Tag Archives: sewage

Sign up for Water Quality Testing Training

You can help find out what is getting into our rivers, springs, and wells beyond sewage spills: fertilizer nitrates, livestock, wildlife, septic tanks, other. We also want to follow up after sewage spills, because the limited testing required by states doesn’t tell us how far the spill went.

Please sign up to volunteer to do Water Quality Testing, in either Florida or Georgia, using this google form.

If you can come to Live Oak in late January 2019 for Florida water quality testing training, please also fill out this doodle poll.

For collecting water, Whirl-Pak

If you can do regular testing in Georgia, stay tuned Continue reading

Four more make 24 asking GA-EPD to tell everyone when anyone spills 2018-11-12

Yes, your organization can still sign on!

[More Signatures]

GA-EPD Richard E. Dunn did answer on November 2, 2018, saying they would look into telling everyone when anyone spills. We will keep collecting signatures and delivering them until we see daily spill updates on the GA-EPD website.

Follow this link for the whole resolution.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

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

Valdosta Consent Order from GA EPD 2013-09-23

Due to tens of millions of dollars spent by Valdosta, we don’t see spills of tens of millions of gallons anymore. The most obvious Valdosta Sanitary System Improvement is the new, uphill, out of the flood plain, Withlacoochee Wasterwater Treatment Plant, pictured here on Scott Fowler’s office wall at Valdosta Utilities:

Withlacoochee WPCP 2016, Wastewater Plants
Withlacoochee WPCP 2016

The old, now-closed, Withlacoochee WTP was the plant that had the biggest problems back in 2009 and 2013. As found on the City of Valdosta website, the 23 September 2013 Valdosta Consent Order from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division is now also on WWALS website, including I made a web version, from which I extracted the paragraphs quoted below.

This was the original problem: Continue reading

Madison County meeting about Valdosta sewage, plus Tom Potter of WWALS 2018-08-21

Valdosta sewage discussed yesterday morning in Madison, and in the evening on TV and in the WWALS Water Quality Testing Committee meeting in Valdosta, and again this evening at the Madison BOCC. Emma Wheeler, WCTV Eyewitness News, 21 August 2018, Sewage spills prompt concern over Withlacoochee River safety,

Sewage spills in Valdosta polluting the Withlacoochee River, Screenshots

MADISON, Fla. (WCTV) — A North Florida community is fighting for cleaner water.

Community members in Madison are pushing for safer waterways. It stems from concerns over sewage spills at Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Treatment Plant. The most recent of the spills happened in June.

Many of those concerned said their goal is to have no sewage spill into the river.

“These are public resources, they belong to us,” said Thomas Potter with the WWALS Watershed Coalition. “It’s our duty and our responsibility to make sure that they remain clean.”…

Emma Wheeler shot some footage Continue reading

Hurricane Season Open House by Lowndes County, GA EMA 2018-07-26

Tropical Storm Alberto already caused two sewage spills from Tifton, the biggest of 36,000 gallons, both into the New River upstream from the Withlacoochee, and Valdosta spilled 300,000 gallons last month, uphill from the Withlacoochee River, without even a tropical storm to blame. So preparing for a hurricane or tropical storm seems like a good idea. Maybe the various utility managers would like to say a few words about how they’re not going to be asleep at the wheel.

When: 6-8PM, Thursday, July 26, 2018

Where: 250 Douglas St, Valdosta, GA 31601-5029

Event: facebook

Join local emergency responders and Meteorologist Kerri Copello, News Manager for WFXL/Fox 31, for a tour of the EOC and an informational session on the 2018 Hurricane Season to include preparedness information.

Lowndes County EOC facebook event cover picture
Lowndes County EOC facebook event cover picture

More in a LAKE blog post.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Two sewage spills from Tifton, GA

Tifton spilled twice into the New River watershed, 36,000 gallons and 5,400 gallons, both into the New River watershed upstream of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee Rivers, apparently both spills during or after Tropical Storm Alberto, and there was no public notice until two weeks later.

Stuart Taylor, Tifton Gazette, June 11, 2018, 36,000 gallon raw sewage spill enters drainage system, cited as source Thomas Coker, “plant manager with ESG Operations,” who is also listed by the City of Tifton as Wastewater Superintendent. I called him to clarify some details. Here is information about the two spills, both related to Tropical Storm Alberto:

  • 36,000 gallons, Wednesday, May 30 through Thursday, June 7, 2018, from 315 E. 20th Street, into Tifton’s stormwater system, after 2 inches of rain.

    Spills located in Suwannee River Basin, Maps
    Google map by WWALS.

    Because this spill was more than Continue reading

Final Suwannee River BMAP 2018-05-22

Did you know the Final Suwannee River BMAP was released last week? Apparently not many others did, either. Here’s the letter I sent FDEP about that.

Suwannee River BMAP and PFA boundaries, The Problem


PDF

 June 4, 2018

Nitrate above and below ground, Pages Mr. Noah Valenstein, Secretary
Dept. of Environmental Protection Continue reading

Alabama sends email for sewage spills 2017-09-01

Florida does it. Alabama does it. Maybe Georgia should do it: post pollution notices online as they are received, and send out email notices to those who have signed up. That way cities and counties would not have to notify anybody but the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD), and Riverkeepers wouldn’t have to poll each and every city and county to find out what is going on.

Sewage spills in Alabama in 2016
See below for the interactive map of sewage spills in Alabama in 2016 by Alabama Riverkeepers, and see also the Florida map I drew from Florida’s Pollution Notices.

Alabama also requires reporters to include latitude and longitude in their reports, and to use an electronic reporting system. Both are great improvements on Georgia’s current methods of telephoning in a number and responding to open records requests with records that do not have GPS coordinates.

Dennis Pillion, AL.com, 1 September 2017, ADEM rolls out email notifications for sewage spills, Continue reading