Rochelle details, and Tifton spills at Agrirama Lift Station 2019-01-15

Tifton, and any other cities: if you keep spilling from the same place whenever there’s a big rain, maybe it’s not the rain that’s excessive. Maybe your sewage infrastructure is inadequate and you should fix it.

Map: Agrirama Lake, Spills
One day a week ago GA-EPD included latitude and longitude in the spreadsheet, with this for Tifton’s Agrirama Lake Lift Station: 31.464770, -83.530532, shown here on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

In yesterday’s GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report we have a little more detail on the 300-gallon Rochelle, GA spill: they’ve realized it’s in the Suwannee River Basin, and they say it “Did not enter state waters”, but they don’t know what caused it. Also there’s still no wastewater treatment permit listed.

Difference Table, Spills

The January 6, 2019, Tifton 8,500 gallon spill into Agrirama Lake gets highlighted again, although there doesn’t seem to be any new information.

Let’s add up how much and how often Tifton has spilled there.

Here’s a table of all Tifton spills from that lift station since the beginning of 2015, which is the earliest data we have from GA-EPD:

2014-01-135,000Raw SewageSCADA showed Panel and 2 pumps tripped.Storm passed through and may have caused power outage.
2016-02-03670Raw SewageHydraulic OverloadThe cause of the spill was due to rainfall which created surcharges in the system.
2016-04-0212,600Raw SewageHydraulic OverloadRainfall event on April 1-2, 2016
2016-12-064,100Raw SewageWet weatherThe cause of the spill was heavy rainfall.
2018-12-0335,400Raw SewageHydraulic OverloadExcessive Rainfall.
2018-12-177,500Raw SewageHydraulic Overload
2019-01-068,500Raw SewageHydraulic Overload
Total73,770Raw SewageHydraulic Overload

That’s 73,770 gallons of raw sewage spilled from Tifton’s Agrirama Lift Station since the beginning of 2015. More than half of it spilled in the past two months. That is not improvement.

How many times can Tifton report the cause as “rainfall”, or even claim “Excessive Rainfall”? If rain is enough to cause a spill, maybe your infrastructure is inadequate. Maybe you should fix it.

FYI, downstream from Agrirama Lake is Reed Bingham State Park, popular with people of all ages fishing and boating. How do we know whether and how much of this raw sewage got that far?

This is not the only place Tifton has spilled. It’s not even the only place Tifton has spilled more than once. It’s just one very frequent place Tifton has spilled.

For context and more information, see

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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