Update 2024-01-24: More about the Valdosta Knob Hill or Williamsburg Drive sewage spill 2024-01-10.
Update 2024-01-18: According to Valdosta Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes, the spill really was from a manhole at 213 Knob Hill Drive, but it was not due to a collapsed sewer line; actually there were rocks in the pipe.
Update 2024-01-13: Dirty Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers 2024-01-11.
Valdosta yesterday reported a massive sewage spill from a collapsed sewer line into Three Mile Branch, through Langdale Park, into the Withlacoochee River.
I compliment the City of Valdosta on getting a bypass pump there to deal with the situation.
And I compliment the City for a specific location, 213 Knob Hill Drive. However, that is where the report came from that caused Valdosta Utilities to investigate. By the description in the press release of “a manhole overflowing from the backside of Williamsburg Drive”, it would appear the manhole was actually at 2019 Williamsburg Drive.
“The Sanitary Sewer overflow stopped at 12:30 am on January 12, 2024, releasing approximately 100,000 gallons into a drainage ditch that discharges into the Withlacoochee River.”
Two ditches actually go into Three Mile Branch which goes to the Withlacoochee River, but I compliment the City on saying which river is affected.
However, in addition to being ten times the 10,000 gallons required for a major spill, that 100,000 gallons is an awful round number. And while the City provides a stop date and time for the spill, they don’t really say when it started, just when it was reported. So that manhole could have been spewing sewage for quite a while at 2019 Williamsburg Drive before somebody at 213 Knob Hill Drive noticed and reported it.
This appears to be the location of “a manhole overflowing from the backside of Williamsburg Drive”, at 2019 Williamsburg Drive.
According to VALORGIS, there is a Valdosta sewer line running under that manhole.
The spill is marked by the yellow diamond on this map. You can see the ditch between the houses, leading into a ditch between Williamsburg Drive and Knob Hill Road. Slightly down and to the left, the first house with a swimming pool is 213 Knob Hill Drive, where the spill was reported. Slightly farther down is Three Mile Branch.
Three Mile Branch runs 3/4 of a mile from the spill location through Langdale Park down to the Withlacoochee River.
Here is all of Langdale Park, including Langdale Park Boat Ramp towards the upper left, starting point of the March 2, 2024, Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle.
This map shows Langdale Park to Sugar Creek, the early takeout for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, 2024-03-02.
And this map shows the entire route of the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Troupville Boat Ramp.
Received 3:34 PM, Friday, January 12, 2024.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Friday, January 12, 2024
CONTACT: Sharah Denton, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
Telephone: (229) 259-3548
Collapsed Sewer Line Causes Spill
On January 10th, 2024, at 4:00 pm, Utility Central Lines Personnel were dispatched to investigate a potential sewer overflow at 213 Knob Hill Drive. During this inspection, they found a Sanitary Sewer manhole overflowing from the backside of Williamsburg Drive. All Utility divisions were immediately notified and began investigating the cause of the overflow. It was discovered that a sewer line had collapsed.
This required the installation of a bypass pump system to allow personnel access to repair the issue. The Sanitary Sewer overflow stopped at 12:30 am on January 12, 2024, releasing approximately 100,000 gallons into a drainage ditch that discharges into the Withlacoochee River. The Utilities department is currently updating aging infrastructure, managing various programs, and developing new action plans to limit and prevent Sanitary Sewer Overflows in Valdosta.
The City of Valdosta continues to dedicate significant resources into preventing Sanitary Sewer overflows. Currently the Utilities department is not only updating aging infrastructure but also managing a multitude of programs and developing new plans of action to limit and prevent Sanitary Sewer overflows in the City of Valdosta. If you would like more information about these programs or how you can contribute, please contact the City of Valdosta Utilities Department, Environmental Division, at 229-259-3592.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®