First time we’ve seen this: 300 gallons of raw sewage spilled from Rochelle, Georgia, in Wilcox County, at the top of the Alapaha River Basin.
Rochelle is nestled between Reynolds Creek on the west, which flows into Mill Creek after it comes across south of town. Mill Creek joins the Alapaha River some miles south.
Floridians probably don’t care, because there’s no way 300 gallons of raw sewage will travel a hundred river miles south to the state line before being diluted beyond detection.
Residents of Rochelle probably do, though. RESIDENTS GET JUSTICE FROM CITY OF ROCHELLE, GEORGIA; Victory: City agrees to fix sewer system that dumps into yards, homes, EarthJustice, 8 August 2014.
A group of citizens who have endured raw sewage bubbling up into their homes and yards from city pipes for decades reached a settlement this week with their city government in Rochelle, Ga. The old, leaky city sewer pipes will be replaced.
Maybe they thought everything was fixed, but apparently not.
It’s difficult to tell where the spill occurred from the description, “Manhole near lift station.” Rochelle has at least two pump stations, according to the The Joint Wilcox County Comprehensive Plan Wilcox County, Abbeville, Pineview, Pitts, and Rochelle 2025 (July, 2005):
The City of Rochelle has two oxidation ponds. A 10-acre pond is located off of U.S. 280 on Industrial Drive, and another three-acre pond is located on Seventh Avenue. The ponds utilize the traditional extended sludge treatment process and have a treatment capacity in average daily flow (ADF) of 1,000,000 gallons per day. In 2004, the City of Rochelle had an average daily flow of 370,000 gallons per day. The City’s sewer collection system consists of approximately 25 miles of sewer lines with six to 12 inch pipes and two lift stations that lift wastewater from lower areas to gravity lines running to the oxidation ponds. Information on the lift stations is included in Table CF-10.
City of Rochelle
1 Ginhouse Street 1987 ***GPM 2 Dykes Avenue 1987 ***GPM
Those aren’t very specific locations, either. Maybe we’ll see an update later.
Meanwhile, there were plenty of new spills reported, from Atlanta, Rom, Dublin, Augusta, Sandy Springs, Marietta, and the winner: Lithonia, for 233,540 gallons of raw sewage on January 3rd and 268,961 gallons on December 28th for 502,501 gallons total. That’s up in Valdosta range!
|BEGIN DATE||FACILITY NAME||COUNTY||CITY||OVERFLOW LOCATION||QUANTITY GALLONS||OVERFLOW TYPE||PERMIT NUMBER||WASTEWATER FACILITY TYPE||SPILL PRIMARY CAUSE||RIVER BASIN||WATERWAY IMPACTED|
|You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!|
|2019-01-10||Rochelle, City of||Wilcox||Rochelle||Manhole near lift station||300||Raw Sewage||Collection System|
|2019-01-09||Atlanta, City of (R.M. Clayton, Utoy Creek, and South River WRCs)||Fulton||Atlanta||61 Palisades Rd. NE – Atlanta||462||Raw Sewage||GA0039012||Collection System||Grease||Peachtree Creek|
|2019-01-08||Rome, City of (Rome WRF)||Floyd||Back side of Wolf Park 106 Park Avenue in Lindale||500||Raw Sewage||GA0024112||WWTP||Roots||Coosa||Booze Creek|
|2019-01-04||Dublin, City of (Dublin WPCP)||Laurens||Dublin||502 Church St – Dublin||1,000||Raw Sewage||GA0025569||Collection System||Wet weather||Ferry Branch/Oconee River|
|2019-01-03||Augusta, City of (J.B. Messerly WPCP)||Richmond||Augusta||1899 Virginia Avenue – Augusta||2,000||Raw Sewage||GA0037621||Collection System||Grease||Rocky Creek|
|2019-01-03||Dekalb County (Snapfinger Creek WPCP)||DeKalb||Lithonia||233,540||Raw Sewage||GA0024147||Collection System||Wet weather||Ocmulgee||Snapfinger Creek|
|2019-01-02||Dublin, City of (Dublin WPCP)||Laurens||Dublin||711 Alabama St – Dublin||8,000||Raw Sewage||GA0025569||Pump Station||Equipment failure||Did Not Enter State Waters|
|2019-01-01||Fulton County (Big Creek WPCP)||Fulton||Sandy Springs||7148 Stonington Drive||3,480||Raw Sewage||GA0024333||Collection System||Debris||Chattahoochee||Marsh Creek|
|2018-12-30||Cobb County (South WPCP)||Cobb||Marietta||South Cobb Drive||0||Raw Sewage||GA0026158||WWTP||Wet weather||Chattahoochee||Chattahoochee River|
|2018-12-28||Dekalb County (Snapfinger Creek WPCP)||DeKalb||Lithonia||4557 Meadow Creek Path, Lithonia||268,961||Raw Sewage||GA0024147||Collection System||Wet weather||Ocmulgee||Snapfinger Creek|
|2018-12-28||Cobb County (Marietta Water Authority – James E. Quarles WTP)||Cobb||Marietta||614 Wilshire Ave.||4,750||Raw Sewage||Collection System||Wet weather||Chattahoochee||Sope Creek|
The good news: no new spills reported from Valdosta (or Quitman or Tifton or Lowndes County).
Some of the recent difference tables in the archives on the WWALS website look rather odd, because for one day (and one day only) GA-EPD added latitude and longitude. Quite a few rows didn’t have either, such as Valdosta’s North Oak Street at Midbriar Drive or Smith Briar or somewhere. I’m guessing GA-EPD found assigning latlongs harder than it expected. I look forward to them solving that problem and publishing a map of the past 30 days, like Florida already does.
For more context, see wwals.net/issues/vww/ga-spills.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!