How many Valdosta overflows into Knights Creek and the Alapaha River watershed?

And how many into Dukes Bay Canal, which also flows into Mud Creek, to the Alapahoochee River, to the Alapaha River, to the Suwannee River, to the Gulf? It’s great the Valdosta City Council Thursday will consider more fixes to wastewater problems in the Withlacoochee River watershed. But what is Valdosta doing about problems in the Alapaha River watershed?

The three Valdosta overflows into the Alapaha River watershed in February 2015 weren’t the first. How many others have there been?

This report is from 19 March 2014:

  • A manhole at the intersection of Mystic Street and Cypress Street overflowed. Wastewater entered the separate storm sewer system (MS4) which is a tributary to Knights Creek. The estimated volume is 69,000 gallons. Overflow stopped on March 18 at 11 a.m.

WALB at the time reported that Valdosta said:

The city has planned, designed and bid a force main project and will award a $32 million contract in May that will prevent the majority of these overflows from occurring in the future.”

That force main doesn’t go anywhere near Knights Creek. Is there some other solution in the works to prevent overflows into Knights Creek, Dukes Bay Canal, Mud Creek, and the Alapaha River watershed?

That March 2014 Knights Creek overflow was caused by rains directly on Valdosta, like the 27 February 2015 overflow into Knights Creek, according to Valdosta PR 18 March 2015:

The Valdosta area received almost five inches of rain over the past 48 hours, resulting in completely saturated soils and causing abnormally high ground water tables. The city’s wastewater treatment plants remained in compliance and effectively processed the excess flows at the facilities. However, ongoing inflow and infiltration of stormwater into the wastewater collection system due to the saturated soils and high ground water table caused manhole overflows in several areas of the city, on March 17.

So this Knights Creek overflow problem is caused by rains directly on Valdosta, unlike rains upstream as in the Withlacoochee River watershed problems Valdosta has funded a solution to fix.

And if the wasterwater collection system is “a tributary to Knights Creek” that seems to mean it flows directly into Knights Creek (and then into Mud Creek), not through the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

How many other such wastewater overflows into Knights Creek have there been?

And how many other overflows have there been into Dukes Bay Canal like the one 18 February 2015?

Here’s a question list:

  1. Can we see a composite list and map from Valdosta of all these previous spills into the Alapaha River watershed (at least into Knights Creek, Dukes Bay Canal, and Mud Creek?
  2. Which of them went into the wastewater system and thus directly into the creeks?
  3. What was in the spilled water in each of these spills?
  4. Can such information be mapped and published ongoing in VALORGIS like crime reports already are?
  5. Can Valdosta please in all future PR clearly state which spills go into the Alapaha River watershed and which into the Withlacoochee River watershed?
  6. What is the risk of such spills getting into the Floridan Aquifer in or near Valdosta, due to sinkholes, down well casings, or otherwise?
  7. Is Valdosta aware the Alapaha River goes into two sinks directly into the Floridan Aquifer, so any wastewater that gets that far goes into the aquifer?
  8. Are there independent (of the city of Valdosta) measurements of how far contamination from these spills went?
  9. What is being done to prevent such spills?


One thought on “How many Valdosta overflows into Knights Creek and the Alapaha River watershed?

  1. Pingback: Valdosta Wastewater presentation to Greenlaw, Save Our Suwannee, SRWMD, Hamilton Co., and WWALS 2015-03-17 | On the LAKE front

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