Tag Archives: Ashburn

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 Continue reading

Rain and river contamination 2024-03-28

Update 2024-04-05: Apparently clean rivers after rain 2024-04-04.

We got bad results for Thursday for the Alapaha River. We have few other results, but we know there was much rain Wednesday and Thursday, and that usually washes contamination into the rivers.

If I were you, I would pick something else to do this weekend instead of boating, swimming, or fishing.

Also, Ashburn had yet another spill, although that was probably too far upstream to have much effect. It sure looks like there was some sort of overflow from the city of Alapaha wastewater treatment plant, even though none has yet shown up in the reports.

Instead, join us a week from Saturday for Withlacoochee River Earth Day Cleanup, Langdale Park Boat Ramp 2024-04-13.

Valdosta’s most recent upstream Withlacoochee River results are for Wednesday a week ago. Apparently they did not post their Wednesday results for this week because today is a holiday.

Similarly, most of the usual WWALS testers are off because of the holiday weekend.

[Rain and river contamination 2024-03-28]
Rain and river contamination 2024-03-28

There are no Valdosta Monday results, because, Continue reading

Clean rivers 2024-03-20

Update 2024-03-29: Rain and river contamination 2024-03-28.

We got good results for Wednesday for the Withlacoochee River and Alapaha Rivers. and for Thursday for the Alapaha River.

Valdosta’s recent upstream Withlacoochee River results for Wednesday are good, all two sites.

[Chart, Clean Rivers, Map 2024-03-20]
Chart, Clean Rivers, Map 2024-03-20

There are no Valdosta Monday results, because, as we learned last week from Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes, “we are collecting once a week.”

As previously noted, Valdosta’s last downstream tests were September 1, 2023. Since for two weeks now Valdosta has reported “No Sample” for North Valdosta Road, we guess they’re not collecting there any more, either.

Perhaps it is not coincidental that it is now three years (minus one month) since the March, 2020, GA-EPD Consent Order on Valdosta that required downstream testing as a way to reduce the amount of the fine.

It rained today, and more is predicted for tomorrow. That may wash some contamination into the rivers. I’d recommend the Suwannee, Alapaha, or Santa Fe Rivers for this weekend.

For example, join Shirley Kokidko and others Sunday, Suwannee River Wilderness Paddle, Griffis Fish Camp to Fargo 2024-03-24.

The rivers are at pretty good paddling levels, and it’s not cold. So watch the weather, bring rain gear, and happy paddling, fishing, and maybe swimming this weekend. Continue reading

Ashburn and Rochelle sewage spills 2024-03-09

Update 2024-03-29: Rain and river contamination 2024-03-28.

Yes, there was a lot of rain on March 9, 2024, but 315,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled by Ashburn into two river watersheds seems a bit much.

And we finally got a report of the Rochelle Sook Road spill of that same day, of 10,000 gallons into a ditch that went into Reynolds Creek and from there into the Alapaha River.

[Rochelle and Ashburn spills and maps]
Rochelle and Ashburn spills and maps

On March 9 I reported that Continue reading

Clean rivers and creek 2024-02-28

Update 2024-03-09: Clean rivers and creek 2024-03-06.

Update 2024-03-03: Now with Alapaha River at Lakeland and Naylor and Santa Fe River at U.S. 27, all also clean.

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

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

There has been very little rain for a week. Rain is predicted for today, Saturday, and Sunday, but probably not very much.

The rivers are down to good paddling levels, and it’s not cold. So bring rain gear, and happy paddling, fishing, and maybe swimming this weekend.

Join us tomorrow, Saturday morning, at Langdale Park Boat Ramp for the Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, Clean Rivers and Franks Creek, Map 2024-02-28]
Chart, Clean Rivers and Franks Creek, Map 2024-02-28

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

But four were reported in Georgia.

Remember Valdosta’s two small 100-gallon sewage spills on February 20, at Three Mile Branch from Knob Hill Road, and into One Mile Branch from Boone Drive @ Baytree Road, which drains into Sugar Creek, then to the Withlacoochee River?

