Tag Archives: Dukes Bay Canal

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

Update 2023-09-08: Filthy upstream Withlacoochee, clean downstream and Little and Alapaha Rivers 2023-09-07.

Update 2023-09-03: This spill finally showed up in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report on 2023-09-01. I don’t know why it took Monday to Friday to appear. I will inquire.

Slightly less than a major spill, and for once not due to collapsed infrastructure: yes, another Valdosta sewage spill.

This one went into Dukes Bay Canal, then Mud Swamp Creek, the Alapahoochee River, and the Alapaha River.

[Valdosta 819 Bunche Dr. spill and Dukes Bay Canal East in WWALS ARWT map]
Valdosta 819 Bunche Dr. spill and Dukes Bay Canal East in the WWALS map of the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT)

Points to Valdosta for getting a press release out the same day as a spill, which I don’t recall ever happening before. Also for a specific street address. And for keeping it below the 10,000 gallons of a major spill.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman]
Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman

Of course, as I told WTXL TV about a previous Valdosta sewage spill, “There have been a number of things they’ve done better lately, they don’t have as bad or as frequent spills as they used to. The ideal number however is none.”

And neither this spill nor the previous one have yet shown up in the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) Sewage Spills Report.

Meanwhile, add one to Valdosta’s previous nine sewage spills this year.

Received 4:14 PM yesterday. Continue reading

Videos: Valdosta trash tour again 2023-05-23

Malia Thomas, reporter for the Valdosta Daily Times, and Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman toured many of the same Valdosta trash locations we visited three months earlier. Most of them did not seem what you might call fixed.

[Valdosta Trash Examples 2023-05-23]
Valdosta Trash Examples 2023-05-23

Plus one added stop was most definitely not fixed. Apparently 84 days of $100 a day fines were not enough.

There is some progress on Valdosta’s chronic trash problem, such as the three trash traps (thanks, City Engineer Ben O’Dowd and Stormwater Manager Angela Bray) and the notices sent to parking lot owners by City Marshalls (thanks, Community Protections Manager Anetra Riley), but there is also much more room for improvement. Apparently some of those notices have not had much effect yet, and more trash traps are needed, as well as other measures. See:
https://wwals.net/issues/trash/

Needless to say, WWALS and the usual citizens are still watching and speaking up. Continue reading

Maps: Valdosta Stormwater Pond Facility Clusters 2023-03-01

These maps show the locations of Valdosta’s Stormwater Pond Facility Clusters previously posted. They provide clues to where trash may be accumulating.

Most of the major creeks in Valdosta are represented, plus some that I didn’t know had names, such as Bunche Street Canal and Knob Hill Canal, as well as some that apparently do not have names.

Most (Sugar Creek, Hightower Creek, Dow Street Canal, One Mile Branch, Two Mile Branch, Three Mile Branch, Knob Hill Canal, Cherry Creek, and Browns Canal) are in the Withlacoochee River Basin.

Others (Knights Creek, Dukes Bay Canal, Bunche Street Canal) are in the Alapaha River Basin.

Several of the maps straddles several watersheds.

[Example Cluster maps]
Example Cluster maps

Below there is a pair of maps for each of the clusters: a map received from Valdosta in response to an open records request, and a map excerpt from one of the WWALS water trail maps.

The rest of the text below is from the document previously posted. Continue reading

Valdosta sprays Glyphosate on elephant ears 2023-02-19

Update 2023-04-05: Maps: Valdosta Stormwater Pond Facility Clusters 2023-03-01.

The most interesting parts of the response to the open records request I sent to Valdosta about spraying are the summary by Stormwater Manager Angela Bray, and the Stormwater Pond Facility Clusters.

I agree with her first two points, but am confused by her other two.

[ORR Response and Stormwater Pond Facility Clusters]
ORR Response and Stormwater Pond Facility Clusters

This is the main part of the Stormwater Manager’s summary: Continue reading

Dukes Bay Canal Trash 2023-02-12

Not just for the Withlacoochee River! There’s Valdosta trash in Dukes Bay Canal, which drains to the Alapaha River.

Valdosta Stormwater Division did remove trash from culverts near Southside Recreation Center, one somebody reported them via Click ‘n’ Fix. Then they declared the problem fixed, archived the tickets, and left trash floating in Dukes Bay Canal.

[Tire, Dukes Bay Canal, Church's, Map]
Tire, Dukes Bay Canal, Church’s, Map

I know Valdosta’s liability insurance does not cover any city employee getting into water. That’s right: Stormwater can’t get in water. But it’s hard to believe they don’t have long-handled nets that would reach halfway across the canal from each side.

Plus, how about find out where the trash is coming from, and stop it at the source? There’s a hint below.

The Oak Street location is in Valdosta City Council District 3, Thomas B. McIntyre, Sr.

The Toombs Street and Bay Street locations are in District 2, Sandra Tooley. Continue reading

Valdosta Mildred Street Sewage Spill, Alapaha River Basin 2021-01-02

Update 2024-01-28: Mildred Street visited related to Four more Valdosta sewage spills 2023-12-17.

