Adel, Georgia, spilled 7,500 gallons of raw sewage from its West Ninth Street lift station ten days ago, according to GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report today.
The spill occured on Saturday, October 10, 2020. Apparently there were no detectable effects downstream at Valdosta and below, but we’d still prefer Adel not to spill raw sewage.
It’s about 34 waterway miles downstream to US 41 on the Withlacoochee River, which is the first place for which we have data. On the Monday two days after the spill, Valdosta did see elevated Fecal coliform at that North Valdosta Road location, but E. coli was within limits. Those US 41 readings were actually lower than for the Friday the day before the Adel spill. Same story farther downstream at GA 133 and US 84: lower Valdosta test results Monday than Friday.
Downstream from US 84, all results by Valdosta and Madison Health into Florida were good for Monday and the rest of that week. So apparently the Adel spill had no detectable effect downstream at Valdosta and farther. See the WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida water quality results.
We don’t know exactly where on West Ninth Street that lift station is.
Probably it is somewhere near this house you can see on West Ninth Street, in a picture I took looking north from Tony Street on September 8, 2020, looking across Del Cook Lumber land.
The GA-EPD report does not give a name for an affected waterway. USGS doesn’t know the name, either, but there’s a little creek that runs through more of Del Cook’s disused land, east of Tony Street, MLK Jr. Drive, and Pine Street. That creek starts about where MLK meets Pine Street, so I’m calling it MLK Pine Creek.
That creek runs into Bear Creek downstream of where Adel had its two previous spills, on April 23 and 24, 2020.
It’s about 75 miles from this new Ninth Street Spill site to the GA-FL line, or about 103 miles to the Suwannee River.
Chances are this new Adel spill, like the two in April, had little effect on the Withlacoochee River, and none on the Suwannee River.
We’d still like Adel to stop spilling sewage. Probably the people who live around West Ninth Street would agree on that point.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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