Valdosta sewage into One Mile Branch 2023-06-21

Update 2023-06-26: Valdosta Williams Street One Mile Branch Sewage Spill Sign 2023-06-26.

Valdosta had a sewage spill starting Wednesday and did not tell the public until Saturday at 5:14 PM.

[Map: One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2023-06-24]
Map: One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2023-06-24 in the WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail
All the yellow diamonds indicate earlier Valdosta sewage spills.

Where on the more than three-mile-long One Mile Branch the spill occurred was not mentioned in the Valdosta press release. This is perhaps the most vague sewage spill press release ever from Valdosta, with no location even as precise as a block, no estimate of how much sewage was spilled, and no indication of how long it had been going on.

I have inquired about those things.

It’s good that WWALS rescheduled our chainsaw cleanup that was going to be today, on the Withlacoochee River downstream from Sugar Creek and One Mile Branch, where the spill happened.

The City of Valdosta Press Release

DATE: Saturday, June 24, 2023
CONTACT: Sharah Denton, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
Telephone: (229) 259-3548

Collapsed Sanitary Sewer Main infiltrates Storm Sewer and One-Mile Branch Creek

On Wednesday, June 21, 2023, the City of Valdosta Utilities Department received a call about murky water coming from a storm drain into One-Mile Branch Creek. After an intensive investigation and video inspections, the City Utilities Department located a collapse in an eight-inch sanitary sewer main. Due to the collapse and its proximity to an underground storm sewer main, sewer water had infiltrated the storm pipe, and subsequently, a diluted undetermined amount discharged from this storm pipe into One-Mile Branch Creek.

As a safety precaution, the Utilities Department hired a local contractor to plug the storm drain, and rerouted the discharge to the nearby sanitary sewer system until repairs are complete Saturday, June 24, 2023. Georgia EPD has been notified of the issue, and signs were posted nearby at One-Mile Branch Creek to alert citizens to avoid the creek until further notice.

Sewer system rehabilitation and preventing sewer spills has been, and will continue to be, the city’s top priority through the ongoing Collection System Maintenance 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 to ensure 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 Utilities Director Brad Eyre, at 229-259-3592 or

Sharah’ N. Denton, M.S.
Community Relations & Marketing Manager
“A City Without Limits”
P.O. Box 1125
Valdosta, GA 31603
Cell: 229-251-4779
Office: 229.259.3548

Some Questions

I took the City of Valdosta up on their offer, and sent them some questions:

Thanks for the press release.

A few details seem to have been omitted.

One Mile Branch is more than three miles long.

Where is “this storm pipe into One-Mile Branch Creek”?

Where are the signs posted?

Does “until repairs are complete Saturday, June 24, 2023” mean that repairs are complete today?

I will post any replies I get.

For context, here is a map from One Mile Branch to the Suwannee River.

[Map: Withlacoochee River from Valdosta to Suwannee River 2023-06-24]
Map: Withlacoochee River from Valdosta to Suwannee River 2023-06-24 in the WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!