Update 2022-07-27: Valdosta Sewage Spill, Sheri Run, Springhill Drive 2022-07-27.
Update 2022-07-15: Withlacoochee River OK, Cat Creek bad 2022-07-14.
Compliments to Valdosta Utilities for a speedy fix to the Sewer spill at Baytree Road trash trap 2022-07-09. If it really was only 200 gallons, probably very little of it got through Lake Sheri into the Withlacoochee River.
I commend the Valdosta PIO for getting a press release out on a Sunday. WWALS received the press release below at 10:14 PM yesterday, Sunday, July 10, 2022. That’s about 29 hours after Valdosta Utilities got the report of the sewage spill. And about 3 hours after Valdosta City Council Andy Gibbs replied to my tag of him on a facebook picture with the text of this PR. Still, it’s only the day after the spill, so pretty good. Nobody probably liked working on a weekend; I know I had to bump back some other stuff to deal with this spill, including getting up at 3AM to finish preparations for a board meeting. But weather and sewage spills don’t wait on weekends or vacations.
Meanwhile, this PR is still not on
the city’s website, facebook, or twitter.
Update 2022-07-12 Council Andy Gibbs points out it is on the city’s website; turns out you can find it from the front page by drilling down on Recent News; I had tried the front page and the Utilities page.
As the location it gives only vague “2000 block of Baytree Road”,
even though it’s pretty hard to miss that decade-old fancy-model
trash trap on Sheri Run above Lake Sheri, at 2133 Baytree Road, Valdosta, GA 31602.
More sewage across Baytree Road trash trap; Photo: Bobby McKenzie, July 9, 2022.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Friday[sic], July 10, 2022
CONTACT: Sharah Denton, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
Telephone: (229) 259-3548
On Saturday, July 9, 2022, the City of Valdosta received notification of a possible overflow at the 2000 block of Baytree Road. Upon investigation, it was determined that a partially collapsed sewer line caused the overflow and allowed an estimated 200 gallons of discharge. City staff stopped the overflow and set up a bypass pump to start repairing the line. Staff immediately began cleanup and disinfecting at this overflow location as well. All appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified, and warning signs have been posted.
Preventing sewer spills has and will continue to be the city’s top priority through the ongoing Collection System Rehab Program which includes Manhole Rehab, the Smoke Testing Program, Sewer Main Lining, and Sewer Main Replacement. In addition, the Utilities Department has an ongoing River Sampling Program that tests waters at different locations and has continued to install generators at the lift stations to ensure uninterrupted operation during power failures.
In addition to the programs listed above, in 2020, the Utilities Department initiated two additional programs, The “Creek Crossing” program and the “Cap the Cleanout” program, to help locate Infiltration and Inflow in the Collection System as well. These programs are designed to specifically check each manhole and/or sewer line on or near water to verify proper operation and go door to door to ensure each house has its cleanout cap installed and the cleanout is in working order.
The city will continue its ongoing efforts to improve the infrastructure of the sewer system to eliminate these issues in the future. For more information, contact the Utilities Department Environmental Manager Scott Fowler at 229-259-3592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharah’ N. Denton, M.S.
Community Relations & Marketing Manager
“A City Without Limits”
P.O. Box 1125
Valdosta, GA 31603
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®