Valdosta wastewater fixes schedule update

Thanks, Emily and Henry, and to the City of Valdosta for all your efforts. But could somebody please update the schedule on Valdosta’s website?

Subject: COV Sanitary Sewer System Improvement Update

Good afternoon Chris,

Force-Main-Project-Map--August-2015-001 Thank you for reaching out to me today for an update on the sewer improvements that the City has underway. We have continued to make substantial progress since our meeting back in March that you attended. As discussed then, the city has two major projects underway. One is a $36 million dollar Force Main project and the other is a $23 million dollar Plant Relocation. As of today, the Force Main project is 5 months ahead of the July 2016 schedule and the Plant Relocation is 16 months ahead of schedule. Both projects are tracking a timeline to be complete and online around February 2016. Please note that we have not had any overflow or major permit violations at the wastewater treatment plant since making the emergency repairs in February 2014.

Below is a quick summary of an update I recently received in reference to the sewer manhole overflows:

On August 28/29th, the city received well over 7” of rain and did result in 4 manholes overflowing inside our city limits (not on the river) approximately 5 miles above the plant location, which is about 30 miles from the Florida line. There were no wastewater treatment plant violations. The manhole overflows, while unfortunate and not acceptable, are primarily stormwater mixed with wastewater. Two of the manholes that overflowed are in the project construction area where one of the major new pump stations is being built.

We have every reason to believe the two major projects, both well ahead of schedule, will solve the issues we have experienced along with other collection system improvements the city has and continues to make. Even without the two major projects being online and operational, an event like the 7+ inches of rain we received in 24 hours over the weekend would have in the past resulted in 13-14 plus manholes overflowing as well as permit violations at the wastewater treatment plant. We had 3 manholes overflow on Friday and an additional one on Saturday and we know the projects underway will address these specific ones.

Additional activities that we are working on include the city wide smoke testing (currently in Phase 3 and will complete the final phase of this project next year), an ongoing manhole replacement / rehabilitation program, and a lift station upgrade program which will be completed late next year. The city has also completed over 5 miles of CIPP (cured in place pipe) lining of sewer mains identified with defects by the smoke testing project as well as identified hundreds of defects on private properties. We are doing everything possible to expedite the completion of the projects and look forward to the completion of both the Force Main and Plant Relocation projects being completed in February 2016. As you are aware, the city does have a website that outlines our efforts for these projects and can be found here, If you go specifically to the Force Main Project page,, you will find two items under “Helpful Resources” that I think you will find useful, (1) Project Area Map — Progress as of August 2015 and (2) Quarterly Force Main Project Update as of July 2015.


Since the Utilities Department is overseeing this project, I have included Henry Hicks to this email in case you have any additional questions.

I hope this information helps answer your questions and please know that we appreciate your continued interests and support.

Thanks so much,


Emily P. Davenport, Assistant Director
City of Valdosta — Engineering Department
300 North Lee Street
P.O. Box 1125
Valdosta, Georgia 31603
Phone: 229.259.3530
Fax: 229.333.1884

This inquiry from WWALS board member Chris Mericle was prompted by complaints from Florida about Valdosta’s August manhole overflows down Sugar Creek into the Withlacoochee River. After which it turned out Valdosta’s online schedule hadn’t been updated. Which meant that even though those of us who attended the March 2015 meeting that Valdosta organized at WWALS’ request, or those who dig into the videos and slides online, know Valdosta is moving faster than the original schedule,

And it turns out the main Valdosta Valdosta Sanitary Sewer System Improvements web page still repeatedly says

Completion Date: December 2018

Could Valdosta please update that schedule?

Also, we still have seen no answers to the questions about spills int the Alapaha River watershed. Nor about independent measurements. Nor about what contaminants are coming from which industries into the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and sometimes breaking pipes and spilling before they get there.

Please help WWALS help you, Valdosta. You’re doing all the hard work of actually fixing the situation. A few tweaks in getting the word out would also help.


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