Update 2022-08-12: Another Sheri Run sewage spill, 2022-08-03.
Update 2022-07-29: Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-07-28.
Valdosta had an 840-gallon sewage spill Monday, July 25, 2022. It probably did not affect the Withlacoochee River, but nearby residents may be concerned.
It was about 400 feet upstream on Sheri Run from the Baytree Road spill of July 9th.
We know this because Valdosta’s vague “1600 block of Springhill Drive” actually applies to only one house lot. Valdosta says they stopped the discharge and started cleanup and disinfection. But they also said it was “a periodic discharge” when the discovered it. How long had it been discharging? The sewage probably had little if any effect on the Withlacoochee River, but people on Springhill Drive and around Lake Sheri may be concerned.
We know the “the local tributary” is what we call Sheri Run, because that’s what runs by there on our map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT). The spill was about 1,000 feet upstream from Lake Sheri, which in turn drains into the Withlacoochee River upstream of I-75, GA 133, and the future site of Troupville River Camp and the Little River Confluence.
Valdosta Press Release, received 8:05 AM this morning, Wednesday, July 27, 2022, Ruptured Sewer Line Causes Discharge, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Tuesday, July 26, 2022
CONTACT: Sharah Denton, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
Telephone: (229) 259-3548
Ruptured Sewer Line Causes Discharge
During a routine inspection on Monday, July 25th, 2022, a City of Valdosta employee noticed a possible sewer issue at the 1600 block of Springhill Drive. Upon investigation, it was determined that a ruptured sewer line caused a periodic discharge and an estimated 840 gallons was released into the local tributary. City staff were able to stop the discharge and began cleanup and disinfecting this location. 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 down the Withlacoochee river 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 insure each house has their 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.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®