Tag Archives: One Mile Branch

Valdosta sewage spill and Suwannee Riverkeeper on WALB TV 2019-06-22

WALB TV in Albany, Georgia called me while I was at Lafayette Blue Spring on the Suwannee River in Florida, because reporter Ri’Shawn Bassette had read the WWALS report, Sewage spill, Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA 2019-06-19. Later that same day, Friday, WALB carried his story, Valdosta sees manhole sewage overflow.

[No sewage]
No sewage

He had already contacted Valdosta Utilities, which had confirmed it happened, and blamed it on Continue reading

Sewage spill, Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA 2019-06-19

According to a WWALS member eyewitness, raw sewage ran across Ashley Street, with a very strong odor, about 11:50 AM yesterday, Wednesday, June 19, 2019.

Google Map, Ashley Street
About 1300 block of Ashley Street. WWALS google map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

She said it was near the old Coca-Cola bottling plant. Which means near One Mile Branch, which runs through Drexel Park and VSU, then into Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

There was nothing about this in yesterday’s GA-EPD Sewage Spill Report, which was published before the eyewitness saw the sewage.

I called Valdosta Utilities. After a delay due to a FOG (Fats, Oils, and Greases) meeting, Utilities Continue reading

Pictures: Azalea Festival, Valdosta, GA 2019-03-09-10

It was a fine time with 30,000 friends at Azalea Festival in Valdosta, Georgia.

See also Onemile Branch Cleanup, Drexel Park, during Azalea Festival 2019-03-10.

Saturday

Gretchen Quarterman and Julie Magruder, Booth

Gretchen Quarterman and Julie Magruder, Booth

Paddle Georgia, PR

Paddle Georgia, PR

Profile, Raffle Kayak

Continue reading

WWALS booth at Azalea Festival, Valdosta, GA 2019-03-09-10

Come help WWALS celebrate spring with 30,000 of our south Georgia and north Florida friends, at the Azalea Festival in Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia. We will have information about our outings and advocacy (yes, including Valdosta wastewater), and pictures for sale Gretchen took of our rivers, plus a kayak raffle.

When: 10AM-6PM Saturday 9 March 2019
10AM-5PM Sunday 10 March 2019

Volunteer: WWALS members can help at the table!

Where: Drexel Park
30.846771, -83.285066
Patterson at W. Brookwood Drive, Valdosta, GA
(across Patterson from VSU)
That’s on One Mile Branch, which flows into Sugar Creek, then the Withlacoochee River, the Suwannee, to the Gulf.
Drexel Park is upstream of Wainwright Drive, where WWALS did a cleanup in November 2017, and Valdosta spilled 218,075 gallons of raw sewage. You can help with cleanups or water quality testing.

Event: facebook, meetup

Shirley, Gretchen, pictures are a hit, Volunteers
Photo: John S. Quarterman, of Shirley Kokidko and Gretchen Quarterman at Azalea Festival 2018.

What: Our Story, Azalea Festival,

Approximately 30,000 attendees from all over the Southeast come to Valdosta to enjoy Continue reading

The rest of the Valdosta wastewater story at SRWMD 2019-02-12

Valdosta Utilities naturally painted as rosy a picture as possible, and newspapers have limited space, so here is the rest of the story about Valdosta wastewater at the Suwannee River Water Management District board meeting last Tuesday. SRWMD Chair Virginia H. Johns understands the stigma, and Board Member Virginia Sanchez spelled it out:

SRWMD Chair Virginia H. Johns

“You don’t want to swim in a little sewage versus a lot of sewage either. Both of them are bad. A spill is bad.”

Featured in this post, drawing from the WWALS videos of all the relevant speakers, are Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse, who talked about the catch basin Valdosta is digging, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, who filled in many pieces omitted by Valdosta and FDEP, and Hamilton County resident Jim McBrayer, who got the attention of the SRWMD board by saying there was E. coli in his well and SRWMD should know where it came from, plus especially the very participatory SRWMD board, who made it pretty clear to FDEP they wanted data by their next meeting, and they wanted Valdosta to move along in fixing their problems in less than a hundred years.

