Tag Archives: GA EPD

Valdosta sewer spill, Meadowbrook Drive at Gornto Road 2022-08-14

Valdosta had a sewage spill on Meadowbrook Drive at Gornto Road this weekend, which this morning they said they fixed that same weekend. We don’t know how many gallons, but we’re guessing not many. Maybe we’ll know more about that once Valdosta reports to GA-EPD. If it was small, it probably did not get into Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River, although we hope Valdosta is testing to find out.

Congratulations to Valdosta for fixing this problem quickly. Room for improvement on internal handoffs on Valdosta’s Click ‘n’ Fix smartphone app, and on completeness of reporting. Also, we would like to know the cause, considering there was no rain.

[Map, Manhole]
Map, Manhole

That’s the fourth small Valdosta sewage spill and one major one since June. So far as we can tell by later testing, none of them had any noticeable effect on the Withlacoochee River.

Plus there was a spill from Quitman, Georgia, that very likely did affect Okapilco Creek and the Withlacoochee River, although more than a week later nobody yet knows how many gallons. And there was a spill from High Springs, Florida, which probably did not affect the Santa Fe River.

WWALS member Suzy Hall noticed yesterday (Sunday) afternoon Continue reading

Draft GA-EPD Hazardous Waste permit to add Post-Closure Care Plan (PCCP) for Perma-Fix 2022-09-08

A draft permit is open for comment until September 8, 2022, on a modification to the GA-EPD Hazardous Waste Permit for the closed Perma-Fix site in Valdosta.

[Notice and Draft Permit]
Notice and Draft Permit

Notice

According to the notice, HW-085-D-ExcaliburRealtyValdosta.pdf “The modified permit, if approved, will incorporate the Post-Closure Care Plan (PCCP) and update the Permit content to reflect changes made by the Director to the groundwater protection standards (GWPS) applicable to the facility.” Continue reading

Videos: Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James radio 2022-07-19

Songwriters, don’t forget to send in your song to the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest by tomorrow, July 20, 2022! Really final deadline this time.

[Movie: Intro: Suwannee Riverkeeper and WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.]
Movie: Intro: Suwannee Riverkeeper and WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.

Valdosta Mayor Scott James and Suwannee Riverkeeper talked about that and many other topics on his radio show this morning.

Here’s a Continue reading

Withlacoochee River OK, Cat Creek bad 2022-07-14

Update 2022-07-22: Bad Quality Withlacoochee River 2022-07-21.

All clear for fishing, swimming, and boating on the Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers, according to the latest water quality test results we have.

But avoid Cat Creek and Beatty Branch for fishing. See below. (I don’t know anybody crazy enough to boat or swim in those creeks.)

There hasn’t been much rain the past few days, so probably not much contamination will wash into the rivers. No sewage spills have been reported in Florida or Georgia, other than Valdosta’s 200 gallon sewage spill on Baytree Road, which they vacuumed up quickly enough that probably little if any ever reached the Withlacoochee River.

Thunderstorms could change things quickly, but that’s what we know now.

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

Thanks to Scott Fowler of Valdosta Utilities for forwarding Valdosta test results soon after they are finished, so we know that Valdosta E. coli results were good for Wednesday and Monday at US 41, GA 133, and US 84. And we know Valdosta’s US 41 and GA 133 results for last Friday, July 8, 2022, were sky-high: 4,700 and 5,200 cfu/100 mL, respectively. The alert limit is 1,000.

Those high results could not be related to the July 9th Valdosta spill, because it hadn’t happened yet. That E. coli is probably not coming from Valdosta, since US 41 is upstream of almost all of Valdosta. Sure, something could be coming down Cherry Creek through Lake Cleve into the river, or it could be septic tanks in houses around there, or septic tanks across the river in Lowndes County.

Since high E. coli keeps turning up at US 41 and GA 133, WWALS set out to find out where it is coming from. Continue reading

Five Rivers Clean 2022-07-07

Update 2022-07-15: Withlacoochee River OK, Cat Creek bad 2022-07-14.

According to ten WWALS Thursday test sites on five rivers, and Madison Health lifting their Withlacoochee River Health Advisory, five rivers tested clean Thursday.

There was substantial rain yesterday, but since previous rains probably washed off the worst stuff, most likely there won’t be much effect on the rivers.

Happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

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

The most recent Valdosta data Continue reading

Withlacoochee River water quality good again 2022-07-03

Update 2022-07-06: Still clean: Withlacoochee River 2022-07-05.

