Tag Archives: Sugar Creek

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

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

Langdale Park to Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, 2018-06-23

A leisurely two-mile morning paddle from the recently reopened Langdale Park on the largest river through the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin, arriving at the recently rediscovered Sugar Creek Landing, well in time for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest in the afternoon.

When: 9AM, Saturday, June 23, 2018

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602.

GPS: 30.88747, -83.32395

Take Out: Sugar Creek Landing, 2410 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602, recently rediscovered next to the YMCA, and just across the railroad tracks from The Salty Snapper, venue of the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup. If you don’t have a boat, let us know; we may able to loan you one.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

No sand bar, 11:13:35,, Boat Ramp
Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 1 November 2017, when the water was much lower.

Continue reading

Gornto Road, Valdosta, access to Withlacoochee River 2018-01-24

It could use some markers to keep people on it and off private property, and maybe some loaner kayak wheels, but there is public access to the Withlacoochee River off of Gornto Road in Valdosta.

Tea-colored water, 16:22:37,, Withlacoochee River
Tea-colored water, 16:22:37,, Withlacoochee River 30.8623900, -83.3224600

And a very nice blackwater river it is. Continue reading

Earl Wetherington Foot Bridge

Maybe this bridge was named for Earl Wetherington Foot, since it has vehicular traffic. Since I can’t find any mention of such a person, maybe it was named for Earl Wetherington (1925-2013) and once upon a time was a foot bridge. Anyway, it’s on Gornto Road in Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, over Sugar Creek, slightly upstream from the Withlacoochee River.

Bridge, Over Sugar Creek

Bridge, Over Sugar Creek

It was closed in the “700-year” flood of 2013, which followed the “700-year” flood of 2009 (I think it was closed then, too). Continue reading

One Mile Branch Cleanup 2017-11-11

Good turnout for the One Mile Branch Cleanup at VSU, including the new Valdosta Utilities Director, Darryl Muse, and his wife. Thanks Scotti Jay for organizing this outing, including bringing a cart for the materials and going back with a pickup truck to collect the bags of trash.

There were waterfalls just like Scotti said, Tom Potter fished a lawn chair out of the creek, we celebrated Armistice Day, we took some pictures with the Suwannee Riverkeeper banner, and we heard a word from Valdosta’s Utilities Director, all in addition to picking up a lot of trash for two hours on a cold windy November day.

Say WWALS, Banner

Continue reading

Water issues at Valdosta City Council 2017-03-09

A rare agenda with nothing about water on it does have this, “6. Citizens to be Heard”, which people from anywhere can use to talk about water issues such as sewage and its effects on the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Suwannee Rivers all the way to the Gulf, coal ash from TVA and Florida, PCBs, and Superfund wastewater in the landfill in Lowndes County, which is a quarter mile upstream from the Withlacoochee River and in a recharge zone for the Floridan Aquifer.

When: 5:30 PM, Thursday, March 9, 2017

Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, 216 E Central Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601, 30.832961, -83.277471
Too far? Call them up or send them email.

Event: facebook


Photo: Michael Rivera Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

What: Continue reading

Small Valdosta sewer spills after big rains 2017-01-23

Update 2017-01-25: And also a spill at the WWTP.

Nobody likes sewer spills, but no, these are not the same as before Valdosta’s recent wastewater system improvements: Document-0001 nothing this time came from the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the amounts were small compared to previous years (10-62%) and in far fewer locations.

That didn’t stop WTXL from using this title: Amber Lewis, WTXL, 24 January 2017, Major Sewage Spill Reported in Valdosta,

The City of Valdosta has reported that a large amount of untreated sewage has spilled in the area.

The Florida Department of Health reports that Continue reading