Tag Archives: VWW

Clean rivers and creek 2024-02-28

Update 2024-03-03: Now with Alapaha River at Lakeland and Naylor and Santa Fe River at U.S. 27, all also clean.

We got good results for Wednesday for the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers and Franks Creek.

Valdosta’s recent upstream Withlacoochee River results through Monday are good.

There has been very little rain for a week. Rain is predicted for today, Saturday, and Sunday, but probably not very much.

The rivers are down to good paddling levels, and it’s not cold. So bring rain gear, and happy paddling, fishing, and maybe swimming this weekend.

Join us tomorrow, Saturday morning, at Langdale Park Boat Ramp for the Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, Clean Rivers and Franks Creek, Map 2024-02-28]
Chart, Clean Rivers and Franks Creek, Map 2024-02-28

No sewage spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida in the past week.

But four were reported in Georgia.

Remember Valdosta’s two small 100-gallon sewage spills on February 20, at Three Mile Branch from Knob Hill Road, and into One Mile Branch from Boone Drive @ Baytree Road, which drains into Sugar Creek, then to the Withlacoochee River?

Well, Valdosta had another spill at 215 Knob Hill Road, 1,500 gallons each from there and from two overflow sites nearby. Yes, that drains into Three Mile Branch which goes into the Withlacoochee River along the route of the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle. But 4,500 gallons should be small enough to be diluted and washed away by now.

Ashburn last Wednesday had yet another spill, 1,500 gallons from its MLK Lift Station into Ashburn Branch, which runs into the Little River. Continue reading

Three small Valdosta spills into Three Mile Branch, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-27

Update 2024-03-01: Clean rivers and creek 2024-02-28.

Update 2024-02-29: Added Valdosta Press Release.

Yesterday, we received an alert from the landowner at 215 Knob Hill Road that yet another spill was happening there. He copied Valdosta Utilities. By the time I called Utilities a minute later, Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes said he was busy figuring it out and could not talk right then.

This morning I called Jason Barnes again. No, they did not find the cause. However, next week they will “jet from Williamsburg to Knob Hill” That means clean the sewer line.

[Three small Valdosta Sewage Spills into Three Mile Branch 2024-02-27: 1500 gallons each @ 215 Knob Hill Road, 300 Knob Hill, & 1016 Williamsburg Drive 2024-02-27]
Three small Valdosta Sewage Spills into Three Mile Branch 2024-02-27: 1500 gallons each @ 215 Knob Hill Road, 300 Knob Hill, & 1016 Williamsburg Drive 2024-02-27

Jason Barnes says the City of Valdosta will issue a press release. But I’ve got stuff to do this afternoon, so here’s what he told me.

Yesterday’s spills were 1500 gallons each from three locations, 215 Knob Hill, and two overflow locations: 300 Knob Hill (the next house downhill) and 1016 Williamsburg (across the ditch from Knob Hill). So that’s 4,500 gallons total, all into Three Mile Branch.

Yes, Three Mile Branch flows into the Withlacoochee River along the path Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers and Franks Creek 2024-02-21

Update 2024-03-01: Clean rivers and creek 2024-02-28.

Update 2024-02-28: Three small Valdosta spills into Three Mile Branch, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-27.

We got good results for Wednesday for the Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, Ichetucknee, and Suwannee Rivers, and Franks Creek.

Valdosta’s recent upstream Withlacoochee River results through Monday are good. Although I recently remarked that Valdosta was better lately about posting its results in a timely manner, Valdosta’s Wednesday results are still not posted.

The rain predicted for yesterday turned out to be a drizzle. No more rain is predicted for a week.

So if you like high, fast, and cold water, this weekend is good for paddling. Maybe fishing. Swimming with a wetsuit.

However, the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers are up from previous upstream rains. The Santa Fe River is coming back down. The Suwannee was never especially high. I’d recommend the Ichetucknee, Suwannee, or Santa Fe Rivers for this weekend, or Banks Lake this evening. Continue reading

Ribbon cutting for Water Quality Testing Lab at Valdosta Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant 2024-03-05

Update 2024-02-24: Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers and Franks Creek 2024-02-21.

