Category Archives: Quality

FDEP Potable Reuse Workshop 2024-07-15

FDEP has invited all Waterkeepers of Florida to this workshop.

You can attend, too.

[Potable Reuse Workshop 2024-07-15, Florida DEP, Tallahassee and Online, 10 AM EDT]
Potable Reuse Workshop 2024-07-15, Florida DEP, Tallahassee and Online, 10 AM EDT

Workshop Agenda
Monday, July 15, 2024, 10:00 am EDT 
Potable Reuse 

This is a rule development workshop to discuss and receive public input on the development of proposed amendments to portions of Chapters 62-550, 62-555, and 62-610, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), and create a new Chapter 62-565, F.A.C. These amendments and new chapter will create a new set of rules for potable reuse. These changes will simplify and clarify existing rule language and establish requirements for potable reuse. Notices of Rule Development were published in 2023 and 2024. Links to those publications can be found on the Water Resource Management rule development information website.

This meeting is open to the public. DEP is hosting this public workshop in person at Bob Martinez Center, 2600 Blair Stone Road, Room 609, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, as well as virtually via GoToWebinar.  To register for the meeting virtually, please visit the following link:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3655798535631207254. Continue reading

Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers except a hot spot near the Suwannee River 2024-07-11

The Alapaha, Withlacoochee, and Santa Fe Rivers tested clean, except the Santa Fe at Wanamake (Butler) Ramp, a tenth of a mile up from the Suwannee River.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida, but in Georgia, Ashburn had yet another spill.

Saturday is supposed to be sunny, and Sunday it might rain late in the day.

So pick a river at a level you like, and happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend.

Or join us Saturday morning for Sasser Landing Alapaha River Cleanup, 2024-07-13.

[Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-07-11, except a hot spot near the Suwannee]
Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-07-11, except a hot spot near the Suwannee

The Withlacoochee is in Action Stage at North Valdosta Road (US 41) and upstream, and soon will be at Pinetta. The Santa Fe River is still at rock bottom in several places. Continue reading

Bad Franks Creek, unknown rivers, after much rain 2024-07-03

Franks Creek at GA 122 west of Hahira tested far too high for E. coli for Wednesday.

And that’s the smallest set of test results we’ve ever had. Due to the Fourth of July holiday, most of the WWALS testers are on holiday, and Valdosta also did not report any results for this week.

[Bad Franks Creek, Unknown Rivers 2024-07-03 After rain with more rain coming]
Bad Franks Creek, Unknown Rivers 2024-07-03 After rain with more rain coming

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

Since Saturday, there have been as much as 7 inches of rain on the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers and 3 or more on the Little River. More rain is predicted this weekend and all week, although mainly in the evening.

The Withlacoochee was in Action Stage Wednesday at Skipper Bridge, and is right now at North Valdosta Road. At US 84, it looks like maybe it has peaked 5 feet below Action Stage. It’s still rising at Pinetta and Lee, although far below Action Stage.

The Santa Fe River did not get much rain, and in many places such as near Fort White is at its low threshold, as is the Ichetucknee River.

If you want little chance of contamination washed in, and don’t mind really low water, try the Santa Fe or the Ichetucknee Rivers.

So pick your desired water level and tolerance for E. coli risk, and go in the morning. Happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend! Continue reading

Brooks County Industrial Park Maps 2009-03-03

These 120 sheets of detailed 2009 Construction Plans for the Brooks County Industrial Park contain a clue to how the sewer system there is connected to Quitman.

[Construction Plans, Brooks County Industrial Park 2009-03-03, DeVane PlanEng, Brooks County Industrial Authority]
Construction Plans, Brooks County Industrial Park 2009-03-03, DeVane PlanEng, Brooks County Industrial Authority

It turns out the clue is on the 2006 maps, too, but less obvious.

Stay tuned for that connection.

To interpret these sheets, it is useful to know that Prospect Drive is what appears on googlemaps as Fritzke Drive. Aviagen’s chicken incubation plant is south of Prospect Drive, east of GA 333. Continue reading

New Valdosta Directors of Utilities and Public Works 2024-07-01

Congratulations to Jason Barnes on being promoted to Valdosta Director of Utilities after a year as Acting Director.

He has a lot of work left for him by previous city administrations, both in drinking water quality and a planned new well site, and of course in fixing Valdosta’s chronic sewer leaks, overflows, and spills, while expanding the sewer system to accomodate new industry.

