Tag Archives: quality

FDEP now maps last 30 days of spills

Pollution spill maps online, up to date, with interactive links to details: Florida is doing it, and so can Georgia.

Florida, Maps

For more than a year FDEP has been posting spill reports online in a spreadsheet the same day it gets them, with email notice signup (Alabama also does that). FDEP has added a Public Notice of Pollution (PNP) Finder: Last 30 Days, which helps a lot in finding spills in our watersheds.

Did you know there was a Phosphoric Acid spill at White Springs last week, on Continue reading

Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants 2018-10-03

WWALS will tour Valdosta’s Wastewater Treatment Plants (WTPs). Thanks to Scott Fowler and Director Darryl Muse for the longstanding invitation. WWALS invites you to come, from both Georgia and Florida, especially people downstream on the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, or Suwannee Rivers.

When: 9AM, Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Where: Valdosta Utilties, 1016 Myrtle Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601
The Myrtle Street off of E. Force Street between Troup and Forrest (not the one in Remerton).

Event: facebook, meetup

Valdosta's Mud Creek WTP

Where: We will go to the Withlacoochee WTP next to the Withlacoochee River, and the Mud Creek WTP on Knights Creek, upstream from Mud Creek, the Alapahoochee River, and the Alapaha River. We may go to other points such as force mains or lift stations. If we have time we will also tour Valdosta’s drinking water treatment plant.

Duration: Probably several hours, but should be done by noon.

Free: There is no charge. This tour is primarily for WWALS members, but we won’t turn away anybody else and I doubt Valdosta will, either. We do recommend you join WWALS today.

Why: For why so many people are interested in Valdosta’s WTPs and what Valdosta has done to date, see Valdosta (and other) Wastewater.

This is not a regular WWALS outing or event, but for more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Reconstitute Harmful Algal Bloom Task Forces?

Water quality is an issue in the Florida Senate race, allowing critics of the candidates’ proposals to raise real solutions.

One candidate:

In August, [Florida Senator Bill] Nelson co-introduced legislation with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., that would direct the federal Interagency Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms to study the causes and consequences of algae in Lake Okeechobee and around Florida’s south and southwestern coasts.

NOAA: cynaobacteria in Lake Okeechobee
Image: NOAA, 9 September 2018, in Cyanobacteria bloom continues, by Katrina Elsken, Glades County Democrat, 19 September 2018.

The other candidate:

In a letter Thursday to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, [Rick] Scott urged Continue reading

California court requires higher ag. runoff controls

If California can do it, so can Florida. The petition deadline for FDEP’s Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) got pushed back to January 2019, so we shall see.

Sara Rubin, Monterey County Weekly, 20 September 2018, Victory for Monterey Coastkeeper as court rules regulations for ag runoff fall short,

Even California’s water quality law, the Porter-Cologne Act, recognizes the challenge. A 2004 addendum about nonpoint source pollution put it this way: “Current land use management practices that have resulted in nonpoint source pollution have a long and complicated physical, economic and political history… Therefore, it is expected that it will take a significant amount of time for the [regional water boards] to approve or endorse nonpoint source control implementation programs.”


Photo: Nic Coury, “Otter Project Director Steve Shimek stands near the Monterey County Water Resources Agency’s Blanco Drain, which conveys ag runoff exceeding state water quality standards to the Salinas River,” in Court slams Central Coast farm runoff rules as too weak, orders water quality improvements, by Sara Rubin, Monterey County Weekly, 14 August 2015.

That time, according to the Court of Appeal for California’s Third District, has come. A Sept. 18 decision Continue reading

Followup water quality data after big Valdosta 2018 spills 2018-09-21

Here is (at least some of) the water quality testing data Valdosta was required to collect after its major spills of June in the Withlacoochee River basin and August in the Alapaha River basin. Maybe Valdosta is right that neither of these spills got into waterways, but something sure did, according to this data. Curiously, in both cases the worst fecal coliform readings were upstream from the spill location.

Mud Creek WTP after the 13 August 2018 spill

Below at Johnson Road, Mud Creek WTP
Downstream at Johnson Road on Mud Creek from the Mud Creek WTP after the August spill

There’s only one datapoint (the yellow dot) on that graph below the Georgia safe limit for fecal coliform of 200 colony forming units per 100 milliliters of water (cfu/100 ml). You’d think it would be better upstream, right? Continue reading

Georgia sewage spills from January 2015 through 2018-09-18

Here is every spill reported by all the large wastewater permits in the state of Georgia since the beginning of 2015 through this Tuesday, September 18, 2018. It includes spills in the Suwannee River Basin you probably didn’t know about.