With this new testing lab, will Valdosta resume testing downstream at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State LIne on the Withlacoochee River, and a US 84 on Okapilco Creek?

Meanwhile, with the current head of Utilities, Valdosta is more timely in posting its upstream water quality results.

[WWTP in WLRWT and Valdosta Utilities]
WWTP in WLRWT and Valdosta Utilities

Received yesterday.

PRESS RELEASE
DATE: Thursday, February 22, 2024
CONTACT: Sharah’ Denton, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
Telephone: (229) 259-3548
sdenton@valdostacity.com

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Withlacoochee Lab Facility

The City of Valdosta is pleased to announce the inauguration of its new Withlacoochee (WPCP) Lab Facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for March 5 at 10 am. The event will take place at the plant’s location, 3182 Wetherington Lane.

Continue reading

Valdosta Boone Drive and Knob Hill small sewage spills 2024-02-20

Update 2024-02-28: Three small Valdosta spills into Three Mile Branch, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-27.

Update 2024-02-22: Tifton 7,000-gallon sewage spill, Golden Road above Little River 2024-02-12.

This Tuesday, February 20, 2024, we learned of two small Valdosta sewage spills, each 100 gallons. That’s not enough to get down the creeks to affect the Withlacoochee River, but enough to stink up the neighborhood.

[Map, Boone Drive & Knob Hill 100-gallon sewer spills, Valdosta, GA, 2024-02-20]
Map, Boone Drive & Knob Hill 100-gallon sewer spills, Valdosta, GA, 2024-02-20

One was on Boone Drive at Baytree Road, next to Valdosta State University and One Mile Branch, which runs into Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

The other was at 215 Knob Hill Road on a ditch that runs into Three Mile Branch at the southeast corner of Langdale Park, then into the Withlacoochee River near the southwest corner of the park. That’s the same location as the much larger January 10 spill.

I learned about the Boone Drive spill when I called Valdosta Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes Tuesday morning about the Knob Hill spill.

Neither of these spills has yet appeared in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. Jason Barnes says he already sent a report on the Boone Drive spill to EPD, and he will send one soon about the new Knob Hill spill. Continue reading

Clean rivers and creek 2024-02-14

Update 2024-02-24: Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers and Franks Creek 2024-02-21.

Update 2024-02-22: Valdosta Boone Drive and Knob Hill small sewage spills 2024-02-20.

We got good results for Wednesday for the Alapaha, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers, and Franks Creek.

Valdosta’s recent upstream Withlacoochee River results through Wednesday are good.

Rain is predicted for this weekend, through Saturday. But if there is not much rain, paddling Sunday should be OK. If you like high water, since the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers are up from previous upstream rains. The Santa Fe River is coming back down. The Suwannee was never especially high.

WWALS has two outings coming up on Saturday, February 24, 2024: the morning paddle from Knights Ferry to Nankin on the Withlacoochee River, and the evening Full Snow Moon paddle on Banks Lake.

And of course don’t forget that Saturday, March 2, is the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle from Langdale Park to Troupville on the Withlacoochee River. That one is free, thanks to a generous grant from Georgia Power.

[Chart, Clean Franks Creek and Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers 2024-02-14, Map]
Chart, Clean Franks Creek and Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers 2024-02-14, Map

No sewage spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida in the past week.

But one was reported in Georgia. Ashburn had a spill of 3,000 gallons of raw sewage into Ashburn Branch, which flows into the Little River. Continue reading

Three clean rivers 2024-02-07

Update 2024-02-16: Clean rivers and creek 2024-02-14.

We got good results for Wednesday for the Alapaha, Withlacoochee, and Santa Fe Rivers.

Valdosta’s Monday upstream Withlacoochee River and Three Mile Branch results were too high after the Sunday rain. Thanks to Valdosta Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes for the Valdosta Wednesday results at GA 133 (OK) and US 84 (bad). He promises those and the US 41 (North Valdosta Road) Wednesday results will be on valdostacity.com website next week.

No rain is predicted for this weekend.

In the past week, no sewage spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

So I’d avoid the Withlacoochee River from US 84 to the state line, but other than that, happy fishing, paddling, and swimming this weekend.

