Tag Archives: Scott Fowler

Clean Withlacoochee River Thursday for WWALS Boomerang Saturday 2020-10-22

You couldn’t ask for better water or weather conditions than for the WWALS Boomerang tomorrow (Saturday), from Georgia into Florida and back from State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River.
wwals.net/pictures/2020-10-24–boomerang/

And for the rest of the Withlacoochee and probably the Suwannee River, too. Even the report we got of a spill Monday in Valdosta appears to have been a false alarm. All water quality test results are advisory, since conditions can change rapidly. But no significant rain is expected, so happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend, especially at State Line Boat Ramp!

[Chart, State Line, Boomerang, FL-6]
Chart, State Line, Boomerang, FL-6

The weather prediction at Clyattville, GA, is for 70 degrees at 9AM, and 80 at noon, partly cloudy, with little chance of rain. There’s also been little rain for a week, so nothing much has washed into the rivers.

Those pesky shoals should be easier this year. The water level yesterday at the USGS Quitman Gauge was 2.3′ (85.81 feet NAVD88). The Thursday before last year’s Boomerang, October 24, 2019, it was 1.65″ (85.15 feet NAVD88). So the Withlacoochee River is about 2/3 of a foot or 8 inches higher than it was last year.

All that plus clean river water! Continue reading

Open manhole lawsuits

The City of Valdosta is lucky nobody fell into that open manhole it says is part of manhole rehabilitation. That manhole is next to the Azalea Trail where whole families with small children walk, and on Valdosta State University property next to the VSU Recreation Center.

[Manhole dug down]
Manhole dug down

Mario Cattabiani, RossFellerCasey, 20 March 2014, $85 Million Verdict For Student Who Fell Into Open Manhole,

Founding partner Matt Casey argued in court that defendant Trigen-Philadelphia Energy Corp. failed to properly secure the manhole, which had been removed by a homeless man shortly before Gustafsson happened by that fateful day. The trial lasted three weeks, featured thousands of documents and a closing scene that played out as if written in a Hollywood script. As the jury was set to return a verdict, at literally the last minute, the insurer offered to settle the case for $10 million—a sum Casey, in consultation with his client, rejected. Just moments later, the jury awarded the former promising medical student $85 million.

McAleer Law Firm, 21 April 2020, A Plaintiff’s Evidentiary Burden in Georgia Personal Injury Lawsuits against the Government

Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in an appeal from a judgment in favor of a plaintiff in her lawsuit against the City of Atlanta. The woman filed a lawsuit to recover for damages she incurred after driving into an open manhole. The woman contended that the government should be liable for her injuries because the manhole was a public nuisance. The city appealed a jury finding in favor of the woman, arguing that the woman did not meet her evidentiary burden.

Under Georgia law, a municipality “may be held liable for damages it causes to a third party from the operation or maintenance of a nuisance, irrespective of whether it is exercising a governmental or municipal function.” To recover for damages plaintiffs must present evidence that: Continue reading

Avoid sewage spills: no wipes in the pipes 2020-05-06

Nobody wants any more sewage spills because of Fats Oils and Grease (FOG) or blue gloves or sanitary wipes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[Pumper on Cherry Creek Church Road]
Pumper on Cherry Creek Church Road

Valdosta Utilities apparently cleaned up this one in April off of Bemiss Road before it could get into Cherry Creek, since the bacterial sample I took showed very little E. coli. Here’s a Valdosta press release and video on how to prevent such spills.

City issues reminder: “No wipes in the pipes”

The City of Valdosta is asking residents to avoid flushing sanitation wipes even if the package states they are flushable! Paper towels and facial tissues also should not be flushed in local sewer lines as people practice guidelines to combat the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. While the “flushable” wipes concern is not new to wastewater facilities, there is an increased risk to our system recently. Continue reading

Response: Valdosta says it is manhole rehabilitation at One Mile Branch near Sustella Ave. 2020-06-04

Other than to wonder how 9:24 AM (when I asked) to 8:42 PM (when I posted the previous) adds up to a “5.5-6 hour window”, I am posting this exactly as received at 11:40 AM today. -jsq

[Inside manhole]
Inside manhole


Darryl Muse
Attachments
11:40 AM (3 hours ago)
to Scott, Scott, Ashlyn, Tim, Mark, me

Mr. Quarterman, On yesterday the Department, including Mr. Fowler were in the field preparing for anticipated significant rain events over the next several days. As a result, there was no response within the 5.5-6 hour window you noted in your email. Included in this reply is your email to Mr. Fowler so we all can be on the same page as it relates to your request.

