Tag Archives: Berrien County

GA-EPD GORA response about Ray City wastewater permit violations 2021-04-05

Ray City has had a long string of wastewater violations, many each year, going back years, at its wastewater treatment plant on Cat Creek, just below Beaverdam Creek, and 8.36 Cat Creek miles upstream from the Withlacoochee River.

[Catwalk, Outfall, Fecal coliform]
Catwalk, Outfall, Fecal coliform

Most of them did not involve fecal bacteria, but two did, on monthly average, for December 2018 (see page 57), for August 2017 (see page 73). Curiously, none of these violations ever showed up in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report, nor in its underlying spreadsheet going back to 2015, which is as far back as I have it. We have some idea why not about the January and February 2021 Total Suspended Solids (TSS) overflows, but not about the previous incidents.

In response to a Notice of Violation of September 22, 2020, on November 2, 2020, the City of Ray City told GA-EPD it was “in the process of developing a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to address the issue of non-compliance with the 85% Minimum BOD removal rate stipulated in our NPDES Permit.“ The City proposed to change its sampling method to deal with “periodic low influent BOD levels”, and also to get on with dealing with the “high volumes of infiltration and inflow“ it says is the cause, including filing an application for a CDBG grant before the end of March 2021.

Thanks to Jay Howell of the EPD Southwest office in Albany for scanning and emailing to me the documents of my Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request of last week. I asked for all the enforcement actions on Ray City that I found listed on EPA ECHO, (see the previous post) together with related correspondence. documents and emailing them to me yesterday. They are on the WWALS website. Update 2021-04-07: website page labels fixed for this GORA document.

This November 2020 CAP is apparently a new one, after the CAP accepted by GA-EPD on June 19, 2019, and submitted by the City on May 2, 2019: Continue reading

Ray City and Lakeland wastewater permits, plus Moody AFB

Update 2021-04-02: Ray City sewage spill in Berrien Press 2021-03-24.

Ray City and Lakeland, Georgia, have wastewater permits, and have never had a spill appear in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report since 2015. That’s impressive, since pretty much everything else around them in Georgia has spilled at one time or another. Moody Air Force Base, for example, made statewide and national news for spilling PFAS firefighting chemicals from this wastewater plant and from other locations on base.

[Ray City, Lakeland, both + Moody AFB, WTP maps]
Ray City, Lakeland, both + Moody AFB, WTP maps
in the WWALS map of All Public Landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

Ray City WPCP is towards the upper left of the map, about 8.4 creek miles upstream from the Withlacoochee River. Cat Creek reaches the river a bit downstream of Franklinville Landing, towards the lower left.

Moody AFB WPCP is to the right of Franklinville Landing on the map, on Beatty Branch, which in about a mile runs into Cat Creek, a few thousand feet upstream of the Withlacoochee River. currently operated by Lowndes County. See http://www.l-a-k-e.org/blog/?p=17140.

Lakeland WPCP is towards the right of the map, in the north edge of Lakeland, less than two creek miles upstream from where Big Creek 00311363 reaches the Alapaha River between Pafford’s Landing and Burnt Church Landing.

We have to use a number in the creek name to Continue reading

Signs planted near water on Alapaha River Water Trail 2021-01-16

Dan and Dylan Phillips planted posts and later went back and put signs on them for three locations on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

[Berrien Beach, Lakeland, Burnt Church, ARWT]
Berrien Beach, Lakeland, Burnt Church, ARWT

They plan to finish planting all of the ARWT at-water signs in Georgia soon. Just in Georgia, because these signs, posts, and related brochures were mostly paid for by a generous grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR). We also thank the counties of Berrien, Atkinson, Lanier, Lowndes, and Echols for their support for the ARWT, either through a resolution in support of the ARWT, or through permission to plant signs.

All of these locations have the same top sign for the entire Alapaha River Water Trail: Continue reading

Youngs Mill Creek Landing and Ray City Landing, GA 37, Withlacoochee River 2018-02-18

Stew, Sam, and Dave from south Florida brought fast kayaks to the most upstream put-in on the Withlacoochee River. It was a tad twistier and deadfalled than they expected, but after making only seven miles the first day, they sped up all the way to the Suwannee River.

[Boats, Leak, Paddlers, River, Yellow Jessamine]
Boats, Leak, Paddlers, River, Yellow Jessamine

Continue reading

The real trash problem: the companies that make it

Update 2020-11-18: Landslide Yes on Georgia Amendment 1 to dedicate trust funds!

People shouldn’t litter, but individuals are not the real litter problem. The companies that make all those throwaway items are the problem. There are fixes, which we can implement. One fix Georgians can vote on right now: vote Yes on Amendment 1 please!

There was no lack of trash on the Alapaha River in September, at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp in Berrien County and at Berrien Beach in Lanier County. We found the usual cigarette butts, shotgun shells, and yes, a few used diapers.

Plus tires. To help stop tires being dumped by rivers, please vote Yes on Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1 to stop fee diversions.

We found fewer shotgun shells and tires but more of everything else at Twomile Branch in Valdosta, Sugar Creek, and the Withlacoochee River in August.

Come to the big cleanup this Saturday on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers in Lowndes County and on Sugar Creek, Onemile Branch, and Twomile Branch in Valdosta October 10, 2020!

