Yes, another one. Fifth Valdosta sewage spill this year in about the same location, into Knights Creek, which goes into Mud Swamp Creek, the Alapahoochee River, the Alapaha River, and the Suwannee.
I do give credit to the City of Valdosta for limiting it to only 15,000 gallons (although that is still a major spill), and for getting the press release out the next day, and before 5PM. WWALS received it at 2:01 PM.
However, as I told WTXL after one of the previous spills, “There have been a number of things they’ve done better lately, they don’t have as bad or as frequent spills as they used to. The ideal number however is none.”
FYI, this spill is not yet in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report.
And looking forward to some new results showing up in Valdosta’s 2023 Knight’s Creek Biological Monitoring Results.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Wednesday, August 23, 2023
CONTACT: Sharah Denton, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
Telephone: (229) 259-3548
Bypass Pump Causes Spillage
On August 22nd, 2023, during routine inspections of manholes upstream of the recent collapsed 20″ sanitary sewer main, city staff observed a wastewater overflow near the 1800 block of East Park Avenue. Upon investigation, it was determined that a failure of the bypass pumping operation was the likely the cause of the spill. City staff and a local contractor continue to work around the clock to stop and prevent any spills. An estimated 15,000 gallons of wastewater was released into the wetland watershed area adjacent to Knights Creek. City staff immediately began cleanup and disinfecting at the overflow location. All appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified, and warning signs have been posted.
Preventing sewer spills has been, 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 Watershed Sampling Program that tests waters at different locations on the Suwanee River Basin including the Withlacoochee River, Alapahoochee River and their tributaries. The city also continues 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, please contact the City of Valdosta Utilities Department, Environmental Division at 229-259-3592.
For more about sewage spills and the WWALS volunteer water quality monitoring pr
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®