Three small Valdosta spills into Three Mile Branch, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-27

Update 2024-03-06: WTXL TV report and Pictures: Valdosta WWTP water quality lab ribbon cutting 2024-03-05.

Update 2024-03-01: Clean rivers and creek 2024-02-28.

Update 2024-02-29: Added Valdosta Press Release.

Yesterday, we received an alert from the landowner at 215 Knob Hill Road that yet another spill was happening there. He copied Valdosta Utilities. By the time I called Utilities a minute later, Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes said he was busy figuring it out and could not talk right then.

This morning I called Jason Barnes again. No, they did not find the cause. However, next week they will “jet from Williamsburg to Knob Hill” That means clean the sewer line.

[Three small Valdosta Sewage Spills into Three Mile Branch 2024-02-27: 1500 gallons each @ 215 Knob Hill Road, 300 Knob Hill, & 1016 Williamsburg Drive 2024-02-27]
Three small Valdosta Sewage Spills into Three Mile Branch 2024-02-27: 1500 gallons each @ 215 Knob Hill Road, 300 Knob Hill, & 1016 Williamsburg Drive 2024-02-27

Jason Barnes says the City of Valdosta will issue a press release. But I’ve got stuff to do this afternoon, so here’s what he told me.

Yesterday’s spills were 1500 gallons each from three locations, 215 Knob Hill, and two overflow locations: 300 Knob Hill (the next house downhill) and 1016 Williamsburg (across the ditch from Knob Hill). So that’s 4,500 gallons total, all into Three Mile Branch.

Yes, Three Mile Branch flows into the Withlacoochee River along the path of the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle this Saturday. However, that amount of sewage should be diluted and washed away by Saturday.

These spills are after the 100-gallon Knob Hill Road spill of February 20 and the 100,000-gallon spill there on January 10, 2024.

We appreciate the hard work of Valdosta Utilities about these spills.

However, nobody is going to be satisfied until there are no more spills.

Until there are no more, everybody please keep sending in alerts about sewer spills, and WWALS will be watching.

The Valdosta Press Release

The Valdosta PR finally arrived at 7:38 PM.

It has significantly less information than I already posted: no overflows.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE
DATE: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
CONTACT: Sharah Denton, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
Telephone: (229) 259-3548
sdenton@valdostacity.com

Sanitary Sewer Line Obstruction Causes Spill

On February 27th, 2024, at 11:30am, the Utility Central Lines Personnel were dispatched to investigate a potential sewer overflow at 215 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. The overflow was caused by an unknown obstruction, which was quickly removed by Central Lines crew using high-pressure jetting. The Sanitary Sewer overflow stopped at 12:30 pm the same day, releasing approximately 1500 gallons into a drainage ditch that discharges into the Withlacoochee River. All appropriate agencies have been notified and upon clearing the obstruction, City staff began cleaning and sanitation of the site. The site will be monitored, and any future cleaning and sanitizing of the site will be done as needed.

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.

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 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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