Lowndes County spills sewage into Withlacoochee River 2016-04-05

Lowndes County spilled sewage this time, a day after Valdosta fixed all its spills from last weekend. EPA MyWaters Mapper Downstream it ends up in the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers, where people are already hopping mad because of Valdosta, and not making a lot of distinctions among local governments up here.

The County Clerk told the VDT the “county does not forsee this as a reocurring event”, which is odd, since it happened two years ago, and that time the City of Valdosta had to tell Lowndes County about it. Just like that time, and unlike Valdosta, there’s nothing about this spill on Lowndes County’s News Flash web page, nor the County Clerk’s web page, nor the Lowndes County Utilities web page. Apparently the county only contacted selected news media, not the public directly, and definitely not WWALS, the Waterkeeper® Affiliate for the Withlacoochee River.. And the county only told the press three days after the sewer break.

Lowndes County PR, ValdostaToday.com, 7 April 2016, Pipe Break Spills 225,000 Gallons of Sewage into the Withlacoochee River,

Google Satellite The Lowndes County Utility Department experienced a sanitary sewage spill on Tuesday on Val-tech Road near the state prison.

Untreated sewage entered into a drainage ditch that flows into the Withlacoochee River near Ga Hwy 133.

It has been estimated that approximately 225,000 gallons of untreated sewage entered into the ditch during the event and the duration of the spill lasted approximately ten hours.

The spill was caused by a split in the 16” force main that runs along Val-tech Road. The County is monitoring this situation and is performing all reporting requirements as required by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the County’s NPDES Permit.

Anyone having questions or comments may contact The Lowndes County Utilities Department at 229-671-2500.

Lowndes County

The VDT had a bit more. Jason A. Smith, Valdosta Daily Times, 7 April 2016, Sewage spill near state prison,

The county does not foresee this as a reoccurring event, said Lowndes County Clerk Paige Dukes.

Maybe the county should have forseen this, after the one two years ago.

Yet a few months ago…. Terry Richards, VDT, 5 February 2016, Rains bring flooding, sewage concerns,

Google Terrain Minor flooding is already taking place, according to the weather service. At 14 feet, yards along Winding Way, Park Lane and Meadowbrook Drive, as well as Ga. 122 between Hahira and Moody Air Force Base, are prone to flooding, according to the weather service.

The county has been monitoring the situation and hasn’t had any reports of problems, said Paige Dukes, Lowndes County clerk.

“There’s a monitoring gauge right there on the bridge (over the Withlacoochee),” she said. “We had discussions earlier with the Lowndes Emergency Management Agency, but right now we are not aware of anything problematic.”

Apparently the County Clerk was referring to the USGS gage on the US 41 (North Valdosta Road) bridge. That monitors water levels, not sewage. And the break that happened this week wasn’t there, it was on Val-Tech Road, north of GA 133, west of the Little River and I-75.

Val-Tech Road runs righ along the divide between the watersheds of the Little River and the Withlacoochee River, so presumably the sewer pipe runs along the east side of the road. That’s assuming the county is making such fine distinctions, considering if it went into the Little River it would get to the Withlacoochee less than a mile downstream at the confluence.

Anyway, maybe Lowndes County can get its forseeing working a bit better, or at least its transparency and alacrity. That last word means they could tell us about it more quickly.


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