Tag Archives: Langdale Company

Water quality permitting, paddle with Mayor of Valdosta this Saturday 2020-01-18

Update 2020-01-17: Mostly clean in Georgia, not in Florida, Withlacoochee River 2020-01-15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, January 13, 2020 — Water quality tests since last Wednesday are looking good for the Withlacoochee River in Georgia, and if those continue this Monday and Wednesday, it will be all clear to paddle with the new Mayor of Valdosta, Scott James, this Saturday, January 18, 2020. “We’ll paddle by the site of the projected Troupville River Camp, supported by Valdosta and Lowndes County, Georgia, and Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “We’ll also pass the outflow from Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), which did not spill, although it is in a stretch of the river that was contaminated by Valdosta’s December 2019 record raw sewage spill.”

[Movie: WWTP Outfall, 11:23:17, 30.83622, -83.35924 (15M)]
WWTP Outfall, 2019-06-15 30.8362200, -83.3592400

Mayor Scott James was quoted in Valdosta Today:

“The paddle was requested by me and John was gracious enough to organize it and call it the ‘Mayor’s Paddle.’ It is to show my commitment to zero tolerance for future spills and to show my love for our natural resources.”

“The only way to dispell the stigma of sewage spills that affects the entire Suwannee River Basin, is frequent, regular, water quality sampling with published results,” added Quarterman. “The dozen-county Florida Rivers Task Force to deal with Valdosta sewage wants to promote cross-state-line eco-tourism. We should all be marketing our rivers. We are, with this paddle, and with Troupville River Camp. But we need a solid foundation of testing so we can say when the rivers are clean, and the few (we hope) times when they are not.”

WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc., parent organization of Suwannee Riverkeeper, will be collecting water quality samples this Wednesday at numerous points on the Withlacoochee River to have current results before the paddle. Lowndes County (which has its own sewer system, that did not spill) is sampling weekly. The Florida Department of Enviromental Protection (FDEP) and the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) are sampling downstream, and SRWMD has even sampled some sites well into Georgia. WWALS is publishing all this data, along with what data Valdosta has supplied in response to open records requests, online:
http://wwals.net/issues/vww/valdosta-spills/#vldrecord2019

On the paddle, WWALS will be sampling above and below the WWTP outfall and at other locations along the route.

Meanwhile, the recent rains have provided plenty of water in the river, several feet more than when we paddled the same route with 300 people in Paddle Georgia in June 2019, so we should have smooth sailing!

How To Paddle with the Mayor

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Valdosta Sewage Public Meeting, Valdosta City Hall Annex, 2020-01-08

Update 2020-01-05: Earlier this same Wednesday: Florida Sen. Bill Montford hosting Valdosta sewage public meeting in Madison, FL 2020-01-08.

A Special Called Meeting of the Valdosta City Council, about Valdosta’s record-largest raw sewage spill in December 2019, and what to do going forward. Attendees will include the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council (presumably its Task Force on this subject), and apparently GA-EPD, EPA, FDEP, SRWMD, and of course Suwannee Riverkeeper. It is a public meeting, so anyone can attend. If it’s run like previous such meetings, anyone can ask questions. We have plenty. I hope you do, too.

When: 6 PM, Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Where: General Purpose Room, Valdosta City Hall Annex, 300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, GA 31601

Event: facebook


“What storm events keep you up at night?” Alachua County Commissioner Ken Cornell asked Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse, 2019-10-07.

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Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River paddle 2020-01-18

Update 2020-01-17: Mostly clean in Georgia, not in Florida, Withlacoochee River 2020-01-15

Update 2020-01-14: Recent water quality test results, Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers 2020-01-11

Update 2020-01-13: Press release: Water quality permitting, paddle with Mayor of Valdosta this Saturday 2020-01-18 .

A leisurely paddle on the WIthlacoochee River after it tests clean from the recent Valdosta sewage spill. It may help resolve the problem of such spills causing stigma all the way down the rivers to the Gulf, by showing rains do eventually clean the rivers.

