Tag Archives: fish kill

Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-09-29

Update 2022-10-08: Clean rivers 2022-10-06.

Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers declared safe from Hurricane Ian. Maybe as clean as we’ve ever seen!

Happy boating, fishing, and swimming this weekend! Join us tomorrow on the Alapaha River plus hike to the Dead River Sink.

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

This is despite yet another small Valdosta sewage spill, this time last Friday on Lake Sheri, which drains into the Withlacoochee River just upstream from I-75.

Friday, September 23, 2022, was also the day WWALS tester Scotti Jay discovered a fish kill in One Mile Branch starting on the VSU campus.

Valdosta has not reported any test results for that day; I don’t know why. Valdosta results for Monday, September 26th are normal. Those are the most recent results Valdosta has published. Continue reading

Valdosta sewage spill into Lake Sheri, Withlacoochee River 2022-09-23

Valdosta had yet another small sewage spill, this time on Friday, September 23, 2022, into Lake Sheri, which drains into the Withlacoochee River just upstream from I-75.

[Report and map: Valdosta Lake Sheri sewage spill 2022-09-23]
Report and map: Valdosta Lake Sheri sewage spill 2022-09-23

Most likely that spill was too small to affect the river, but those poor people who live on Lake Sheri, which already had three sewage spills upstream this summer.

The GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report for Monday, September 26, 2022 shows that 1,250 raw sewage spill as Continue reading

High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23

Update 2022-10-01: Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-09-29.

Update 2022-10-01: Equipment next to One Mile Branch at VSU was put there by Valdosta to route around a sinkhole.

The City of Valdosta says “a fuel spill may be a contributing cause” of the One Mile Branch fish kill.

Meanwhile, WWALS finds E. coli counts too high even upstream of the fish kill, but more than doubling in the fish kill.

WWALS rescheduled our Chainsaw cleanup, which was supposed to be this morning, on the Withlacoochee River downstream from Sugar Creek, which is downstream of One Mile Branch.

I recommend everyone else also avoid One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek, and the Withlacoochee River from Sugar Creek at least down to the Little River Confluence, until there is some resolution of this fish kill, the high E. coli counts, and the alleged fuel spill.

[One Mile Branch sites]
One Mile Branch sites

Scotti Jay collected water samples Friday and Sara Jay plated them. The results are:

Drexel Park Bridge: 966 cfu/100 mL
One Mile Branch Waterfall: 1,100 cfu/100 mL
West Gordon Street: 2,566 cfu/100 mL

The Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (GA-AAS) one-time sample limit for E. coli is 410. The GA-AAS alert limit is 1,000. Continue reading

Rescheduled: Chainsaw Cleanup Withlacoochee River, 2022-10-16

Rescheduled due to fish kill.

We need volunteers to pick up trash while a few people chainsaw some deadfalls.

We aim to collect the trashjams we didn’t have room for last time, and to chainsaw the remaining Withlacoochee River deadfalls between Sugar Creek and the Little River Confluence. Then we’ll paddle up the Little River to take out at Troupville Boat Ramp.

Unlike last time, we’re scheduling seven hours for the shuttle, for chainsawing and trash collecting, and for the four-mile paddle. With luck, nobody will get stuck this time.

All dependent on the weather, of course. Could be hurricane season finally by then, or could be plenty low to make this easy.

When: 9 AM to 4 PM, Sunday, October 16, 2022

Put In: Meet at the back of the Salty Snapper parking lot, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602.

GPS: 30.861764, -83.318854

[Trashjam, deadfall, chainsaws]
Trashjam, deadfall, chainsaws, 2022-07-30; Photos: John S. Quarterman.

Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee River water quality test results then One Mile Branch fish kill 2022-09-22

Update 2022-10-01: Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-09-29.

Update 2022-09-25: High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23.

Thursday WWALS test results are very good. The most recent Valdosta test results from Valdosta are for Monday, and they are also good.

But Friday WWALS found a fish kill in One Mile Branch starting at Valdosta State University. That is upstream from Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River. Later today we should have some E. coli test results from One Mile Branch.

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

Ashburn had yet another sewage spill a week ago into Hat Creek upstream on the Alapaha River, and High Springs had a spill Thursday a week ago near the Santa Fe River. Both were so small they probably had no detectable effect on river water quality.

So I would swim, boat, and fish in the Withlacoochee River downstream from the Little River Confluence. But I would avoid the Withlacoochee River from there up to Sugar Creek. Continue reading

One Mile Branch Fish Kill 2022-09-23

Update 2022-09-25: High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23.

Update 2022-09-24: Clean Withlacoochee River water quality test results then One Mile Branch fish kill 2022-09-22.

Scotti Jay says, “I’m glad my dog doesn’t like to get in the water.”

[Fish kill and equipment]
Fish kill and equipment

The One Mile Branch water full of dead fish from Oak Street at VSU down to West Gordon Street and Sugar Creek in Remerton. Sugar Creek goes on down to the Withlacoochee River.

A sewage bypass pipe starts just downstream (west) of Patterson Street and ends near the VSU practice football field west of Oak Street, near where the dead fish start. Such equipment could only have been put there by Valdosta Utilities or its contractors.

