Daily Archives: July 21, 2023

Clean Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, but warning 2023-07-20

Update 2023-07-29: Clean Withlacoochee River, filthy Crawford and Sugar Creeks 2023-07-28.

Update 2023-07-22: Valdosta sewage spills bad for people, wildlife, economy –Suwannee Riverkeeper on WTXL.TV 2023-07-21.

The Alapaha, Little, and Withlacoochee Rivers tested good for Thursday in WWALS sampling. But there are ongoing effects from a couple of Valdosta sewage spills, plus a new one from Quitman.

Valdosta Utilities tells us of some disturbing results on Sugar Creek, downstream of the Valdosta spill of July 17th and upstream of the Withlacoochee River. (I would publish those test results, but I do not have them in writing.)

Because of those results, we have converted tomorrow’s cleanup paddle to an on-land cleanup.

If you do paddle this weekend, I recommend the Little or Alapaha Rivers, or the Ichetucknee, Santa Fe, or Suwannee.

Also, Quitman had a 12,500 gallon sewage spill on July 11th that was just reported today. That goes into Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River.

No other sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide Map 2023-07-20]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide Map 2023-07-20

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for Monday upstream and Wednesday a week ago downstream. For Monday Valdosta got way-too-high results for US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on the Withlacoochee River. WWALS got a much better result for Thursday at US 41. We did not test at GA 133 or US 84, expecting to get Valdosta’s Wednesday results. No such luck.

FYI, GA 133 is on the route the Valdosta Mayor and City Council member were supposed to paddle with us tomorrow. You’d think Valdosta would have tested and reported in a timely manner before that. But they did not.

Meanwhile, Valdosta’s followup testing after its July 6, 2023, 194,251-gallon raw sewage spill into Knights Creek keeps showing way too-high Fecal coliform and E. coli downstream on Knights Creek, which is upstream of the Alapahoochee, Alapaha, and Suwannee Rivers. I have to wonder whether Valdosta has had more spills that it has not reported, possibly because it does not know about them. Continue reading

Reroute: Sugar Creek and Troupville Withlacoochee River on-land cleanup 2023-07-22

Update 2023-07-22:Pictures: Sugar Creek Withlacoochee River on-land cleanup 2023-07-22.

Due to bad water quality reports for Sugar Creek heard from the City of Valdosta, we are revising the cleanup from a paddle to an on-land cleanup. Please come to Sugar Creek at 9AM to hear where we will go from there.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 1 PM, Saturday, July 22, 2023

Where: Meet at the back of the Salty Snapper parking lot, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602 and we’ll go to appropriate locations from there.

GPS: 30.861764, -83.318854

[At Langdale Park Boat Ramp: Caution Sewage Spill City of Valdosta --Bobby McKenzie 2023-07-21]
At Langdale Park Boat Ramp: Caution Sewage Spill City of Valdosta –Bobby McKenzie 2023-07-21

Bring: Cleanup materials will be provided, but if you’ve got a trash picker, bring it along. Bring sturdy shoes and clothes, drinking water, and snacks.

There is no need to bring a boat. Continue reading

Packet: Levy County Planning Commission, with 3RT Sand Mine Special Exception application 2023-07-10

Update 2023-07-23: Levy County 3RT Sand Mine is in Springshed of Rainbow Springs 2023-07-23.

Only one Levy County Planning Commissioner, a former miner, voted against recommending a Special Exception for a proposed 1,100-acre sand mine, after 70 people testified for four hours under oath that the mine is a bad idea in a rural residential agricultural area.

The county mailed about 2,800 notices in April to residences within two miles of the site, because of the large number of truck trips that would be required, about one every 90 seconds.

When this case comes up before the Board of County Commissioners of Levy County, I recommend interested parties show up and speak. And meanwhile send them a letter or call them.

If approved, this mine will be there for 40 years, and maybe 100 years.

[Collage, 3RT Sand Mine, Levy Count Planning Commission Packet 2023-07-10]

This case will not be heard by the Levy County Commission at its next meeting on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, because on July 18th the Planning & Zoning Office received official notice from the 3RT Sand Mine (SE 23-01) applicant, Ryan Thomas, requesting a continuation to a date uncertain to have time to assess the project with the Planning Commission conditions.

This is a standard developer tactic: delay hoping the opposition will forget. I recommend the opposition keep on it.

The Levy County parcels of the mine site and other parcels proposed for access are shown in yellow on this map. Manatee Spring on the Suwannee River is highlighted towards the left. Levy County staff wrote, “e) Site is not located within one mile corridor (one-half mile on either side) of known geological features with the potential to Impact Manatee Springs or Fanning Springs. Additional study is not recommended to be required.” Apparently the staff believe what DNM Engineering & Associates, Inc., told them on behalf of the miners. I’d prefer to see further study. Continue reading