Turns out Valdosta did test during the holiday weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They finally posted their Friday results on their website yesterday. Saturday and Sunday we know because Madison Health sent them to WWALS. There is nothing about them on Valdosta’s own website, facebook, or twitter. A report of Valdosta’s Thursday sewage spill finally did show up in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report, but it is lacking key information.

These Valdosta results mostly match what WWALS found through the weekend.

So by the most recent WWALS and Valdosta results, the Withlacoochee River is clean again. The three different contamination sources from Thursday seem to have all gotten diluted. The other two were probably agricultural, including the usual cattle manure down Okapilco Creek from Brooks County, Georgia.

Happy boating, swimming, and fishing.

There was some heavy rain last night just north of Valdosta, so conditions could change rapidly. However, we’ve already had the first flush after the recent dry spell, so I’d guess the rain won’t have much effect on river water quality. Continue reading

Bad Water Quality, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-30

Update 2022-07-03: PFAS testing, Withlacoochee River, Georgia and Florida 2022-06-30.

Update 2022-07-03: Madison Health Advisory, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-02.

Please avoid the Withlacoochee River this weekend, at least downstream from Hagan Bridge (GA 122). Try the Little River or the Alapaha, or the Suwannee upstream of the Withlacoochee River Confluence.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide 2022-06-30]
Chart, River, Swim Guide 2022-06-30

There was already contamination washed into the river by rain up to 4 inches in spots, according to Valdosta’s Wednesday results at US 41 and GA 133: 1,000 cfu/100 mL and 2,000 cfu/100 mL, where 1,000 is the alert level.

Then Valdosta had a major sewage spill. Continue reading

Valdosta Press Release about Gornto Road sewage spill 2022-07-01

Update 2022-07-01: Three reasons (including Valdosta) for Bad Water Quality, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-30.

Better late than never, Valdosta has announced its major Gornto Road Pump Station spill.

But the press release doesn’t say when the spill started or ended, doesn’t even say precisely where (“at the 2400 block of Gornto Road”) and apparently the city didn’t even discover this spill itself: “the City of Valdosta received notification”. Also no pictures, so I’ve used one of Scotti Jay’s.

[Gate.]
Gate.

Received via email at 9:19 AM, Friday, July 1, 2022.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE
DATE: Friday, July 1, 2022
CONTACT: Sharah Denton, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
Telephone: (229) 259-3548
sdenton@valdostacity.com
www.valdostacity.com

On Thursday, June 30th, 2022, the City of Valdosta received notification of a possible ruptured sewer line at the 2400 block of Gornto Road. It was determined after review that a seal from the discharge side of the lift station had ruptured, which caused the issue. City staff were able to isolate the damaged seal and repair it. An estimated 127,750 gallons of discharge was released. Utility crews worked into the evening and captured a portion of the discharge. Staff immediately began cleanup and disinfecting at this overflow location. All appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified, and warning signs have been posted.

Continue reading

Sewage spill decreased and stopped at Gornto Road Pump Station, Valdosta, GA 2022-06-30

Update 2022-07-01: Valdosta Press Release about Gornto Road sewage spill 2022-07-01.

The major sewage spill at the Gornto Road Pump Station slowed down around 6:18 PM and was stopped about 8:15 PM, according to witnesses at the site. It apparently started some time around 5 PM.

[Gate, sewage, people]
Gate, sewage, people

Following up on the previous report, Scotti Jay, observing from outside the fence:

6:13 PM. It’s actually shooting into the air. No pump trucks.

Continue reading

Major sewage spill, Gornto Pump Station, Valdosta, GA 2022-06-30

Update 2022-07-01: Sewage spill decreased and stopped at Gornto Road Pump Station, Valdosta, GA 2022-06-30.

There’s a major sewage spill going on right now at Valdosta’s Gornto Road Pump Station, next to the YMCA on Gornto Road. This is according to Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson, who called me at 5:18 PM today.

He told me he thinks it will probably be a 100,000 gallon spill. For reference, 10,000 gallons is a major spill.

The cause was apparently a steel pipe that broke.

The spill has been reported to GA-EPD, I’m guessing by telephone.

[Gornto Pump Station, Map]
Gornto Pump Station, Map

The Mayor said they tried rerouting to the Remer Lane Pump Station, but that one fills up, and the sewage comes back. They have thought of a more permanent fix, but that will require some rebuilding.

Meanwhile, numerous city and contractor personnel are en route to the site.

I thank the Mayor for calling WWALS.

WWALS member Bobby McKenzie noticed it at 5PM when he picked up his children from the Y, and he sent the picture. Continue reading