I saw such equipment at Patterson Street after Continue reading

Please stop a strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp that threatens both Florida and Georgia –WKFL 2020-12-11

You, too, can do what all the Waterkeepers of Florida did, and ask the Governor of Georgia and other elected officials to stop that mine too near the Okefenokee:
https://wwals.net/?p=54109#howtocomment

And you can ask the runoff candidates for Senate and Public Service Commission, what’s your position on that mine and the Swamp? https://wwals.net/?p=54359

To: Governor Brian Kemp
   206 Washington Street
   Suite 203 State Capitol
   Atlanta, GA 30334
   (404) 656-1776
   brian.kemp@georgia.gov

Cc: Trey Kilpatrick, Chief of Staff
trey.kilpatrick@georgia.gov
Caylee Noggle, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations
caylee.noggle@georgia.gov
Bert Brantley, Deputy Chief of Staff, External Affairs
bert.brantley@georgia.gov

Re: Please stop a strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp that threatens both Florida and Georgia (PDF)

Dear Governor Kemp and staff,

[Map, letter, WKFL]
Map, letter, WKFL

On behalf of our respective organizations and our thousands of members, we are writing to express our concerns regarding the Twin Pines Minerals, LLC application number SAS-2018-00554-SP-HAR. Waterkeepers Florida is a regional entity composed of all 14 Waterkeeper organizations working in the State of Florida to protect and restore our water resources across over 45,000 square miles of watershed, which is home to over 15 million Floridians.

Georgia is all that stands between that titanium strip mine within a few miles of the Okefenokee Swamp, proposed by coal miners from Alabama. Part of the Okefenokee Swamp is in Florida, and the Swamp is the headwaters of both the St. Marys River, which forms part of the border between Georgia and Florida, and of the Suwannee River, which flows through Florida to the Gulf of Mexico. Thus if the mining activities of the applicant affect the Okefenokee, or the underlying Floridan Aquifer, they may affect the quality of the waters of the state of Florida. In addition, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge promises more economic benefit to Florida than any other NWR. https://tinyurl.com/y5dws8oa

Please direct the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to thoroughly examine the five state permit applications from Twin Pines Minerals, LLC (TPM). https://wwals.net/?p=54009 The evidence indicates DNR should reject those applications. At the least, an environmental review equivalent to an Environmental Impact Statement should be conducted, with public hearings and third-party review.

The 60,000 people who wrote to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers against that mine are still opposed, despite the Corps abdicating its oversight. https://wwals.net/?p=53867

For many reasons to reject permits for this mine, see Continue reading

Georgia Runoff Candidates: Position on strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp? 2020-12-16

December 16, 2020 (PDF)

To: David Perdue
Jon Ossof
Kelly Loeffler
Raphael Warnock
Lauren “Bubba” McDonald
Daniel Blackman

Re: What will runoff candidates do to stop the proposed strip mine next to the Okefenokee Swamp?

[Letter, Suwannee Riverkeeper, mine site, Okefenokee Swamp, fish kill]
Letter, Suwannee Riverkeeper, mine site, Okefenokee Swamp, fish kill

Dear candidates in the Georgia runoff elections for U.S. Senate and Public Service Commission,

A company from Alabama, Twin Pines Minerals LLC, proposes to strip-mine for titanium dioxide for paint within a few miles of the Okefenokee Swamp. Continue reading

WWALS asks GA Gov. Kemp to stop strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp 2020-11-30

Everyone please ask Georgia to stop this strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp.

https://wwals.net/?p=54109#howtocomment

Here is what we wrote to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and staff.

Re: Mining permit applications too close to the Okefenokee Swamp

[Mine site, Okefenokee Swamp, TIAA land, TPM land]
Mine site, Okefenokee Swamp, TIAA land, TPM land

Copies will go to GA-EPD, to selected Georgia state and national elected officials, and to all statewide candidates in the Georgia runoff elections.

The Letter

See also PDF.

November 30, 2020

To: Governor Brian Kemp

Cc: Trey Kilpatrick, Chief of Staff
Caylee Noggle, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations
Bert Brantley, Deputy Chief of Staff, External Affairs

Dear Governor Kemp and staff,

Thank you again for being the first governor to visit Hahira since Jimmy Carter; it was good to speak with you there. Last year you sent a staff delegate to the Georgia Water Coalition (GWC) meeting. For the second year running, the Okefenokee Swamp is on GWC’s Dirty Dozen worst threats to Georgia waters, because of a threatened mine. https://wwals.net/?p=54109

Georgia is all that stands between a titanium strip mine within a few miles of the Okefenokee Swamp, proposed by coal miners from Alabama. Please direct the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to thoroughly examine the five state permit applications from Twin Pines Minerals, LLC (TPM). https://wwals.net/?p=54009 The evidence indicates DNR should reject those applications. At the least, an environmental review equivalent to an Environmental Impact Statement should be conducted.

Continue reading

Send your comment on GA-EPD Valdosta wastewater Consent Order –Albany Herald

In the Albany Herald, May 9, 2020, Deadline set to comment on Valdosta EPD Enforcement Order,

The Enforcement Order includes a fine, plus many requirements for management and technology.

“Well, I’m glad they are doing the enforcement order, requiring them to get the fixes in place,” said Deanna Mericle of Hamilton County, Fla., who was among the WWALS members who met with the city of Valdosta back in 2015 about these same sewage issues. “I’m not sure what the $122,000 will be used for, but the fine seems small. I just want the problem fixed for good if possible.”

The rest of the article is from the WWALS press release.

Send your comments by Wednesday, May 27, 2020, to:
   Mr. Lewis Hays
   Manager, Watershed Compliance
   Environmental Protection Division
   2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, Suite 1152 East
   Atlanta, GA 30334
   Lewis.Hays@dnr.ga.gov
   404-463-4953

This is not the kind of black water we want:

[Photo 4: Confluence of Sugar Creek and Withlacoochee River.]
Photo 4: Confluence of Sugar Creek and Withlacoochee River. By Tim Bonvechio.

The entire 93-page Order is on the WWALS website, here:
https://wwals.net/pictures/2020-04-13–ga-epd-vld-enforcement-order

“This Order has been a long time coming. It includes an outline of a sad history of mistakes and neglect. I hope the Order Continue reading