Tag Archives: Alligator Creek

Spill from Chemours Trail Ridge South TiO2 mine SE of Starke, FL 2024-01-30

Update 2024-02-03: Clean Santa Fe and Withlacoochee Rivers 2024-02-01.

The Chemours Trail Ridge South titanium dioxide mine yesterday and today spilled Stormwater or Process water.

This is according to a report this afternoon in the daily Pollution Notice by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

Chemours says there was no problem:

Water from reclamation cell was not contained and turbid water left the permitted facility and entered adjacent wetland. This water does not contain any hazardous materials. upon discovery, dozers reinforced the berm to contain water. Monitoring and assessment ini

Yes, it really ends in the middle of a word. Probably we will request the followup test results from FDEP.

[Stormwater or Process water spill from Chemours Trail Ridge South TiO2 mine, Starke, FL 2024-01-30-31]
Stormwater or Process water spill from Chemours Trail Ridge South TiO2 mine, Starke, FL 2024-01-30-31

So where did this wastewater go? The report includes latitude and longitude: 29.906479033014865, -82.0576515197747.

That turns out to be more than a mile from the Chemours Trail Ridge South Mine, and almost a mile from the Trail Ridge Mine. The report does not explain why so far. Continue reading

Pictures: Griffis to Fargo, Suwannee River 2022-12-29

Update 2023-01-12: Suwannee River Chainsaw Cleanup Again 2023-01-28.

This chainsaw cleanup finished well before dark, Suwannee River, Griffis to Fargo 2022-12-29. Thanks, TJ Johnson for leading it, and Shirley Kokidko for getting the wettest.

[Griffis, Deadfall, Gauge, Fargo 2022-12-29]
Griffis, Deadfall, Gauge, Fargo 2022-12-29

The Fargo gauge was about 2.47 feet (93.07′ NAVD88) and the Above Fargo gauge was about 4.93′ (95.93′ NAVD88).

We found one deadfall already cut and we cut another one.

We found three more: one to duck and float under, one to drag under to the left, and one requiring portage. We shall return.

We saw the mysteriously-placed Suwannee River above Fargo Gauge. The GOPRO360 photographed three creeks: Jones (or Tatum) Creek, Sweetwater Creek, and Alligator Creek, or at least those look like creek mouths more or less where USGS thinks they are.

We saw a new-to-us private landing and got pictures of it and the six others between Griffis Fish Camp and Fargo Ramp.

Also the closed bats-in-the-belfry Suwannee River Visitor Center at Fargo. Continue reading

Good river water quality 2022-09-01

Update 2022-09-09: Tifton sewage spill, Little River 2022-09-04.

All WWALS water quality results for Thursday came in below the one-time test limit of 410 cfu/100 mL. There has been rain, but not as much as it usually takes to wash significant contamination into the rivers. More rain is predicted for the next week, but no more than what we’ve seen this week.

Ashburn got around to reporting two sewage spills this week, but those are both old and on Hat Creek, far upstream from the top of the Alapaha River Water Trail, so probably they did not have much effect on that river.

Starke reported a sewage spill from two manholes, but it was small and not near a waterbody, so it probably had no effect on the Santa Fe River.

So by what we know today, happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend. Conditions could change rapidly, of course.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

Thanks to Continue reading

Bad downstream Withlacoochee River 2022-03-24

Update 2022-04-02: Surprisingly Clean Withlacoochee River 2022-04-01.

Swimming, fishing, boating, not recommended on the Withlacoochee River this weekend, due to E. coli tested by WWALS at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps for Thursday. It may all wash away soon, or it may not.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide]
Chart, River, Swim Guide

Also note that after the previous weekend’s heavy rains, Valdosta tested high Fecal coliform upstream at US 41 and GA 133. Probably that will also show up in Valdosta Friday results when we get them. In between, Valdosta upstream results were OK, but then it rained hard Wednesday and Thursday. Continue reading

Detail of Sewage Spills: Valdosta, GA * 8, Starke, FL * 6, 2021-07-08

Update 2021-07-09: Bad Elsa aftermath, water quality, Withlacoochee River 2021-07-08.

The Valdosta spills actually add up to 90,300 gallons of raw sewage from seven locations, mostly in the Withlacoochee River Basin, but one into the Alapaha River Basin. Or more spills, since we have a report of one more that the city limed but did not include in its list of spills.

The Starke spills apparently came from six locations, probably adding up to 45,000 gallons of raw sewage, all uphill from Alligator Creek 00277787, above Lake Rowell, Lake Sampson, Sampson River, Santa Fe River.

[Valdosta spills, Starke spills and mines]
Valdosta spills, Starke spills and mines during Tropical Storm Elsa 2021-07-07

Still, the good news is that there were no spills from Valdosta’s two wastewater treatment plants, and the new WWTP catch basin is only half full (so far). Plus, the Mayor of Valdosta called to let us know about these spills. And he says the notorious Wainwright Drive manhole on Onemile Branch is finally getting some attention. Oh, and for once there was no spills reported on Mildred Street.

