Followup water quality data after big Valdosta 2018 spills 2018-09-21

Here is (at least some of) the water quality testing data Valdosta was required to collect after its major spills of June in the Withlacoochee River basin and August in the Alapaha River basin. Maybe Valdosta is right that neither of these spills got into waterways, but something sure did, according to this data. Curiously, in both cases the worst fecal coliform readings were upstream from the spill location.

Mud Creek WTP after the 13 August 2018 spill

Below at Johnson Road, Mud Creek WTP
Downstream at Johnson Road on Mud Creek from the Mud Creek WTP after the August spill

There’s only one datapoint (the yellow dot) on that graph below the Georgia safe limit for fecal coliform of 200 colony forming units per 100 milliliters of water (cfu/100 ml). You’d think it would be better upstream, right? Continue reading

Georgia sewage spills from January 2015 through 2018-09-18

Here is every spill reported by all the large wastewater permits in the state of Georgia since the beginning of 2015 through this Tuesday, September 18, 2018. It includes spills in the Suwannee River Basin you probably didn’t know about.

If people downstream want to do something about wastewater coming from Georgia, this data suggests two things: insist Georgia publish spill reports online the same day like Florida and Alabama already do. And help fund WWALS water quality testing so we can find out what’s going on and when.

2015-2018, Valdosta
Just spills with a Valdosta address from 2015 on.

WWALS Science Committee Chair Tom Potter extracted and sorted every spill with an address in Valdosta since the beginning of 2015: Spill-Detail-sorted_Valdosta_2015–2018-09-19. See also web version of this data.

I’ve been asking the City of Valdosta for a list of their spills and locations since at least 2015, and I’ve been collecting reports ad hoc since before then. Finally, we have this list, but not from Valdosta. We had to Continue reading

Stream Monitoring after Lowndes County Val-Tech Road Spill 2017-09-23

Here is Lowndes County’s (not Valdosta’s) stream monitoring data for a year after its September 23, 2017 raw sewage spill into a ditch that goes to the Withlacoochee River. The data show often worse water quality upstream than downstream. This is a good illustration of why WWALS is starting a water quality testing program.

Graphs, Below at GA 133

These graphs are in Water Reporter, where I put the data under the Suwannee Riverkeeper group. The first two graphs are from below the spill, downstream on the Withlacoochee River at GA 133 (St. Augustine Road).

Graphs, Below at GA 133

Fecal Coliform, Below at GA 133

The other graphs show nothing unusual for blackwater tannic acid rivers. This is the interesting graph, Continue reading

Training, Water Quality Testing, Pictures 2018-09-16

Thanks to Julie Shutters of Golden Triangle R&D for coming down from Sylvester to Valdosta, GA to do Georgia Adopt-A-Stream training for WWALS.

(No, we haven’t forgotten about Florida. We’re just starting with the biggest problem area.)

Class

[Julie Shutters, Ronnie Thomas, Erica McLelland, Shirley Kokidko, Joanne A. Wardell, Gretchen Quarterman, Bobby McKenzie, John S. Quarterman (hat)]
Julie Shutters, Ronnie Thomas, Erica McLelland, Shirley Kokidko, Joanne A. Wardell, Gretchen Quarterman, Bobby McKenzie, John S. Quarterman (hat)

Continue reading

Karen and Tom Johnson Collage

Karen and Tom Johnson travelled many a time three or four hours from Pine Mountain, Georgia, to paddle with WWALS on our outings. Some of us are planning to go to Pine Mountain this Saturday:

HEAR YE! HEAR YE!
Memorial Service/Funeral for Karen Toms Johnson:

11:00 A.M., Saturday, September 22, 2018.
1st UMC Pine Mountain, Georgia.
Rev. Liza Marler, officiating pastor.
Luncheon to follow with Karen Storytelling emcee’d by T3.
Memorial Service attendees are STRONGLY encouraged to attend the luncheon.

When: Tuesday-Friday 18-21 September 2018

Where: Post your pictures online here.

Event: facebook, meetup

Here is the obituary Tom wrote for Karen.

We would like to take with us a collage of pictures of Karen and Tom on WWALS outings (or elsewhere). Please post your pictures here (on this blog post, facebook event, etc.) or email them to wwalswatershed@gmail.com.

Here are some examples:


Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, of Tom and Karen Johnson, winners, farthest, BIG Little River Paddle Race 29 April 2017.

