Tag Archives: Ashburn Branch

Clean rivers and creek 2024-02-14

We got good results for Wednesday for the Alapaha, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers, and Franks Creek.

Valdosta’s recent upstream Withlacoochee River results through Wednesday are good.

Rain is predicted for this weekend, through Saturday. But if there is not much rain, paddling Sunday should be OK. If you like high water, since the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers are up from previous upstream rains. The Santa Fe River is coming back down. The Suwannee was never especially high.

WWALS has two outings coming up on Saturday, February 24, 2024: the morning paddle from Knights Ferry to Nankin on the Withlacoochee River, and the evening Full Snow Moon paddle on Banks Lake.

And of course don’t forget that Saturday, March 2, is the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle from Langdale Park to Troupville on the Withlacoochee River. That one is free, thanks to a generous grant from Georgia Power.

[Chart, Clean Franks Creek and Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers 2024-02-14, Map]
Chart, Clean Franks Creek and Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers 2024-02-14, Map

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

But one was reported in Georgia. Ashburn had a spill of 3,000 gallons of raw sewage into Ashburn Branch, which flows into the Little River. Continue reading

Sewage spills: Ashburn, GA, Live Oak, FL 2023-12-01

Update 2023-12-08: Clean Santa Fe River 2023-12-06.

Live Oak, Florida, was much faster in reporting its Friday sewage spill than was Ashburn, Georgia, in reporting its Sunday-before-last spill.

Probably neither of these spills had any noticeable effect on the nearby Little or Suwannee Rivers, and certainly not on the far-downstream Withlacoochee River.

For more about WWALS water quality testing, see https://wwals.net/issues/testing.

[Ashburn, GA, and Live Oak, FL, sewage spills]
Ashburn, GA, and Live Oak, FL, sewage spills

Ashburn, Georgia, spilled 2,000 gallons on November 19, reported on November 28, into Ashburn Branch, which ends up in the Little River far upstream from Tifton. Continue reading

All 2023 sewage spills into the Suwannee River Basin

Update 2023-08-29: 8,400 gallons of sewage into Dukes Bay Canal, Valdosta, GA, due to unknown obstruction 2023-08-28.

Inquiring minds (Suzy’s) wanted to know how many times Valdosta spilled sewage this year.

Answer: nine reported, five into Knights Creek, which goes to the Alapahoochee and Alapaha Rivers, two into Hightower Creek, which goes into Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River, one into One Mile Branch, also Sugar Creek and Withlacoochee River, and one into Cherry Creek, directly into the Withlacoochee River.

Valdosta spilled 1,182,221 gallons of raw sewage, accounting for 61.93% of the total 1,908,971 gallons spilled in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia and Florida so far in 2023.

I would like to thank Valdosta Utilities Assistant Director Jason Barnes for calling the day after that most recent spill, to note that Utilties found the spill, he had personally been out there and got it stopped that same evening, and they tracked the amount with SCADA. Plus it was reported to the public and to GA-EPD the day after it happened. All that is improvement.

Of course, the only good number of spills is none, as I told WTXL after a previous spill.

[Sewage spills and WWALS water trails]
Sewage spills and WWALS water trails

Runner-up was tiny Ashburn, with 673,400 gallons, or 35.28% of the total, mostly spilled into Hat Creek, which goes into the Alapaha River, with some into Ashburn Branch, which goes into the Little River. Ashburn has had a chronic sewage spill problem for many years, and needs to get a grip. Ashburn did get some ARPA money to work on that, so maybe there will be improvement.

Also-rans included Continue reading

Valdosta February 2023 sewage spills, plus Ashburn 2023-03-01

2023-03-02: Videos: Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Sewage spills, Trash, Okefenokee Swamp over stripmine @ Radio 2023-02-28.

Valdosta, population 55,567, spilled almost a million (966,970) gallons of sewage in February 2023: that’s 17 gallons for each citizen.

Are we back to the bad old days before the GA-EPD Enforcement Order of 2020? This is the worst period since the notorious December 2019 spill that provoked that Order.

Anybody who sees dead fish in Knights Creek, please let us know.

[Bypass pipe north from US 84, Warning sign on E. Park Av. at Knights Creek, ARWT map to Alapaha River, Sewer bypass under CSX RR at US 84]
Bypass pipe north from US 84, Warning sign on E. Park Av. at Knights Creek, ARWT map to Alapaha River, Sewer bypass under CSX RR at US 84

Ashburn, GA, spilled about a third as much in late January and early February. Given its population is a tenth that of Valdosta’s, Ashburn was worse per capita.

Neither were good for people or wildlife. Zero gallons of sewage spilled should be the goal.

Here are Valdosta’s five February sewage spills: Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee River 2023-02-23

Update 2023-03-03: Clean Rivers 2023-03-02.

2023-02-28: Yet another Valdosta sewage spill into Knights Creek 2023-02-22.

Happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

All the WWALS water quality test results for this Thursday were good.

