Tag Archives: Grand Bay

Cost of reclassifying Georgia rivers from Fishing to Recreational in Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards

Recently I was asked if there would be water monitoring costs to cities or counties because of upgrading our main Suwannee River Basin waters in Georgia from Fishing to Recreational, as we have requested in Georgia’s Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards. Here’s the answer, as best I could determine. And how you can help. For those who wonder why upgrade from Fishing to Recreational, please see the previous blog post.

[Satellite Map]
WWALS Satellite Map of landing in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia

Specifically the question was: would reclassifying rivers or swamp from Fishing to Recreational cause cities or counties to have to spend more money on water quality monitoring, specifically if a wastewater treatment plant had a spill, more money on water quality sampling afterwards?

The brief answer is: probably not.

Recently, I asked James A. Capp, Chief, Watershed Protection Branch, EPD. He said that for that case, there should be no change, because sampling after a spill is determined mostly by the number of gallons spilled.

Let me use some NPDES permits I have on hand to illustrate.

Here is the language in NPDES Permit No. GA0020222 for Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, first about number of gallons, then about the required sampling. Continue reading

Moody AFB sewage spill, Mission Lake 2019-08-06

Did you know Moody Air Force Base had two sewage spills this month? Thanks to GA-EPD, we knew about them, and Moody AFB posted news reports on both of them. One went into Mission Lake, upstream from Grand Bay and the Alapaha River. The other went into Beatty Branch, upstream from Cat Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

[Building 769 and Mission Lake]
Building 769 and Mission Lake

23d Wing Public Affairs, News, 7 August 2019, Sewage Spill Notification, Continue reading

Moody AFB and Lowndes County on U.S. PFAS contamination map 2019-05-06

Should we be proud? Lowndes County and Moody Air Force Base again made it onto a national map of PFAS firefighting foam contamination, as did the Florida State Fire College, Ocala Florida.

[U.S.]
U.S.

The report EWG references for Moody AFB says other Air Force Bases did test off-base wells, unlike Moody AFB.

[Page 01]
Page 01

It says Peterson AFB in Colorado applied for further funds and did further testing and continues mitigation work “on private and public drinking water wells.”

[Southeast U.S.]
Southeast U.S.

The report’s Conclusion includes: “We are addressing DoD’s cleanup responsibility”. Well, that’s refreshing news! I look forward to Moody AFB being the community leader it always is.

[Moody Air Force Base]
Moody Air Force Base

Some of the details on this EWG map are a bit odd, such as Continue reading

Help upgrade our Suwannee River Basins in Georgia

We asked the state of Georgia to upgrede our main Suwannee River Basin rivers (and some lakes and swamps) from their current lowest water quality classification as Fishing to what they really are: Recreational Use. You can help!

[Georgia landings in Suwannee River Basin]

Every three years, federal law requires each state to review its water quality standards. 2019 is such a year for Georgia, so the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) is conducting a Triennial Review. The request WWALS sent to GA-EPD, background, and their response are all on the WWALS website. Our request was rather long, with 23 pages asking for reclassification of the Suwannee River, the Okefenokee Swamp, the Alapaha River, Lake Irma, Banks Lake, Grand Bay, the Withlacoochee River, the Little River, and Reed Bingham State Park Lake, all from Fishing to Recreational Use. The WWALS cover letter is included at the end of this blog post. For the rest, see the WWALS website.

The response thus far from GA-EPD has some good news: Continue reading

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west. You do know the Ockolocoochee River as the Little River, of the Withlacoochee, of the Suwannee. Here is news from 1889 that also includes the boat that didn’t survive from Troupville to Ellaville, which was apparently not a paddlewheel steamer.


Irwin County, 1885a, GeorgiaInfo, Rand McNally Map of Georgia, 1885

Atlanta Constitution, January 29, 1889, Pg 12., quoted in Ray City History Blog, 18 October 2010, More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River,

THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER.

VALDOSTA, Ga., January 19. -[Special.]- Away up near the northern limit of the great wiregrass section there is a big cypress swamp. They call them bays there. From this bay emerges Continue reading

Cherry Creek & Stillhouse Branch, Lift Station, Sinks, Withlacoochee River

Why should anyone downstream care about an obscure creek north of Valdosta? Because it runs past sinkholes that leak into the Floridan Aquifer, into the Withlacoochee River, then into the Suwannee River, then into the Gulf of Mexico, going by all seven of the downstream Florida counties that passed resolutions asking the state of Florida to do something about Valdosta wastewater, not to mention neighborhoods and wetlands closer to the recent Cherry Creek Lift Station sewage leak, which was at least smaller than previous spills.

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

The orange red-circled disk shows Continue reading

Cherry Creek and Grand Bay Creek

Does Cherry Creek come from Grand Bay? This question came up about Valdosta’s Cherry Creek Lift Station Spill. No, but you weren’t alone if you didn’t know that.

Watershed Divide between Withlacoochee and Alapaha Basins
Cherry Creek (lower left) and Grand Bay Creek (right)

Cherry Creek runs into the Withlacoochee River, and comes from very near Grand Bay, but not Continue reading

Map of American Rivers by Nelson Minar

Here’s a map of all rivers in the U.S. by Nelson Minar. Lower 48 U.S. It actually covers the lower 48 states and is pretty impressive at that scale. Plus you can zoom in.

Gulf and south Atlantic

Here you can see rivers running to the Gulf start all the way up Continue reading

Video: WWALS outings on Chris Beckham drive-time radio WVGA 105.9 FM 7:30 AM 2016-01-15

Here’s WWALS video of the radio interview this morning on WVGA 105.9 FM. It’s an invitation to tomorrow morning’s events, both at 10AM:

Chris also got me to say a few words about why WWALS formed in the first place, and why you should all join WWALS; it has to do with the 700-year flood in 2009.

Plus some plugs for Valdosta’s wastewater fixes and their recent LiDAR flight.

The one thing I realized on the way out I forgot to mention, the one item that caused me to schedule this interview, was the workshop at VSU February 27th about the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail, featuring the visual beauty of all WWALS’ rivers in an art exhibit and silent auction, the geology on display by Dennis Price, and the remains of past people and cultures still visible along the river by Tom Baird.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow morning on the Little River, or other WWALS members look forward to seeing you tomorrow morning on the Suwannee River. If not tomorrow, there’s plenty more to do on our beautiful south Georgia and north Florida blackwater rivers!

Here’s the video:

Continue reading

WWALS outings on Chris Beckham drive-time radio WVGA 105.9 FM 7:30 AM 2016-01-15

Everybody listens to the radio in the car on the way to work, and Friday morning 8:30 AM I’ll be talking about paddling this Saturday morning 10AM on the Little River from GA 122 between Hahira and Barney to Lawson Millpond Road; it’s a nice brief 2.5 hour paddle along the Brooks-Lowndes County river border: you can do it!

When: 7:30AM Friday January 15th 2016

Where: 105.9 FM WVGA, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia

What: John S. Quarterman, president of WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc., on Chris Beckham drive-time radio show

How: Continue reading