Continue reading

City of Valdosta Water Quality Testing, Gornto Rd., US 84 2019-12-12

Update 2019-12-14: Sugar Creek, Gornto Road, after Valdosta record sewage spill 2019-12-12.

Finally, some testing data from the City of Valdosta, which indicates Sugar Creek yesterday was pretty dirty at Gornto Road, but the Withlacoochee River was not yet dirty at US 84, after Valdosta’s worst-ever sewage spill.

Thanks to Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber for sending this data after I visited him in his office this afternoon. He also explained why we found no E. coli Wednesday at Knights Ferry, Nankin, or State Line: the sewage is moving very slowly due to low creek and river levels.

[Signs, 13:43:03, 30.859734, -83.317029]
Valdosta Caution Sewage Spill and bridge Signs, 13:43:03, 30.8597340, -83.3170290

Received 6:44 PM, December 13, 2019:

Good Evening Mr. Quarterman,

Please see below the test results that were received today from the sampling Thursday afternoon. Continue reading

Where: Valdosta’s biggest sewage spill; behind the Target, next to Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-09

Update 2019-12-12: SRWMD water quality data, Withlacoochee River, after Valdosta record sewage 2019-12-12

Valdosta’s biggest-ever sewage spill was “Behind the Target, next to the creek,” which we deduce was at 30.842906, -83.312762, as shown here on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT). Also near the bottom right you can see the Remer Lane Pump Station that failed and caused this problem.

[Spill and Remer Lane Pump Station]
Spill and Remer Lane Pump Station

This spill finally did show up in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report for December 10, after Continue reading

Valdosta’s biggest spill ever: sewage into Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-09

Update 2019-12-12: You can donate to the WWALS water quality testing program to help defray costs of testing, especially after this record Valdosta sewage spill.

Update 2019-12-11: Where the spill was.

While I was congratulating Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse Thursday evening on no spills for months, Valdosta’s biggest-ever raw sewage spill was apparently already happening, and even he didn’t know.

Yet again Valdosta failed to adequately inform the public, or, for that matter, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

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

How Bad Is It?

The 7,592,910 gallons of raw sewage spilled this time is more than the 6,273,595 gallons Valdosta spilled in two dozen incidents last December.

It’s 3.45 times Continue reading

Valdosta sewage into Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-09

Update 2019-12-10: Valdosta’s biggest spill ever: sewage into Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-09.

Yet another sewage spill from Valdosta, with no email notification from Valdosta, nothing on the City of Valdosta website, nothing in spills reported to GA-EPD, and nothing on the Hamilton or Madison County, Florida Department of Health websites.

So how do we know? It’s being mailed around from the facebook pages of Madison County Emergency Management and Madison County Florida Board of County Commissioners.

DOH Madison, Notice

December 9, 2019

HEALTH OFFICIALS IN HAMILTON,
MADISON COUNTY ADVISE OF POSSIBLE
WASTEWATER CONTAMINATION IN THE
WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER

Possible Impacts from Valdosta, GA Wastewater Overflow Continue reading

Valdosta sewage sign, golf course, Valdosta Country Club, Stillhouse Branch 2019-08-23

Friday we found the warning sign on the Valdosta Country Club green for the Wednesday force main sewage spill, thanks to Valdosta Utilities Environmental Manager Scott Fowler, who told me where it was. Sara Jay has tested downstream for WWALS, and maybe we can get the Valdosta water quality testing data, as well. Although there is some ambiguity as to which way downstream is.

[Sewage Spill]
Sewage Spill

“It stinks,” said a man on a golf cart on the green, as I was taking pictures. Continue reading

Valdosta sewer spill into Onemile Branch, Drexel Park 2019-08-03

Why do we get to find out in the newspaper Tuesday about a Saturday sewage spill that just “occurred”, and didn’t even show up in GA-EPD’s online Sewage Spill Reports until after the newspaper was printed and distributed? Rest assured it’s not Valdosta’s responsibility, according to Valdosta.

[Pipe under bridge by apartments]
Pipe under bridge by apartments

Katelyn Umholtz, Valdosta Daily Times, 5 August 2019, Sewer spill occurs near Drexel Park, Continue reading