Water main burst at Baytree Road, ran into Onemile Branch 2020-12-09

“Something looking funny at one mile,” reported Scotti Jay Jones last night, from the Wainwright Drive bridge over Onemile Branch.

Soon, from Baytree Road, he added: “There’s workers neck deep in this stuff. I saw workers neck deep. In this water main break. Repair. How does this affect our drainage system?”

I would like to compliment Valdosta Utilities and its Director Darryl Muse for being on site and dealing with the situation. We do have a few questions, though.

[From Onemile Branch to Baytree Road]
From Onemile Branch to Baytree Road

Here’s what Scotti saw that tipped him off:


Onemile Branch was full and muddy with water apparently coming out of a storm drain.

[Something looked funny]
Something looked funny

Scotti followed the water upstream from Onemile Branch to Baytree Road, where “Pipes were flowing at Baytree and they were sawing out sections of road for work of some sort.”

[Into a storm drain]
Into a storm drain

[Equipment at Splash Zone]
Equipment at Splash Zone

He said it was an active spill site, and Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse was on site.

[Darryl Muse observing]
Darryl Muse observing

Here are a couple of videos Scotti took:

However, Scotti notes:

Water pipe. Not wastewater. Per Muse himself. He stayed on site.

[Darryl Muse directing]
Darryl Muse directing

The pump truck was pumping out the hole and into the stormwater drain. Which leads directly to one mile branch.

[Hole across from Miramar Street]
Hole across from Miramar Street

That explains Onemile Branch.

He stated it was water mains from the weather. I did not smell sewage. Mainly burning diesel.

[Power lines and Valdosta Utilities equipment]
Power lines and Valdosta Utilities equipment

Water main burst. He said it was common this time of year. Car wash near MacArthur.

Specifically, Splash Zone Car Wash, 807 Baytree Road #2838, Valdosta, GA 31602, directly across from Miramar Street, due north of Wainwright Drive.

[map: Splash Zone Car Wash, Baytree @ Miramar]
map: Splash Zone Car Wash, Baytree @ Miramar in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

Onemile Branch flows into Sugar Creek.

[map: Onemile Branch]
map: Onemile Branch

Which goes into the Withlacoochee River, upstream of the GA 133 bridge.

[map: Sugar Creek]
map: Sugar Creek

It will be interesting to see what Valdosta’s water quality results at GA 133 for Friday (tomorrow) show.

Meanwhile, there has been no rain since Monday, according to Valdosta’s own rain gauges, which show most recently only a tenth of an inch or less for the morning of December 7, 2020.

So I don’t know what weather had to do with it. Sure, there’s been freezing weather. But those drinking water mains are several feet underground: they couldn’t have frozen.

What caused this water main break, Valdosta?

And we’re all glad it wasn’t a sewer main.

There are more pictures by Scotti Jay Jones on the WWALS website.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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