Where: Valdosta’s biggest sewage spill; behind the Target, next to Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-09

Update 2019-12-12: SRWMD water quality data, Withlacoochee River, after Valdosta record sewage 2019-12-12

Valdosta’s biggest-ever sewage spill was “Behind the Target, next to the creek,” which we deduce was at 30.842906, -83.312762, as shown here on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT). Also near the bottom right you can see the Remer Lane Pump Station that failed and caused this problem.

[Spill and Remer Lane Pump Station]
Spill and Remer Lane Pump Station

This spill finally did show up in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report for December 10, after I pointed out to EPD that it wasn’t there.

[Valdosta spill 42 times any other spill same period]
Valdosta spill 42 times any other spill same period

Valdosta’s description of “OVERFLOW LOCATION” was:

1800 Block of Norman Drive – Valdosta. Behind the Target, next to the creek. NOTE: Times and volumes estimates based on 24 hour reporting and may be updated with future reports.

First, the Target is at 1815 Norman Drive, so why the obscurantist “1800 Block”?

Second, to find out where “next to the creek” was, I used VALORGIS and turned on layers for streams and for Valdosta sewer lines.

[Valdosta sewer lines]
Valdosta sewer lines

Valdosta Utilities obviously knew exactly where the raw sewage spill was, at least after they finally noticed it after “a few days”. They could have put a latlong in their report to GA-EPD.

Maybe it’s time for GA-EPD to require latitude and longitude with each spill report. Florida has been requiring that for at least two years now. Alabama, like Florida, has an online map of spills. When will the great state of Georgia do what these neighboring states already do?

Meanwhile, yes, WWALS volunteers are testing the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers downstream from this spill, as is FDEP, and, we hope, the City of Valdosta.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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