Updates on Homerville, Quitman, Tifton, and Valdosta in GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report 2024-04-11

Update 2024-04-26: Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers 2024-04-25.

Update 2024-04-18: Dirty creeks, but clean rivers 2024-04-17.

The Tuesday and Wednesday GA-EPD Sewage Spills Reports provide updates about the spills during and after last week’s thunderstorms.

Tifton’s biggest spill was 40,400 gallons, which is four times the limit for a major spill, and GA-EPD still is confused about where it was.

Rochelle’s spill was only 3,000 gallons. No sewage spill is a good spill, but at least that one was small.

Quitman had three, not two, spills, although they were all small and not near Okapilco Creek.

We guessed correctly where the Homerville spill was.

And while latitudes and longitudes appeared again briefly, many of them are inaccurate, for Tifton, and especially for Valdosta. Even Valdosta’s 6.7 million gallon WWTP spill has slightly wrong latitude and longitude.

We know where they all were, and WWALS has been doing some water quality testing. Stay tuned for results.

[Updates on Homerville, Quitman, Tifton, and Valdosta in GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report 2024-04-16-17]
Updates on Homerville, Quitman, Tifton, and Valdosta in GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report 2024-04-16-17

The Tuesday report provides 5,000 gallons for the Rochelle spill.

For the Tifton spills, it provides 7,000 gallons at 2406 N Ridge Ave. and 40,400 gallons at 809 E Golden Road.

There’s nothing new about the Ashburn spill, but here’s a map:

[Map: Ashburn spill in ARWT]
Map: Ashburn spill in the WWALS map of the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT)

The Wednesday report confirms the location of the Homerville spill: at “the manhole inside the fence at the main lift station at the WWTP, 245 E. Forest Ave. –Main LS Manhole by Dickerson St.”

[Map: Homerville spill in SRWT]
Map: Homerville spill in the WWALS map of the Suwannee River Water Trail (SRWT)

It provides numbers of gallons for not two but three Quitman spills, all less than 10,000 gallons, and all on streets rather far from Okapilco Creek. 1100 Forsyth Street is apparently across from 1101 Forsyth Street, which is behind the Dollar General.

[Map: Quitman spills in WLRWT]
Map: Quitman spills in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT)

GA-EPD’s April 16, 2024, Sewage Spills Report, like on a few days before, contains columns for latitude and longitude.

Those coordinates for Ashburn, Homerville, and Rochelle are correct.

Unfortunately, many others are incorrect.

This is a problem for people downstream known which spills might affect them.

There are two place confusions for Tifton.

  • The latlong for the Tifton 7,000-gallon 2406 N Ridge Ave. spill places it on the UGA Tifton campus, on the wrong side of town and in the wrong watershed (Little instead of New River). Actually, it’s at the site of a previous spill on the north side of town.
  • While the latlong for the Tifton 40,400-gallon 809 E Golden Road spill matches the street address, the “WATERWAY IMPACTED” is still given as the Little River, instead of where it is, near Gum Creek, which runs into the New River.


[Map: Tifton E. Golden Road spill in WLRWT]
Map: Tifton E. Golden Road spill in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT)

The Valdosta spills are reported affecting the correct waterways. Well, except the big one at the WWTP could say Spring Branch to Withlacoochee River. Maybe Valdosta can put such waterways in its next sewage spill press release.

But many of the Valdosta latlongs are inaccurate.

  • The one for 112 Wainwright Dr is not on Wainwright Drive.
  • The one for 1402 N Lee St is on the other side of the Lee Street detention pond from that street address.
  • The one for 215 Knob Hill Dr [sic: Road] is in the woods of Langdale Park, not near a Valdosta sewer line.
  • The one for 2509 Seymour St is actually on University Drive.
  • The one for the 6,700,000-gallon spill at 3108 Wetherington Lane is somewhat down Spring Branch, across Wetherington Lane from the WWTP that spilled.

Maybe that’s why GA-EPD does not yet want to publish latitudes and longitudes: Valdosta is not reporting them correctly.

This map highlights the more likely location of the 150,000-gallon Wainwright Drive spill. The much larger 6,700,000-gallon spill happened at the WWTP, towards the bottom left of the map.

[Map: Valdosta spills in WLRWT]
Map: Valdosta spills in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT)

 -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!