Continue reading

Naylor Boat Ramp status @ LCC 2018-09-10

The Naylor Boat Ramp should finally be complete within a few weeks, said Project Manager Chad McLeod at Monday’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session. It will be interesting to see what paddlers report back from that site after yesterday’s paddle starting there as part of the Alapaha Quest to paddle in segments the entire Alapaha River Water Trail.


Status of Naylor Boat Ramp by Chad McLeod in LAKE video @ LCC 2018-09-10

What Chad McLeod said Monday morning, 10 September 2018, transcribed from Continue reading

Lowndes County sewage spills, July 2018

Regarding rumors that Lowndes County had a spill July 5th, no it didn’t. The spill was July 6th. It was 9,300 gallons of untreated sewage apparently from the same place as the bigger spill last September, which would be on the green line on this map near the green dot at the top, into a drainage ditch that leads to the Withlacoochee River:

VALORGIS Lowndes County Sewer Line, Val Tech Road
VALORGIS Map → Streams Waterbodies plus Utilities Service Areas and Lowndes County Sewer Line.

While that is far fewer gallons than Valdosta spilled in June or in August, Valdosta’s August spill was almost completely treated effluent, while Lowndes County’s was raw sewage. And Valdosta went to some trouble to announce that August spill, to go talk to people about it, and to apologize for it. Lowndes County did none of those things.

And apparently there was a second July spill, according this email received 11 September 2018 from Lowndes County per my request earlier that same day for all Lowndes County spills since Hurricane Irma: Continue reading

WWALS at Hahira Honeybee Festival 2018-10-05-06

Join us at the 37th Annual Hahira Honeybee Festival, at the WWALS booth about water quality testing, water trails, paddle outings, holding poluters accountable, all to make sure that water in our area is swimmable, fishable, drinkable. Come help us spread the water word.

When: 9AM-6PM, Friday and Saturday, 5,6 October 2018

Where: West Main Street, Hahira, Georgia

Volunteer: You can help at the WWALS booth. Sign up on this form or send us email.

Event: facebook, meetup

Scotti Jay, Sara Squires, Afternoon

You can march with us in the parade: Continue reading

Agenda: Water Quality Testing Training, Valdosta, GA 2018-09-16

Here’s the agenda for chemical and biological testing training this Sunday. Georgia Adopt-A-Stream trainer Julie Shutters will be giving this six hour course in Valdosta.


Big Gap in Georgia Adopt-A-Stream data for Suwannee River Basin

Agenda

Please be early so we can start on time and finish at a reasonable hour.

Chemical

1:00 pm – 1:05 pm Welcome
1:05 pm – 2:30 pm Intro to Chemical Monitoring
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm Break
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm Field Chemical testing
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm Field Review and test
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm Break

Bacterial

5:00 pm – 5:30 pm Intro to Bacterial Monitoring
(if you’re only doing this part, please come early for it)
5:30 pm – 6:00 pm Field Sampling /Lab Demonstration
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Take test

We haven’t forgotten Florida training; that will follow. We’re just starting with training for the biggest problem area for sewage, which is in Georgia in the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha River Basins (Tifton, Quitman, Valdosta, and Lowndes County).

When: 1-7PM, Sunday, September 16, 2018

Where: South Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC)
327 West Savannah Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601
plus sampling at a nearby river or creek.

Bring: an idea of where you can sample at least monthly, preferably weekly.

Event: facebook, meetup

Why: Continue reading

All settled with Sabal Trail without jury 2018-09-13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Valdosta, GA, September 13, 2018 — This morning two landowners from Moultrie, Colquitt County, Georgia, and the Bell brothers of a subject property in Mitchell County, Georgia, all settled with Sabal Trail Transmission about payment for easements for a 36-inch natural gas pipeline through their land.

Defendant Jeb Bell said afterwards,

I am extremely unhappy, but such is life.

We fought as good as we could for as long as we could.

The defendants’ attorney Jonathan P. Waters had no comment on the confidential settlement of these cases.

These cases were originally filed by Sabal Trail Transmission against Georgia landowners in March 2016, invoking federal eminent domain supplied to Sabal Trail by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on February 2, 2016. The pipeline has since been built through the defendants’ land with no agreement and no payment.

Defendants Attorney Jonathan P. Waters, Attorneys
Defendants’ Attorney Jonathan P. Waters

Judge Clay D. Land, Chief U.S. District Judge, Middle District of Georgia, told the jury afterwards Continue reading