We expect as usual the most numerous items will be plastic and glass bottles and cans.

[Bottles]
Bottles

Sure people shouldn’t litter, but Anheuser-Busch and other beer makers, as well as Nestlé, Coca Cola, and Walmart, should stop making and selling disposable bottles and cans.

Fifty years ago those things had deposits on them, and people would collect them for the cash. In economic downturns such as right now, that could be useful to a lot of people, and a lot more cleanups would happen. Sure, there was still trash back then, but not as much.

People still do in Hawaii and nine other states: California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Vermont, plus Guam. They don’t have nearly as big of a litter problem.

But Georgia or Florida do not have such container deposits. Maybe we should change that.

No, recycling will not solve this problem. There’s no market for plastic to recycle, and recycling has been pushed by big oil for years as an excuse to make more plastic throw-away containers. Laura Sullivan, NPR, 11 September 2020, How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled.

You’ve probably seen the famous ‘Crying Indian’ ad from 1971: Continue reading

Alapaha River good water quality at Berrien Beach and Lakeland Boat Ramp, also Withlacoochee 2020-09-12

Update 2020-09-16: Bad lower Suwannee, good Withlacoochee and Alapaha 2020-09-14.

Results look good from the Alapaha River Saturday, at Berrien Beach and Lakeland Boat Ramp. Florida Thursday Withlacoochee River results corroborate the WWALS State Line results of that same Thursday we reported last time, and extend them downstream into Florida, also good.

However, more than half an inch of rain fell on Okapilco Creek Thursday, 0.75″ at Spence Field east of Moultrie, and also 0.6″ at Dixie in the west of Brooks County. Is that enough to wash some manure into the creek? We shall see.

[Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers]
Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers

Berrien Beach

After the Berrien Beach Boat Ramp (and Beach) cleanup, I collected a sample at Continue reading

Pictures: Berrien Beach Boat Ramp Cleanup 2020-09-12

Nine people collected 304 pounds of trash at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp in Berrien County, Georgia, and at Berrien Beach in Lanier County, downstream across the river.

[Boat Ramp, Berrien Beach, bags of trash, bottles]
Boat Ramp, Berrien Beach, bags of trash, bottles

We got a picture with banners early before anybody left, and more later, with the trash and the beautiful Alapaha River. See also the real trash problem, the companies that make it.

[Before]
Before
Photo: John S. Quarterman, L-r: Dan Phillips, Dylan Phillips, Bret Wagenhorst, Bobby McKenzie, Shirley Kokidko, Cindy Leighton, Becky Garber, Donald Roberson.

WWALS charter board member Bret Wagenhorst handed out t-shirts from the Georgia statewide Rivers Alive program, from our last cleanup near this location, Continue reading

Berrien Beach Boat Ramp Clean Up, Alapaha River, 2020-09-12

Update 2020-09-13: Pictures.

Cleanup on the Alapaha River in Berrien County, Georgia, at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch N/A, end 12 PM, Saturday, September 12, 2020

Put In: Berrien Beach Boat Ramp. Concrete boat ramp on the north side of GA 168, west side of Alapaha River, in Berrien County, Georgia. About 20 minutes east of Nashville, GA, same southwest of Pearson. Less than 45 minutes southeast of Tifton and northeast of Valdosta. About an hour north of Madison, Jasper, Live Oak, or Lake City, FL; two hours north of Gainesville, FL.
The boat ramp is public, but the Berrien (west) side of the river is owned by Langdale Timber Company. Also known as Berrien Beach Landing. Float downstream under the bridge to the sand beaches of Berrien Beach.

GPS: 31.159076, -83.045554

Take Out: Berrien Beach Boat Ramp , which is on the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.
Actually, you don’t have to bring a boat to this one: there’s plenty of trash to clean up right at the boat ramp.

Free: it’s a cleanup. However, we recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

Bret Wagenhorst: Public access on north side of bridge, with cement strip boat ramp at higher water level but no facilities. Access road is unpaved and about 1/4 mile long. Nice sandy beach 2014-10-20
Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, Public access on north side of bridge, with cement strip boat ramp at higher water level but no facilities. Access road is unpaved and about 1/4 mile long. Nice sandy beach 2014-10-20.

Continue reading

Alapaha Station Celebration 2019-11-09

Join us for fun, food, and a parade at the Alapaha Station Celebration, and at the WWALS booth Enviroscape, maps, pictures, and all about outings and advocacy, Saturday, November 9, 2019, we’ll be there the sixth year running.

When: 9AM – 5PM, Saturday, November 9, 2019

Where: Alapaha Station, 245 NE Railroad St, Alapaha, Georgia

Event: facebook

[Taken in our watersheds]
All those pictures were taken in our watersheds. Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS at Alapaha Station Celebration 2018

The station is only a few miles from Continue reading

Pictures: Alapaha Station Celebration 2018-11-10

Lots of people studied the Suwannee Basin map to see where everything is, last year at the 2018 Alapaha Station Celebration. We’ll be back in a few weeks, at the first local festival WWALS attended.

[with Gretchen]
with Gretchen

The Enviroscape (in front of Gretchen) was popular. Continue reading