[Chart, Three Clean Rivers, Map 2024-02-07]
Chart, Three Clean Rivers, Map 2024-02-07

Or join us tomorrow (Saturday) for Ichetucknee Polar Plunge and Paddle or Sunday for Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup. Continue reading

Clean Santa Fe and Withlacoochee Rivers 2024-02-01

Update 2024-02-09: Three clean rivers 2024-02-07.

We got good results for Wednesday the Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers. Valdosta’s Wednesday upstream Withlacoochee River results concur.

There is prediction of rain on Sunday, but you can get on the water before then.

So happy fishing, paddling, and swimming this weekend.

Or join us today (Saturday) for Finish: Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2024-02-03.

[Chart, Clean Rivers, Map 2024-02-01]
Chart, Clean Rivers, Map 2024-02-01

Sewage Spills

For once, there were more spills in Florida than in Georgia, although not all were sewage.

One sewage spill was reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia for last Friday, from Quitman. It first appeared in the Monday, January 29, 2024, GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report, with little detail. Continue reading

Four more Valdosta sewage spills 2023-12-17

Update 2024-02-22: Some Knights Creek plans in Valdosta Boone Drive and Knob Hill small sewage spills 2024-02-20.

Update 2024-01-31: Spill from Chemours Trail Ridge South TiO2 mine SE of Starke, FL 2024-01-30.

Four small Valdosta sewage spills appeared in the January 26, 2024 GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report, all listed as happening December 17, 2023, and as “Did not enter State waters”.

[Four small Valdosta sewage spills 2023-12-17]
Four small Valdosta sewage spills 2023-12-17

However, Valdosta Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes confirms that these spills did happen. Which you can see for yourself in the pictures I took on January 23 of the Mile Street spill locations.

The most unusual part of these spill reports is that bit for “WATERWAY IMPACTED”: “Did not enter State waters”. That means these spills were stopped and contained before they could reach Knights Creek or Cherry Creek. Which is impressive considering that Sunday, December 17, 2024, saw more than an inch of rain at every gauge we follow, after more than half an inch the previous day. (See below for one reservation about one of these spills.)

Nobody is going to be happy until the number of Valdosta sewage spills is zero. And WWALS continues watching closely.

However, watching also includes complimenting Valdosta Utilities when things go right. So, congratulations, Valdosta Utilities, for catching these spills before they did any damage.

Curiously, these spills did not appear in the next day’s Sewage Spills Report, or in any later days. Considering recent typos in those GA-EPD Sewage Spills Reports, I’m assuming those later omissions are due to EPD’s problems with lack of staffing and funding.

Let’s look at each of these spills. Continue reading

More about the Valdosta Knob Hill or Williamsburg Drive sewage spill 2024-01-10

Update 2024-01-26: Five clean rivers and a clean creek 2024-01-25.

I discovered a can of worms when I took a few pictures to illustrate the 100,000-gallon Knob Hill Road or Williamsburg Drive, Valdosta sewage spill of 10-12 January 2024.

The actual location is not quite where I was told by Valdosta Utilities. But I cut them a lot of slack for that, because they were working on getting it stopped, not precisely determining ownership of the affected properties.

[Spill site behind 215 Knob Hill Road, VALORGIS, VLPRA, Lowndes County Tax Assessors, Pebblewood Drive detention pond, Three Mile Branch]
Spill site behind 215 Knob Hill Road, VALORGIS, VLPRA, Lowndes County Tax Assessors, Pebblewood Drive detention pond, Three Mile Branch

More importantly, according to Valdosta Utilities Acting Director Jason Barnes, the cause was not as first thought a collapsed sewer main. When Utilities examined the pipes, they found rocks and some sort of lid in them.

And according to Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson yesterday, they also found other materials that never should have been in a sewer pipe. I will leave it to the City of Valdosta to reveal in their own time exactly what they found.

From the descriptions I heard, those things could not have gotten in there accidentally, and they could not have been washed into the sewer main by stormwater.

The basic point seems clear: this ten-times-major spill was not caused by failing old sewer infrastructure. It was caused by somebody putting things into the sewer pipes that never should have been there. Vandalism is one of the more polite words for that.

Plus the Mayor is making the City of Valdosta an offer of a location for a WaterGoat trash trap.

So I went Continue reading