If people downstream want to do something about wastewater coming from Georgia, this data suggests two things: insist Georgia publish spill reports online the same day like Florida and Alabama already do. And help fund WWALS water quality testing so we can find out what’s going on and when.

2015-2018, Valdosta
Just spills with a Valdosta address from 2015 on.

WWALS Science Committee Chair Tom Potter extracted and sorted every spill with an address in Valdosta since the beginning of 2015: Spill-Detail-sorted_Valdosta_2015–2018-09-19. See also web version of this data.

I’ve been asking the City of Valdosta for a list of their spills and locations since at least 2015, and I’ve been collecting reports ad hoc since before then. Finally, we have this list, but not from Valdosta. We had to Continue reading

Stream Monitoring after Lowndes County Val-Tech Road Spill 2017-09-23

Here is Lowndes County’s (not Valdosta’s) stream monitoring data for a year after its September 23, 2017 raw sewage spill into a ditch that goes to the Withlacoochee River. The data show often worse water quality upstream than downstream. This is a good illustration of why WWALS is starting a water quality testing program.

Graphs, Below at GA 133

These graphs are in Water Reporter, where I put the data under the Suwannee Riverkeeper group. The first two graphs are from below the spill, downstream on the Withlacoochee River at GA 133 (St. Augustine Road).

Graphs, Below at GA 133

Fecal Coliform, Below at GA 133

The other graphs show nothing unusual for blackwater tannic acid rivers. This is the interesting graph, Continue reading

Training, Water Quality Testing, Pictures 2018-09-16

Thanks to Julie Shutters of Golden Triangle R&D for coming down from Sylvester to Valdosta, GA to do Georgia Adopt-A-Stream training for WWALS.

(No, we haven’t forgotten about Florida. We’re just starting with the biggest problem area.)

Class

[Julie Shutters, Ronnie Thomas, Erica McLelland, Shirley Kokidko, Joanne A. Wardell, Gretchen Quarterman, Bobby McKenzie, John S. Quarterman (hat)]
Julie Shutters, Ronnie Thomas, Erica McLelland, Shirley Kokidko, Joanne A. Wardell, Gretchen Quarterman, Bobby McKenzie, John S. Quarterman (hat)

Continue reading

Lowndes County sewage spills, July 2018

Regarding rumors that Lowndes County had a spill July 5th, no it didn’t. The spill was July 6th. It was 9,300 gallons of untreated sewage apparently from the same place as the bigger spill last September, which would be on the green line on this map near the green dot at the top, into a drainage ditch that leads to the Withlacoochee River:

VALORGIS Lowndes County Sewer Line, Val Tech Road
VALORGIS Map → Streams Waterbodies plus Utilities Service Areas and Lowndes County Sewer Line.

While that is far fewer gallons than Valdosta spilled in June or in August, Valdosta’s August spill was almost completely treated effluent, while Lowndes County’s was raw sewage. And Valdosta went to some trouble to announce that August spill, to go talk to people about it, and to apologize for it. Lowndes County did none of those things.

And apparently there was a second July spill, according this email received 11 September 2018 from Lowndes County per my request earlier that same day for all Lowndes County spills since Hurricane Irma: Continue reading

Agenda: Water Quality Testing Training, Valdosta, GA 2018-09-16

Update 2018-10-02: Pictures and more data.

Here’s the agenda for chemical and biological testing training this Sunday. Georgia Adopt-A-Stream trainer Julie Shutters will be giving this six hour course in Valdosta.


Big Gap in Georgia Adopt-A-Stream data for Suwannee River Basin

Agenda

Please be early so we can start on time and finish at a reasonable hour.

Chemical

1:00 pm – 1:05 pm Welcome
1:05 pm – 2:30 pm Intro to Chemical Monitoring
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm Break
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm Field Chemical testing
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm Field Review and test
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm Break

Bacterial

5:00 pm – 5:30 pm Intro to Bacterial Monitoring
(if you’re only doing this part, please come early for it)
5:30 pm – 6:00 pm Field Sampling /Lab Demonstration
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Take test

We haven’t forgotten Florida training; that will follow. We’re just starting with training for the biggest problem area for sewage, which is in Georgia in the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha River Basins (Tifton, Quitman, Valdosta, and Lowndes County).

When: 1-7PM, Sunday, September 16, 2018

Where: South Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC)
327 West Savannah Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601
plus sampling at a nearby river or creek.

Bring: an idea of where you can sample at least monthly, preferably weekly.

Event: facebook, meetup

Why: Continue reading