[Jason Barnes, Valdosta, Utilities Director 2024-07-01, Water and sewer systems, Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers]
Jason Barnes, Valdosta, Utilities Director 2024-07-01, Water and sewer systems, Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers

The Withlacoochee River gets the most news, because most of Valdosta’s spills have been into creeks that flow into that river. But the collapsed sewer main next to Knights Creek ends up in Mud Swamp Creek, the Alapahoochee River, and the Alapaha River. The city seems to have finally gotten a handle on that one, having replaced most of that sewer main, with the rest to be scheduled as regular repairs instead of expensive emergency fixes.

Nobody is going to be happy until there are no more spills, but I have seen fewer spills that did not last as long since Jason Barnes has been in charge.

About the first thing I heard from him once he became Acting Director was that a sewage spill had contaminated Sugar Creek, so we rerouted from a boating cleanup to an onland cleanup. Jason Barnes showed up in person at that cleanup, where we thanked him for telling us. Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers 2024-06-27

Update 2024-07-05: Bad Franks Creek, unknown rivers, after much rain 2024-07-03.

The Withlacoochee River tested clean for Wednesday and Thursday, and the Santa Fe River for Monday.

Retesting upstream and downstream from the previous One Mile Branch Valdosta Williams Street anomolous results found little to no E. coli.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

The rivers are almost all down to good boating and fishing levels; maybe too low in some areas.

There was rain on the Withlacoochee River in several places over several days, so some contamination may have washed in.

Other than that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

[Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers, but rain 2024-06-27]
Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers, but rain 2024-06-27

Cindy Vedas tested three upstream Withlacoochee sites Thursday.

For Franklinville Road at Tyler Bridge, she got Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers, problem on One Mile Branch 2024-06-19

Update 2024-06-29: Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers 2024-06-27.

With no rain for a further week, the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers tested clean for Wednesday and Thursday. There was an unusual test result for One Mile Branch at Williams Street in Valdosta for Monday.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

The rivers are almost all down to good boating and fishing levels.

There is some chance of rain Saturday and Sunday.

Other than that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

[Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe River 2024-06-20; Problem on One Mile Branch @ Williams Street 2024-06-17]
Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe River 2024-06-20; Problem on One Mile Branch @ Williams Street 2024-06-17

For this Thursday, June 20, Kim Tanner sampled Continue reading

Brooks County Industrial Park: Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water, Sewer

Update 2024-07-04: Brooks County Industrial Park Maps 2009-03-03.

Update 2024-06-21: Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers, problem on One Mile Branch 2024-06-19.

Here’s a map of the sewer system in the Brooks County Industrial Park, plus maps of the water and road systems. These maps were sent by the Brooks County Industrial Authority a couple of years ago in response to a WWALS open records request.

[Brooks County Industrial Park, Sewer System 2006-05-09, Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water]
Brooks County Industrial Park, Sewer System 2006-05-09, Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water

What this industrial park sewer system map does not show is: how does it connect to the rest of Quitman’s sewer system?

How Quitman’s sewer system works and where it is important, because Quitman has had quite a few reported sewage spills; see Quitman: Noncompliance, 9 effluent violations, 5 sewage spills, 11 monitoring violations, 1 reporting violation –GA-EPD Nov 2022 – Oct 2023. Quitman is upstream of the Withlacoochee River, and some of its former spills have quite likely travelled all the way down the Suwannee River to the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading

Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe Rivers except @ US 129 2024-06-13

Update 2024-06-21: Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers, problem on One Mile Branch 2024-06-19.

With no rain for a week, four rivers tested clean, except the Santa Fe River at US 129 (Guy Lemmon) Ramp was above the one-time limit for E. coli.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

The rivers are mostly down to good boating and fishing levels.

There is some chance of rain Sunday.

Other than that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

Oh, and welcome back WWALS tester Cindy Vedas, and first-time tester Mark Coppage.

[Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers except at US 129 2024-06-13]
Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers except at US 129 2024-06-13

Cindy Vedas sampled Thursday at two upstream sites on the Withlacoochee River, and got zero E. coli at both.

About Staten Road, she wrote, Continue reading

Quitman, GA, utility maps 2022-01-03

Update 2024-06-15: Brooks County Industrial Park: Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water, Sewer 2006-05-09.

These are some sewer and water system maps obtained from the City of Quitman in January 2022 in response to a WWALS open records request.

The March 1986 map by Smith and Gillespie Engineers, Inc. is the easiest to read. Unfortunately, most of the numbers of the lift stations seem to have changed since then.

[Lift Station Scan March 1986]
Lift Station Scan March 1986
PDF

The most informative map is dated March 28, 2019, by Tindall Enterprises, Inc. It has updated numbers for the lift stations that may be current. This matters for determining where reported sewage spills are, and what watersheds they drain into. Continue reading