Tuesday (day before yesterday), so they should arrive by the end of the week. Arrived.

Contact: Sementha Mathews Continue reading

Valdosta force main and new WWTP are online and working

The recent rains caused little wastewater overflow, according to Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll, who forwarded cryptic Valdosta press release yesterday and then explained on the telephone what it meant: Map the two biggest pieces of Valdosta’s wastewater and sewer fixes are operational already.

The press release referred to “the new force main” as if it were already in operation, yet nothing on Valdosta’s website says it is. So I called Tim Carroll and he confirmed that yes, the force main is online. Not only that, but 5 million gallons less water than usual for such rains entered the new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).

Wait, does that mean the new, uphill, out-of-the-floodplain WWTP is also online? Yes, confirmed Carroll. And the less inflow was due to less INI.

What’s INI, I asked, ignorantly? Continue reading

Valdosta wastewater improvements ribbon cutting being scheduled for May

Valdosta seems serious about finally opening its new force main and uphill Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant: they’re scheduling a ribbon cutting for May, a year ahead of the original schedule. According to both City Council Tim Carroll and Engineering Assistant Director Emily Davenport, the EPA has already pressure-tested the relevant lines and the plant, and approved them.

People downstream are rightly concerned at the many years they’ve endured wastewater from Valdosta. And recent schedule slips haven’t helped their perceptions, which is why actually holding Continue reading

What Valdosta is doing about its wastewater problem

Update 2016-04-05: Actually, force main and new WWTP on line by May.

Frances Adams asked:

I just want to know when will this be fixed, I can’t even drink my water for it having ecoli in it. Someone needs to do something now!!!

The two biggest pieces are scheduled to be finished this summer and next summer: the force main project in July 2016, and the new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant relocated uphill by August 2017. Valdosta is spending upwards of $300 million to fix the problem.

As I point out every time I post about new spills, there are still open questions and, as your Waterkeeper® Affiliate for the upper Suwannee River and the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers, WWALS Watershed Coalition will keep after Valdosta until we get the answers. See also the slides and videos from the meeting Valdosta held for us a year ago about this.

Here’s what Valdosta’s Sewer System Improvements web page says today: Continue reading

Yet more Valdosta wastewater spills

Maybe soon this February baker’s dozen of wastewater spills will be a thing of the past, but for now it’s deja vu similar to but worse than last February.

300x388 Figure 2.2.5. Sub-basins Areas, in Section 2 Methodology, by City of Valdosta, for WWALS.net, 14 January 2011 It looks like Valdosta has updated, as repeatedly asked, its schedule for wastewater project completion, with the force main project now aimed at July 2016 and relocation of the Withlacoochee WasteWater Treatment Plant (WWTP) for August 2017. See also Valdosta PR 22 January 2016, Withlacoochee Aerial Sewer Mains Replacement Project.

Those schedule changes are mentioned in the most recent Valdosta News. It does not, however, say which watersheds the various spills affect. I have added * for Alapaha River watershed and ** for Withlacoochee River watershed. It’s not that hard, and Valdosta has a water management plan that spells this all out, with maps. One Mile Branch** and Two Mile Branch** flow into Sugar Creek**, which goes into the Withlacoochee River**. Knights Creek* goes into Mud Creek* which goes into the Alapahoochee* River and then the Alapaha River*, eventually joining the Suwannee River in Florida, as does the Withlacoochee. Valdosta Utilities and Public Relations know all that. But why should every citizen, Continue reading