Tifton Sewage Spills 2021-02-16

Update 2021-02-26: And more Tifton spills, two days later; Tifton Spills, Little River, New River 2021-02-18.

Update 2021-02-21: Nothing obvious related to the Tifton spills in downstream testing; see Clean downstream Friday Withlacoochee River 2021-02-19.

The City of Tifton spilled three places, for a total of 35,500 gallons of raw sewage, Sunday and Tuesday, February 14 and 16, 2021. Why? “Wet weather.” It’s true that an inch of rain fell on Tifton Saturday, an inch and a half Sunday, and almost another inch Tuesday.

Any spill is too many. However, these were all so far upstream that probably will not show up in any of the downstream water quality testing currently going on. It would be good to get some testing on the Little River between Tifton and Reed Bingham State Park to see if Tifton Spills reach that park.

[Spills, Locations]
Spills, Locations

One spill location was repeated: Agrirama Lake, which drains into the Little River. Tifton previously spilled there in 2015, 2016, and 2018. See All Sewage Spills GA EPD 2015-2018.

2021-02-18–GA-EPD-Sewage-Spills-Report.html by WWALS Watershed Coalition; see https://wwals.net/issues/vww/ga-spills
Posting Date[2021-02-17] WWALS logo Suwannee Riverkeeper logo
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Tifton, City of (New River WPCP)2021-02-16TiftTifton 414 E. 18th St Tifton 1,000Raw SewageGA0048470Collection SystemWet weatherSuwanneeTributary into New River
Tifton, City of (New River WPCP)2021-02-14TiftTifton1392 Whiddon Mill Rd24,000Raw SewageGA0048470Collection SystemWet weatherSuwanneeAgrirama Lake
Tifton, City of (New River WPCP)2021-02-14TiftTifton 2406 N. Ridge Ave. 10,500Raw SewageGA0048470Collection SystemWet weatherSuwanneeunnamed tributary to New River

Two locations are apparently new: 2406 N. Ridge Ave., right next to what I’m calling Park Avenue Creek, which drains into the New River, and 414 E. 18th Street, which drains into some unnamed tributary of the New River.

Tifton has, however, spilled several times before on Ridge Ave., including more than once at its lift station at the corner of 26th Street and Ridge Ave., half a block from this week’s spill.

[Map: Locations of new Tifton spills]
Map: Locations of new Tifton spills, in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

The Little River runs through Reed Bingham State Park on the way to the Withlacoochee River at Troupville, just west of Valdosta, in Lowndes County.

[Map: Tifton, Little River, Reed Bingham State Park]
Map: Tifton, Little River, Reed Bingham State Park

The New River eventually joins the Withlacoochee River in Berrien County.

[Map: Tifton, New River, Withlacoochee River]
Map: Tifton, New River, Withlacoochee River

At least Tifton reported these spills within a few days. They showed up in the Sewage Spill Report of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division yesterday, and WWALS software noticed and alerted us. Maybe the State of Georgia could provide such an alert method for everyone, like the State of Florida already does.

[Three Tifton spill locations]
Three Tifton spill locations; see GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report differences by WWALS 2021-02-18.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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