Response: Valdosta says it is manhole rehabilitation at One Mile Branch near Sustella Ave. 2020-06-04

Other than to wonder how 9:24 AM (when I asked) to 8:42 PM (when I posted the previous) adds up to a “5.5-6 hour window”, I am posting this exactly as received at 11:40 AM today. -jsq

[Inside manhole]
Inside manhole

Darryl Muse
11:40 AM (3 hours ago)
to Scott, Scott, Ashlyn, Tim, Mark, me

Mr. Quarterman, On yesterday the Department, including Mr. Fowler were in the field preparing for anticipated significant rain events over the next several days. As a result, there was no response within the 5.5-6 hour window you noted in your email. Included in this reply is your email to Mr. Fowler so we all can be on the same page as it relates to your request.

From: Wwals Watershed Coalition <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2020 9:25 AM
To: Scott Fowler <>

Subject: FOG?

Or something else? -jsq

This morning I walked the site to investigate your published assertion. There is no evidence of any discharge from this site. The hoses on the property are the property of a contractor performing manhole rehabilitation and line repair in the area for the City. The tracks in the area are not the result of a City owned vehicle (Vac-Truck) but those of the contractor shuttling equipment in and out of the construction zone in a wooded location. The debris in the area (you may have referred to as FOG) are concrete remnants from the rehabilitation activity on the site. The reported smell in this wooded location was due to the manhole cover being removed to allow venting so that work can be performed safely in and around the manhole. As a result of this investigation many of the questions you posted are irrelevant and in my opinion irresponsible journalism. I would expect, in an effort to ensure your readers are provided the most accurate information available, you address your posts with the aforementioned facts you requested. In addition, the City reports all known discharges into the waters of the State. We report it timely, accurately and responsibly. As a result, the City continues to earn the confidence of our constitutes. Fake news does little to garner sustained support and those who respond as a result of misinformation often begin to question the reporting source.

If you have questions or if additional information is required, please contact me at 229.259.3592.

From: Wwals Watershed Coalition <>
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2020 8:30 AM
To: Scott Fowler <>
Cc: WWALS Watershed Coalition <>; Darryl Muse <>; Scott James <>; Ashlyn Johnson <>; Tim Carroll <>; Mark Barber <>
Subject: Re: FOG?


All day yesterday I waited for a response, and then I posted what you see below.

I ask again: the apparent spill from the manhole next to the VSU rec center, specifically at 30.844254, -83.295415, was that caused by Fats Oil and Grease (FOG)?

The other hose coming downstream under Sustella Ave.: where does it start, what was it used for, and what caused that spill?

Were those truck tracks left by Valdosta vac trucks?

How many gallons did they pump up?

When did the spill occur?

When did Valdosta Utilities arrive on the scene?

How did Valdosta Utilities find out about the spill?

Did Valdosta Utilities inform Valdosta State University, on whose property this spill and this hose and truck activity occurred?

There appears to have been very recent work done near a manhole at 1406 Sustella Ave., northwest of the Onemile Branch Sustelle Ave. Bridge.

What was that about?

When did that work happen?

Was that activity related to this spill?

Did Valdosta take bacterial samples or other water quality tests upstream and downstream after this Sustella Ave. spill?

What are the results of those tests?

Did Valdosta report this spill to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD)?

If so, why doesn’t it appear on GA-EPD’s daily Sewage Spills Report?

If Valdosta did not report it to GA-EPD, why not?

The manhole at 1208 Wainwright, 30.8425725, -83.3016397, source of so many previous spills, why does it seem to have toilet paper coming out of it?

Why does that manhole appear in significantly worse shape than in February 2019?

Have there been more spills from that manhole since February 2019?

If so, when, how many gallons, and why didn’t Valdosta report them to GA-EPD?

Did Valdosta take bacterial samples or other water quality tests upstream and downstream after any Wainwright Drive spills since February 2019?

What are the results of those tests?

If the Sustella Ave. spill was a FOG spill like the one near Cherry Creek off Bemiss Road in April 2020,

Why doesn’t Valdosta advertise these spills and say how they cleaned them up? That would be great PR for Valdosta Utilities, and would encourage restaurants and others not to let Fats Oils and Grease get into the sewer system.

Why, instead, does Valdosta leave it to WWALS to detect some of them?

That causes many people to wonder: how many more of these spills have there been lately? And that’s bad PR for Valdosta.

Plus of course any spills are bad for our waterways, for recreation, and for public health.

WWALS is trying diligently to work with the city of Valdosta to the benefit of all our waterways.

Below is what I posted yesterday.

I look forward to some answers from Valdosta.

For the rivers and the aquifer,

John S. Quarterman

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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