Let’s not forget Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, who pointed out something Valdosta doesn’t want to hear: it’s the stigma of sewage spills that is the big problem they are causing. For sure we need to find out what the specific health and other effects are of Valdosta sewage and other contamination on river water and nearby wells. But the stigma of Valdosta sewage goes far beyond that.

Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta

In the WWALS video, Continue reading

Videos: Valdosta Wastewater at SRWMD Board 2019-02-12

Update 2019-02-18: The rest of the Valdosta wastewater story at SRWMD 2019-02-12.

The most direct interaction by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) Board that I’ve ever seen, yesterday, when Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse came to explain what Valdosta has done and is doing to stop its sewage spills. Neither the board nor the audience seemed satisfied.

[Movie: Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta (1458M)]
Movie: Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta (1458M)

Stay tuned for another post about some of what was said. Meanwhile, below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker or agenda item, with a few notes. These WWALS videos are under a Creative Commons Attribution license, which means you can use them, provide you cite the source, which is WWALS. There are a few more pictures on the WWALS website. See also the agenda. For background and data, see: Continue reading

Testing Water Quality, One Mile Branch, Valdosta, GA 2019-02-10

Reporter Patrick Barry of The Spectator, VSU’s independent, student-run newspaper, was there, came to One Mile Branch yesterday to follow up on the One Mile Branch Cleanup WWALS did in November 2017. He found more than one story.

[Plating a sample]
Plating a sample

Yesterday Sara Jay tested the water from One Mile Branch, downstream from VSU, at the bridge on Wainwright Drive. She plated bacterial samples upstream and down. The results will be interesting, considering the foul smell. Also, each set of four PetriFilm plates costs about $6, so maybe you’d like to contribute to the WWALS Water Quality Testing Program. Continue reading

Sewage spills in the Suwannee River Basin 2015-2018

Update 2019-01-25: Added an HTML table of all spills in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia since the beginning of 2015.

WWALS Science Committee Chair Tom Potter made this committee report to the WWALS Quarterly Board Meeting of January 2019:

The Science Committee has focused on monitoring sewage spills from Municipalities in the region. The primary data is the online database provide by the GA EPD. The agency regularly compiles spill volume, date, and, location across the state and posts the information on-line.

2015-2018 Valdosta sewage spills, Spills

WWALS played a central role in convincing EPD to provide this data in a timely manner and has regularly posted spill data on the WWALS website, wwals.net/issues/vww/ga-spills/. This a substantial improvement over prior reporting systems and is contributing to timely reporting of conditions that may adversely impact water quality and recreational uses of streams and rivers.

The following graph summarizes reported spill data in Quitman, Tifton and Valdosta and Continue reading

Tifton * 2, Quitman, Valdosta * 6 2018-12-22

Not just Valdosta: Tifton spilled two places, and Quitman one, in the most recent rains. Those cities were not in the data available online from GA-EPD yesterday, but they are in the online data today.

But Valdosta spilled the most sewage and from the most locations: six places, not just the one Valdosta told the public. Plus we finally have a total for the previous WWTP spill, and all the others from the beginning of December, and those totals are not pretty.

Valdosta Warning Sign, Sign
Photo: Julie Bowland, of Valdosta sewage spill sign at Troupville Boat Ramp, 21 December 2018.

That Valdosta sewage spill sign is stuck loosely into a hole WWALS dug to plant our Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) signs, which someone has yet again pulled up and thrown into the river, but I digress….

Context wide, Context Maps

Tifton

First let’s look at the city people in Florida ignore: Tifton, Georgia, the second largest city in the Suwannee River Basin (that’s right: in both Georgia and Florida). Tifton had Continue reading

GA-EPD posts spills online! 2018-12-21

Well, this is a welcome Christmas present, GA-EPD! Online posting of the statewide Georgia spreadsheet of sewage spills:
https://epd.georgia.gov/sewage-spills-report

Spills page, Screenshots

Sewage Spills Report

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) provides information on municipal and industrial sewage spills reported to EPD. The list covers the most recent 30-day period and is updated each business day.

Note: A “zero” in the quantity field indicates Continue reading