Valdosta Pump Station Standard Operating Procedures 2020-04-20

This appears to be the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the Remer Lane Pump Station that was offline in early December 2019, causing a record raw sewage spill.

It does include these items:

  • Verify generator main breaker is closed.
  • Verify no alarms on generator control panel at generator.
  • Verify generator switches are set to automatic at generator.
  • Verify alarm beacons outside and inside of building are not flashing. Troubleshoot if flashing.

We got two copies, with slightly different formatting. The other copy also has:

  • Verify no SCADA alarms present in system

[1 of Remer Pump Station Inspection CheckList]
1 of Remer Pump Station Inspection CheckList

Both copies, and the two copies for the Gornto Road Pump Station, are marked at the top “Version 1: Dec 2019”. Is that early December before the big spill, or late December afterwards?

In addition we got a Work Order Detail, but it seems to be for the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant and the drinking water treatment plant, not the Pump Stations.

I guess yet another GORA request, even more specific, will be necessary.

Previously we got completely different sets of SOPs when I asked Valdosta and GA-EPD for Standard Operating Procedures: for spill response from GA-EPD, and for each of the two Wastewater Treatment Plants (Withlacoochee and Mud Creek) from Valdosta.

Anyway, here’s what we got this time.

GORA request to GA-EPD

Sent 1:12 PM 15 April 2020.

Ms. Phelts,

Thank you for your response.

These SOP do not seem to include anything about operation of the Pump Stations for the Force Main that was required by the executed Consent Order No. EPD-WQ-5478 of December 9, 2013; the file you sent with this filename: Valdosta-Signed-Executed-Order-2-John-Quarterman-request.pdf

See Attachment 6 on page 62 and more specifically Action Item No. 1a on page 63, “Pump Station, Force Main, Headworks and Equalization Basin Project: Design and construct two new master pump stations…”.

The record raw sewage spill that was being discussed in that January 8, 2020, public meeting in which Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber told me to “ask EPD” was a spill from the Remer Lane Pump Station, one of the two Valdosta implemented as part of that item 1a, that was left offline in early December 2019.

Please consider this a Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request for the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for that Pump Station, and the SOP for the other one, the Gornto Road Pump Station.

I am willing to pay reasonable fees, but since those documents are probably in electronic form, forwardable by email, there should not be much of a fee.

My contact information is below.


GORA response from GA-EPD

Received 4:30 PM 20 April 2020.

Good afternoon Mr. Quarterman,

After checking with staff, we do not have anything in our records beyond what we gave you in our last response.




GORA response from Valdosta

Recieved 3:13 PM 22 April 2020.

Good afternoon — Regarding your Open Records Request for SOPs for the Remer Lane Pump Station and the Gornto Road Pump Station, attached is the information that you requested. According to the Environmental Manager Scott Fowler, because the lift stations are unmanned and operate automatically, the SOPs are different for each one and are not for operation but for inspection and maintenance. They have a typical checklist for inspection of each station and then there is the specific information for the main stations (see attached). This means that if a Work Order is put in for maintenance on a generator, the Work Order will list the SOP for the task and not the SOP for the whole station (see attached).

Please note that there was no administrative fee for search and retrieval of the information.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Thank! Teresa

Teresa S. Bolden, CMC
City Clerk
City of Valdosta
P. O. Box 1125
Valdosta, GA 31603-1125
Phone: (229) 259-3503
Fax: (229) 259-5411

These files were attached:

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!