Tag Archives: Valdosta State University

Videos: Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council in Valdosta 2023-09-27

Yesterday I presented slides about the draft VSU & WWALS GA-EPD Seed Grant application to the Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council at their meeting in Valdosta. The slides for that presentation are on the WWALS website.

[Collage @ SSRWPC 27 September 2023]
Collage @ SSRWPC 27 September 2023

The longest item in the agenda was about the Lake Beatrice project. For more about that, see Videos: Lake Beatrice, Alapaha River, GA-EPD Seed Grants @ SSRWPC 2023-03-14.

Also, Cliff Lewis of GA-EPD talked about gradual relaxation of the moratorium on water withdrawals in the Flint River Basin and its effect on mussels.

Here is the agenda: Continue reading

Valdosta Williams Street One Mile Branch Sewage Spill Sign 2023-06-26

Update 2023-06-26: Withlacoochee River and Sugar Creek OK Sunday 2023-06-25.

Nobody from the City of Valdosta answered my questions about the One Mile Branch Williams Street sewage spill after the Saturday 5:14 PM Valdosta press release, until City Manager Richard Hardy this morning texted me “1600 block William St.”

That’s between E. College and E. Moore Streets. But that’s not where the sewage spill warning sign is.

[Sewage spill sign, pump, pipe at One Mile Branch, pipe and vac truck along Williams Street, E. College St. to E. Moore St., 2023-06-26]
Sewage spill sign, pump, pipe at One Mile Branch, pipe and vac truck along Williams Street, E. College St. to E. Moore St., 2023-06-26

The first WWALS scout to get there was WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman, who sent back these pictures, and some videos:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKwQ5xfKf-QyzUieq3tFY0Ps6TmiJa65A

Why Valdosta Utilities or the Valdosta PIO did not post such pictures is mysterious.

I’d give Valdosta a B+ on dealing with the spill (no higher, because they did not discover it).

But I give Valdosta a D on informing the public: a press release three days after they were informed of the spill, after 5PM on a Saturday, when people would already be fishing or boating downstream, with no location within three miles, no estimate of how much was spilled, unclear on whether the situation is fixed or not, and no answer to questions for another day and a half. Continue reading

New Executive Director, One Valdosta Lowndes 2023-05-23

The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, host of One Valdosta-Lowndes (OVL), invited WWALS to a reception for the new OVL Executive Director, Mary Beth Brownlee.

[OVL E.D. Mary Beth Brownlee]
OVL E.D. Mary Beth Brownlee

Mary Beth Brownlee was previously with Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

I congratulated her on her new appointment.

She agreed that Troupville River Camp is top of OVL’s project list. Continue reading

Fourth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2023-03-04

Update 2023-03-03: Clean Rivers 2023-03-02.

Update 2023-03-03: Early takeout for Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle: DeLoach Private Boat Ramp 2023-03-03.

Update 2023-03-01: Boats provided by State Line River Outfitters at Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle 2023-03-04.

Update 2023-02-22: Good water levels for Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle 2023-02-22.

Update 2023-02-16: River Low, Action, and Flood Stages 2023-02-16.

Update 2023-02-15: Paddling in the treetops 2023-02-13 and for real two years ago 2021-02-27 2023-02-13. Don’t worry: the water level should come back down before this year’s paddle date.

Valdosta, Georgia, January 30, 2021 — Join us March 4th for this annual eleven-mile river paddle, past the future site of Troupville River Camp and Nature Park, along the west side of the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin, past Valdosta’s clean outfall of its Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, with many creeks, oaks, cypresses, pines, fish, turtles, and maybe an alligator, down to Spook Bridge, so scary it has its own movie.

“Come on down to where I used to fish as a child, and with my children!” said Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter. ”This event allows our residents to come out and explore the natural beauties of Lowndes County while enjoying our waterways.”

“I am excited to partner once again with WWALS, plus this time with Lowndes County, to show people our fabulous blackwater rivers, only a few miles from City Hall and VSU,” said Valdosta Mayor Scott James. “After the largest infrastructure project and single largest financial commitment in the history of our City was made toward a completely modern sewer system, we are now exploring the next phase toward beautifying our area waterways. Council and City staff will be addressing the most cost effective way to educate our citizens and eliminate the trash littering our streets that eventually makes into our creeks and rivers. The fight will begin with further education of our friends and neighbors combined with additional focus from City staff and volunteers. I invite everyone to come out and join us for a day of fellowship on the river!”

“Welcome to this one of our many paddles,” said WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman. “We have at least one daytime river paddle a month, in Florida or Georgia, plus an evening Full Moon paddle at Banks Lake, near Lakeland, GA. If you’re ill in any way, please stay home.”

[Paddlers on the Withlacoochee River, Photo: John S. Quarterman 2022-02-19]
Paddlers on the Withlacoochee River, Photo: John S. Quarterman 2022-02-19

Come as early as 8 AM, Saturday, March 3, 2023, to Troupville Boat Ramp, Continue reading

Valdosta Utilities speedily addressed sewage smell 2022-11-18

Thanks to Valdosta Utilities for speedily fixing a sewage smell issue that someone reported anonymously and vaguely through Click ‘n’ Fix. .

[Report and fix in Seeclickfix]
Report and fix in Seeclickfix

Once Valdosta Utilities addressed Click ‘n’ Fix report 13713615, they found the manhole that was open and put its cover on.

There is room for improvement. The report was on a Friday, and there was no response until Monday. It could have been an actual sewer spill, continuing all weekend. But it wasn’t.

And although Utilities asked for better location information, they found the problem anyway and fixed it.

They didn’t say it was somebody else’s problem.

They didn’t blame the person who reported it.

They didn’t ask for volunteers to clean it up.

They got out there and did their job in one day. Continue reading

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

Update 2023-11-09: GA-EPD Consent Order on Valdosta for One Mile Branch fish kill and sewage spills 2023-09-15.

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 2023-11-09: GA-EPD Consent Order on Valdosta for One Mile Branch fish kill and sewage spills 2023-09-15.

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

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

Rescheduled: WWALS at VSU Happening 2022-08-30

Update 2022-08-24: VSU Student Life says:

Due to the forecasted inclement weather, we have decided to reschedule the Happening to Tuesday, August 30. All other details regarding the Happening 2022 has remained the same.

Come see us at the annual Valdosta State University student orientation: The Happening.

Or WWALS members, you can volunteer at the WWALS booth to help tell students about the fun and work we do.

[Rescheduled to Tuesday, October 30, 2022]
Rescheduled to Tuesday, October 30, 2022

When: 1PM to 4PM, Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Where: VSU front lawn, 1500 N Patterson St, Valdosta, GA 31698.

Event: facebook

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/