Update 2021-01-05: Sewage Spills: Quitman, Valdosta, Tifton 2021-01-03.

Happy New Year from Valdosta, with a sewage spill at one of its chronic locations, although Valdosta was vague about exactly where and got the creek wrong. I wonder how they plan to fix this flooding that causes sewage spills if they don’t know where the water drains?

On January 2, 2021, the City of Valdosta Utilities Department responded to a call concerning a sanitary sewer overflow at a manhole in the 400 block of Mildred Street, an area that experiences localized flooding during rain events. The sanitary sewer spill was a result of excessive rainfall over a 24 hour period. This amount of rainfall over a short period of time resulted in storm water infiltration and inflow entering the collection system, and causing the manhole to exceed its capacity. Approximately 25,150 gallons of combined storm water and sewage discharged at this location, eventually entering into Dukes Bay.

…Warning signs have been posted at this location as well as downstream to advise the public to avoid any contact with this waterway for the next seven (7) days.

[Sewage Spill, Mildred Street, Valdosta, Alapaha River]
Sewage Spill, Mildred Street, Valdosta, Alapaha River

Although Valdosta’s press release is careful to point out that this spill did not come from the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treetment Plant (WWTP), which is good, the PR does not say where “downstream” is. Dukes Bay Canal goes to Mud Swamp Creek, then the Alapahoochee River, and then reaches the Alapaha River slightly upstream of Sasser Landing, in Hamilton County, Florida. Continue reading

Looking clean downstream, Withlacoochee River 2020-08-20

Update 2020-08-28: Good downstream, but recurring GA 133, Withlacoochee River 2020-08-27

WWALS testing Thursday got excellent results at State Line Boat Ramp: zero (0) cfu/100 mL E. coli, and only 33 at Nankin and Knights Ferry Boat Ramps. We have nothing new from Valdosta since Monday’s data, and nothing from Florida since Thursday a week ago. But the WWALS data says that so far as we know, the Withlacoochee River is good for boating, fishing, swimming, etc. this weekend.

[Fishing, map, charts, pictures]
Fishing, map, charts, pictures

There was no significant rain, except far up on the Little River at Tifton, and upriver on the Alapaha at Alapaha, Georgia.

[Looking clean, Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line]
Looking clean, Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida water quality testing results and rainfall, see: https://wwals.net/issues/testing/

So apparently nothing nasty washed into the Withlacoochee River, and State Line, Nankin, and Knights Ferry Boat Ramps are green on Swim Guide. I’ve left all the other Withlacoochee and Little River “beaches” Continue reading

No new Suwannee River Basin Spills in Georgia 2018-12-31

No new spills reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia! We do have some clarifications on old spills, some even with raw sewage totals.

Since the Sewage Spills Report GA-EPD posts each day replaces the previous one, WWALS has started picking up those reports daily and parsing out differences.

Diff 2018-12-20 and 2018-12-21, Tables

This has revealed a total for a Quitman report, some Smithbriar Drive spelling corrections, a total for one Valdosta spill location, and where it goes (spoiler: into the Alapaha River Basin).

We don’t see any new spills in the past two weeks in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia.

We also don’t see Continue reading

Valdosta force main and new WWTP are online and working

The recent rains caused little wastewater overflow, according to Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll, who forwarded cryptic Valdosta press release yesterday and then explained on the telephone what it meant: Map the two biggest pieces of Valdosta’s wastewater and sewer fixes are operational already.

The press release referred to “the new force main” as if it were already in operation, yet nothing on Valdosta’s website says it is. So I called Tim Carroll and he confirmed that yes, the force main is online. Not only that, but 5 million gallons less water than usual for such rains entered the new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).

Wait, does that mean the new, uphill, out-of-the-floodplain WWTP is also online? Yes, confirmed Carroll. And the less inflow was due to less INI.

What’s INI, I asked, ignorantly? Continue reading

Valdosta spilled into Alapaha as well as Withlacoochee watersheds in February

Spilling sewage into the Withlacoochee River apparently wasn’t enough 300x388 Figure 2.2.5. Sub-basins Areas, in Section 2 Methodology, by City of Valdosta, for WWALS.net, 14 January 2011 for Valdosta: in February it also spilled three times into the Alapaha River watershed. At least once this was due to rains directly on Valdosta, for which the levee proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers on Sugar Creek at the Withlacoochee River wouldn’t help. It’s time for Valdosta to move along with fixing its wastewater problems. More transparency from Valdosta would also help. And I, for one, would like to see that promised Corps flooding study of the entire Suwannee River Basin.

In three different reports in February, Valdosta mentioned sewage overflows into either Knights Creek or Dukes Bay Canal, without mentioning that those flow into Mud Swamp Creek, which joins with Grand Bay Creek to form the Alapahoochee River, which joins the Alapaha River, which flows into the Suwannee River. The Florida Department of Health apparently didn’t know that, since it didn’t mention the Alapaha River in its advisories for counties downstream. But Valdosta should know, according to its own SWMP Update Phase 1 Final Report, Section 2 Methodology, 2011-01-14, that about half of Valdosta is drained by Knights Creek and Dukes Bay Canal: Continue reading