Valdosta spilled again, and again bigger than any recently from Albany or Tifton. This news was first seen on WALB TV out of Albany 5:10 PM last night. Valdosta sent email to WWALS at 10:17 PM.
Should Suwannee Riverkeeper have to watch WALB in Albany to learn first about a wastewater spill in Valdosta, the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin?
More importantly, if “Spills of any nature are unacceptable,” why do you keep having them, Valdosta? Especially with only 1.5 inches of rain? What will you do in another tropical storm or hurricane? And how and when will we know?
Krista Monk, WALB TV, 5:10 PM, 14 August 2018, City of Valdosta reports 135K gallon sewage spill,
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) – The City of Valdosta has reported a sewage spill at the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant after heavy rains Monday night.
According to a release from the city, about 135,000 gallons of secondary clarifier effluent spilled onto the plant grounds and into a storm drain that feeds Knight’s Creek.
The release says the spill happened after about 1.5 inches of rain fell during a storm within hours on Friday night.
The city said the clarifier, which is one of the last steps of treatment before disinfection, became clogged with debris from the large amounts of flow entering the plant.
Officials said personnel identified the issue quickly and corrected the malfunction within minutes.
Nevermind the WALB reporter doesn’t know west from east (Mud Creek WTP is at the orange marker, not where she’s pointing, and it’s southeast of Valdosta, not southwest), and she can’t pronounce Statenville Road. WALB got the scoop.
And shortly thereafter: WCTV, 5:25 PM, 14 August 2018, City of Valdosta reports spill of 135,000 gallons of sewage from Mud Creek plant
Yesterday morning after a board member at the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) meeting in Live Oak, Florida, expressed concern over Valdosta’s repeated spills, I said it’s not always Valdosta, although recently it has been. I was referring to the June 26th 300,000 gallon spill out of the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant. I didn’t know how right I was about “recently” with this newer spill from the previous evening out of Valdosta’s other WTP.
The PR says “Unfortunately, approximately 135,000 gallons of secondary clarifier effluent spilled onto the plant grounds and into a storm drain that feeds Knight’s Creek.” It doesn’t say Knight’s Creek runs into Mud Swamp Creek which goes into the Alapahoochee River, right by the popular Turket Creek waterfall, then into the Alapaha River, by the popular swimming and boating area between the popular Sasser Landing and Jennings Bluff Launch, east of Jennings, Florida.
So, despite repeated assurances from the City of Valdosta that WWALS would be informed at the same time as news media, this did not happen for this spill, just like it did not happen for the previous spill in June. And WWALS’ continued requests to be informed at the same time as the state agencies continues to fall on deaf ears, if the Valdosta PR as quoted by WALB can be believed:
Furthermore, all appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified.
Once again, more importantly, if “Spills of any nature are unacceptable,” why do you keep having them, Valdosta? Especially with only 1.5 inches of rain? What will you do in another tropical storm or hurricane? And how and when will we know?
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2018
Overnight rain event prompts debris blockage at Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
At approximately 10:45 pm on August 14th, 2018, the City of Valdosta’s Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant had a clarifier malfunction due to a storm event that dumped approximately 1.5 inches of rain within hours. The clarifier, which is one of the last steps of treatment before disinfection, became clogged with debris from the large amounts of flow entering the plant. Plant personnel quickly identified the issue and corrected the malfunction within minutes.
Unfortunately, approximately 135,000 gallons of secondary clarifier effluent spilled onto the plant grounds and into a storm drain that feeds Knight’s Creek. While the plant has a normal average daily flow of 2.8 million gallons (MG), on August 14th, the effluent flow peaked at more than 7.6 MG—nearly three times the normal rate.
Spills of any nature are unacceptable, which is why it has been the city’s top priority to prevent them through the addition of the new wastewater plant, force main, and collection system rehabilitation program. Also, the city continues it River Sampling Program that tests water quality before, during and after major rain events.
While situations like this are unexpected, Mud Creek personnel added procedures to eliminate this issue in the future. Staff immediately began monitoring and testing the impacted area, as well as cleanup and disinfecting at the overflow locations and stream discharge points. Warning signs have been posted at the spill locations and downstream from these locations. Although the level of potential contamination to the creek is minimal, the public is advised to avoid any contact with the affected areas. Furthermore, all appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified.
The city continues its ongoing efforts to improve the infrastructure of the sewer system to eliminate these issues in the future, improving the sewer system has and will continue to be a priority. For more information, please contact Environmental Manager, Scott Fowler at 229-259-3592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact:
Phone: (229) 251-4779
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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