See also the previous WWALS blog post.

Valdosta Spills

Here is the Valdosta Press Release about their spills. I have added which [waterbody] the spill was on or uphill from. GA-EPD still has not posted Valdosta’s spill reports in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report.

The WWALS maps show where the spills were, as near as I could read the tea leaves of Valdosta’s vague “200 block” location reporting. They know the exact latitude and longitude of the affected manholes. Why don’t they include that?

Note that Valdosta’s list does not include a spill that Valdosta limed, between Continue reading

Sewage Spills: Valdosta, GA, Starke, FL 2021-07-08

Update 2021-07-09: Detail of Sewage Spills: Valdosta, GA * 8, Starke, FL * 6, 2021-07-08

Two cities spilled sewage during Tropical Storm Elsa: Starke, Florida, and Valdosta, Georgia.

The good news: there were no spills from Valdosta’s two wastewater treatment plants, and the new WWTP catch basin is only half full (so far). Plus, the Mayor of Valdosta called to let us know about these spills.

The bad news: Valdosta spilled 89,980 gallons of raw sewage from at least six manholes, and Starke spilled probably 40,000 gallons or more from at least six locations. At least one of the Valdosta spills was from a repeated spill offender we have complained about many times: Wainwright Drive on Onemile Branch.

[Closed manhole at 1208 Wainwright Drive]
Closed manhole at 1208 Wainwright Drive

The other Valdosta spills apparently went into either Twomile Branch or Sugar Creek upstream from the Withlacoochee River, and two possibly into creeks in the Alapaha River Basin. Can’t tell without more precise locations.

A press release is expected soon from Valdosta. I will probably follow up with that and which waterways were affected. Maybe GA-EPD will post Valdosta’s spill reports in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report.

The Starke spills were all into or near Alligator Creek 00277787, into Lake Rowell, Lake Sampson, Sampson River, Santa Fe River.

Valdosta Spills

Thanks to Valdosta Mayor Scott James for forwarding this message from Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber: Continue reading

Consent Order, FDEP v. Chemours involving Twin Pines Minerals 2019-02-07

Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) is cited in a consent order on Chemours mines, for failure to collect data, spilling waste through silt fences and not cleaning it up, and being out of compliance on numerous counts, including radium and iron, in the Suwannee, St. Johns, and St. Mary’s River basins in Florida.

[Four times spelled out]
Four times spelled out, on four different pages

This is the same TPM that has applied to mine titanium in Charlton County, Georgia, near the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Mary’s Rivers.

[TPM, GA and Chemours FL mines]
TPM, GA and Chemours FL mines

You can read the Consent Order yourself: Continue reading

SRWMD Board in Starke 2018-12-11

Deviating from its usual practice of meeting in Live Oak, it’s going to Starke, the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) Board, Tuesday of next week, 9AM December 11, 2018, at the Governor Charley Johns Conference Center, 1610 N. Temple Avenue, Starke, FL.

I don’t see anything on the agenda especially about Bradford County, except tacked onto the end as open to the public “Following Board Meeting”: “• Projects Tour in Starke”.

I’m guessing that refers to the tree clearing project approved as an emergency several months ago, at the request of the Bradford BOCC, due to expected rains.

According to Kevin Flavin, Project Manager and Professional Water Resources Engineer,

Projects, Tour
Follow this link for an interactive google map by WWALS.

Two stops are to Continue reading

Bradford BOCC 2018-09-04

All the public speakers were against the phosphate mine. Before the Commissioners decided, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson spoke about rain, the Chemours mine, and how what Bradford County does affects her business downstream. (I think Stasia Rudolph also spoke before I got there.) After some confusion on timing, afterwards Marc Lyons reminded them Citizens Against Phosphate Mines (CAPM) is ready to sue, and Kate Ellison said she hopes this means we will all see the consultant’s report before the public hearings. I sent a letter and a resolution the previous day and gave them paper copies.

The actual decision was much better than expected. While some Commissioners wanted to hold Continue reading

Suwannee River Basin Maps

Update 2019-02-13: And a version with Landings. See also Water Trails, with more detailed maps and access points.

Nobody seems to have done this, so we did: a map of the Suwannee River Basin, with the major watersheds and the Estuary shaded, and all the major rivers, plus many of the creeks. Bonus: springs! Narrow, Suwannee River Basin Click on this link for an interactive google map of the Suwannee River Basin.

The river traces come from USGS and Chris Graham. The watershed boundaries are from USGS. The springs are from the Florida Springs Institute, plus four Georgia springs collected by WWALS.

The eight-digit hydrologic unit codes (HUC8) for the Suwannee River Basin are: Continue reading