[Street map]
Street map: Troupville Boat Ramp upper right; Spook Brige lower left.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, Saturday, January 18, 2020

Put In: Troupville Boat Ramp, 19664 Valdosta Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31602: on GA 133 off I-75 exit 18. in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.851842, -83.346536

Take Out: Spook Bridge. Thanks to The Langdale Company for access through their private property to Spook Bridge for this outing and for water quality testing.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We will waive the fee for elected officials. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

This paddle was requested by Continue reading

Spooks of the Bridge, Water Trail Signs, and Porta-Potties: #PaddleGA2019 Day 2 2019-06-16

Spooks! Daredevil dry-land kayaker! Bridge climber! Gnarly jerky and the golf cart! Also the Withlacoochee River at Spook Bridge, Knight’s Ferry Boat Ramp, Nankin Boat Ramp, each with road and kiosk signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail, plus briefly Port-A-Potties at all those places and halfway back up towards Troupville Boat Ramp, and a gopher tortoise, all during Day 2 of #PaddleGA2019.

[Joe Cook and Harold Harbert]
Joe Cook and Harold Harbert

There were boats. Continue reading

Pictures: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River 2019-02-03

WWALS paddled from Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge (thanks to The Langdale Company for access to take out there) on February 3, 2019. That’s the path planned for Paddle Georgia Day 1, coming up two weeks from now.

[Catching up, 11:08:10, 30.85035, -83.34855]
Catching up, 11:08:10, 30.8503500, -83.3485500

If the rivers rise; they’re much lower now than they were in February.

[Every outing is a cleanup, 10:50:14, 30.8516814, -83.3469376]
Every outing is a cleanup, 10:50:14, 30.8516814, -83.3469376

We passed the famous Mayor John Gayle Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant Outfall: Continue reading

Video: WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman on Charlie Walker Radio 2019-03-13

In eight minutes she talked about the BIG Little River Paddle Race, the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, on the air with Charlie Walker, KIX 99.5 Country Radio, plus Paddle Georgia, and all the other events and outings.

BIG Little River Paddle Race

“That’s our signature event,” said WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman, about the Seventh Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race.

On the Air, Gretchen Quarterman

It’s our seventh year. It’s at Reed Bingham [State Park]. We paddle from Continue reading

Delayed a day: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, 2019-02-03

It rained, and the river rose a bit, so we will paddle Sunday morning instead, unless it rains again or rises too much. Still on the Little River from Troupville Boat Ramp, then the Withlacoochee River to Spook Bridge. That’s right, Spook Bridge, thanks to The Langdale Company, which has arranged for us to take out just below the bridge.

River swirling by access, 30.7898000, -83.4516100
River swirling by access 30.7898100, -83.4517500

This is not public access. Langdale is making it available to WWALS for this February outing and for Paddle Georgia in June 2019. This takeout, while still up a steep riverbank, is much easier than climbing up those loose highway abutment rocks between the US 84 highway bridges. So I hope everyone will thank The Langdale Company.

See previous post for outing details. Continue reading

Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, 2019-02-0203

Update 2019-02-02: Delayed a day until Sunday morning.

Water levels look good, so unless it rains, looks like Saturday morning we will paddle Little River from Troupville Boat Ramp, then the Withlacoochee River to Spook Bridge. We will probably encounter deadfalls and shoals, so bring a rope and be prepared.

That’s right, Spook Bridge, thanks to The Langdale Company, which has arranged for us to take out just below the bridge.

[Access and river, 14:47:36, 30.78981, -83.45175]
Access and river, 14:47:36, 30.7898100, -83.4517500

This is not public access. Langdale is making it available to WWALS for this February outing and for Paddle Georgia in June 2019. This takeout, while still up a steep riverbank, is much easier than climbing up those loose highway abutment rocks between the US 84 highway bridges. So I hope everyone will thank The Langdale Company.

See previous post for outing details. Continue reading