Well, Valdosta had another spill at 215 Knob Hill Road, 1,500 gallons each from there and from two overflow sites nearby. Yes, that drains into Three Mile Branch which goes into the Withlacoochee River along the route of the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle. But 4,500 gallons should be small enough to be diluted and washed away by now.

Ashburn last Wednesday had yet another spill, 1,500 gallons from its MLK Lift Station into Ashburn Branch, which runs into the Little River. Continue reading

Five clean rivers and a clean creek 2024-01-25

Update 2024-01-28: Four more Valdosta sewage spills 2023-12-17.

We got good results for Wednesday and Thursday for five rivers: Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe, and Suwannee, plus Mud Swamp Creek, a tributary of the Alapaha. Valdosta’s Wednesday upstream Withlacoochee River results concur.

There is a 50% chance of rain on Sunday, but you can get on the water before then.

So happy fishing, paddling, and swimming this weekend.

Or join us tomorrow (Saturday) for Try again: Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2024-01-27.

[Chart, Clean Rivers and Creek, Map 2024-01-25]
Chart, Clean Rivers and Creek, Map 2024-01-25

Sewage Spills

One sewage spill was reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia last Thusrday: Ashburn spilled 100,000 gallons of raw sewage into Ashburn Creek, which ends up in the Little River far above Reed Bingham State Park.

In Florida, Lake Butler reported a spill at its airport, which apparently wasn’t enough to get into any waterway, much less the New River of the Santa Fe. Continue reading

Three Clean Rivers 2024-01-17

Update 2024-01-26: Five clean rivers and a clean creek 2024-01-25.

Update 2024-01-24: More about the Valdosta Knob Hill or Williamsburg Drive sewage spill 2024-01-10.

Update 2024-01-20: Plus clean Alapaha River, for four clean rivers.

We got good results for Wednesday for three rivers: Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe. Valdosta’s Wednesday upstream Withlacoochee River results concur.

After the light drizzle today, no rain is predicted for the weekend.

So if you like cold weather and high water, happy fishing, paddling, and maybe even swimming this weekend.

Due to high water levels, we have rescheduled this Sunday’s chainsaw cleanup to be a week later. See Try again: Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2024-01-27.

So the next WWALS paddle is the Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon Paddle, 2024-01-25.

[Chart, Four Clean Rivers, Map 2024-01-17]
Chart, Four Clean Rivers, Map 2024-01-17

Sewage Spills

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

Ashburn, Georgia, had yet another sewage spill into Ashburn Branch from its MLK Lift Station. It showed up in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report for Thursday, January 18, 2024, as happening that same day. This spill 1,500 gallons for Spill Primary Cause “Other”. Ashburn Branch joins the Little River upstream of the Coverdale Highway Bridge, and far upstream of Reed Bingham State Park.

Valdosta’s 100,000 gallon sewage spill into Three Mile Branch to the Withlacoochee River showed up in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report for Wednesday, January 16, 2024. It shows the spill location as “213 Knob Dr/1020 Williamsburg Dr.”

I talked to Valdosta Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes about this spill Wednesday in Atlanta. He says the sewage came up out of a manhole at 213 Knob Hill Drive, which he considers the “backside of Williamsburg Drive.” Also, it turns out it was not a collapsed sewer line. Utilities found rocks and some sort of lid in the pipe. They don’t know how that stuff got in there. I’m beginning to wonder whether it was vandalism. 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

Clean Withlacoochee River 2023-07-13

The Little and Withlacoochee Rivers tested good for Thursday.

River water levels are well within boatable range.

There was rain today, and more is expected tomorrow, so contamination could wash into the rivers.

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

So fish, swim, and boat at your own risk this weekend.

Maybe you’d like to join us tomorrow, Withlacoochee Springs and Slough, Sullivan Launch 2023-07-15.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide Map 2023-07-13]
Chart, River, Swim Guide Map 2023-07-13

Valdosta’s major spill of 2023-07-06 still has not shown up in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report.

The Valdosta Williams Street One Mile Branch sewage spill of June 21st still has not shown up in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. The Valdosta City Manager two weeks ago promised to look into that.

Ashburn had three spills two weeks ago, one of them major, all finally reported this Wednesday. We’ll post a writeup on those later. Continue reading