We could use more water quality testers. If you want to get trained, please use this form:

[Chart, River, Swim Guide 2023-02-23]
Chart, River, Swim Guide 2023-02-23

Even though Valdosta had yet another major sewage spill Monday, due to inadequate sewer main bypass, it probably did not have much effect on the Alapaha River. When WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall tested at Sasser Landing after Valdosta’s previous, even bigger, spill of Wednesday a week ago, due to sewer main collapse, results were fine at Sasser Landing, downstream of the spill location at Knights Creek, Mud Swamp Creek, the Alapahoochee River in Echols County, Georgia, and the Alapaha River in Hamilton County, Florida. Continue reading

Valdosta and Ashburn in GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report 2023-02-23

Update 2023-02-25: Ashburn sewage spills in Clean Withlacoochee River 2023-02-23.

Update 2023-02-24: Another Valdosta E. Park Ave. sewage spill, 171,750 gallons 2023-02-20

Thursday was jackpot day for the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report, with Ashburn reporting spills totalling 326,000 gallons, almost half of Valdosta’s one 672,250 gallon spill.

[GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report 2023-02-23]
GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report 2023-02-23

First let’s look at Ashburn, then Valdosta. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-12-29

Update 2023-01-06: Bad Upstream: Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2023-01-05.

WWALS tests for Thursday upstream and downstream, and Valdosta upstream tests for Wednesday agree: clean Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers.

There was some rain last night, but probably not enough to wash much contamination into the rivers.

So happy swimming, fishing, and boating for New Years!

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide, 2022-12-29]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide, 2022-12-29

Two pollution spills have been reported this week.

On Sunday, December 18, 2022 (reported more than a week later on December 27), Ashburn, Georgia, spilled 3,000 gallons of sewage from their MLK Lift Station into Ashburn Branch, which flows into the Little River. But that’s too little and too far upstream to affect the river. Ashburn’s excuse: power failure. Maybe they should invest in a backup generator.

On Monday, December 26, 2022, the Chemours Trail Ridge South Mine southeast of Starke, Florida, spilled some unknown amount of not exactly sure what, at the top edge of the Santa Fe River Basin. Their excuse? Cold weather.

More on those spills later in separate posts. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-02-10

Update 2022-02-18: Rivers very clean 2022-02-17.

Good news again: all recent tests on the Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers were clean. Happy boating, fishing, and swimming this weekend.

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

There was one sewage spill reported: 100,000 gallons on February 5 from Ashburn’s MLK Lift Station on Ashburn Branch, upstream from the Little River. Cause: Pipe failure. That’s better than “wet weather” for the other two Ashburn spills this year: those went into the Alapaha River Basin. As usual, no E. coli showed up downstream, presumably because Ashburn is so far upstream. Continue reading

Ashburn spilled sewage three times in September 2020-09-27

Update 2020-10-17: Very clean Withlacoochee River 2020-10-15.

Ashburn, Georgia, spilled 210,000 gallons of raw sewage spread over three times in September and the public only got notified Wednesday, four weeks after the first spill. There’s not enough water quality testing data downstream from those spills to know what effects they may have had for example on Reed Bingham State Park.

[Charts and Map: Ashburn spills to GA-FL line]
Charts and Map: Ashburn spills to GA-FL line

Ashburn spilled once into Hat Creek, which runs into the Alapaha River, and twice from its MLK Lift Station into a tributary of Ashburn Branch, which runs into the Little River. We don’t have any data downstream on the Alapaha for that time period, so we don’t know anything about downstream effects. We do have quite a bit of downstream data for the other two spills, but so far downstream and with so many other things going on that it’s hard to tell if there were any effects showing up in that data.

About the only thing we know for sure is it would be great for Ashburn to get a grip on its chronic sewage spill problem, starting by at least reporting spills in a timely manner. That and it would be great if the state of Georgia or the federal government would resume testing on the Little and Alapaha Rivers as they apparently used to do up until about 1998, so we would know, for example, did this spill affect Reed Bingham State Park.

These are the spills, as reported in the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) Sewage Spills Report. WWALS commends GA-EPD for those online reports. GA-EPD can’t publish spills until it receives reports from the spilling organizaiton. Maybe Ashburn could be a bit more timely in reporting. Continue reading

Sewage spills, Suwannee River Basin, Dec. 2019 – Sept. 2020

Rochelle, Ashburn, Tifton, Adel, Moody AFB, Valdosta, and Quitman all spilled sewage into the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia from December 2019 through September 2020. But only one of those spills since December is likely to explain any contamination we’ve been seeing on the Withlacoochee River.

[Little, New, Withlacoochee, Summary, Alapaha River]
Little, New, Withlacoochee, Summary, Alapaha River

Yes, there were also some spills in Florida in the Suwannee River Basin, but those are actually harder to interpret, and they were mostly small, so they will have to wait.

At least Florida lets people sign up for pollution notices by county as they happen. Georgia has no such signup. So I’ve modified the scripts WWALS uses to display changes in the Georgia Sewage Spills Report to also send me an email alert.

Here are the Georgia spills, where, what streams they went into, and how far upstream that was: Continue reading