Tag Archives: GA EPD

No Suwannee River Basin spills reported to Atlanta through 2018-10-15

Good news from GA-EPD! The forty spills reported to Atlanta since our last update included none in the Suwannee River Basin. So, according to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, no spills were reported since mid-September from Valdosta, Lowndes County, Quitman, Tifton, or anywhere else in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia, not even during Hurricane Michael.

[Brown Dog out, 09:31:38, 30.8484784, -83.3482902]
Little River below Troupville Boat Ramp 30.8484784, -83.3482902

Even more surprisingly, no spills were reported from Albany or Bainbridge during this period, despite their lack of power and extensive damage.

Wouldn’t you prefer to get this information updated daily, without waiting for me to pry it loose from GA-EPD and fight with spreadsheets? Your organization can sign up to ask GA-EPD to publish spill reports online the same day they get them.

No spills also does not mean no contamination, so maybe you’d also like to help with the new WWALS water quality testing program.

The data received from GA-EPD yesterday in response to a Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request is shown Continue reading

WCTV at Hagan Bridge on Withlacoochee sewage spills downstream into Florida 2018-10-02

WCTV came to Hagan Bridge Landing at GA 122 on the Withlacoochee River to interview Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman about what Madison County and 10 more Florida counties are doing about Valdosta sewage spills into local rivers. Don’t forget the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants 9:30 AM this morning, Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

Enough is enough when it comes to sewage spills in local rivers, Hagan Bridge

Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 2 October 2018, North Florida communities look to solve sewage spills in Valdosta, Continue reading

Request GA-EPD to timely publish spill reports 2018-10-02

Update 2018-10-17: Fourteen signers so far. And here are the forty spills since last time. You can still sign here to ask GA-EPD to tell us so we’ll know when they happen.

Update 2018-09-03: The WCTV report and the text of the letter establishing the Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force.

On WCTV tonight, Emma Wheeler will report about wastewater, Valdosta, and how at least eight downstream counties in Florida are organizing about it. She asked me for suggestions. My suggestions start with: sign a resolution asking GA-EPD to timely publish spill reports, and help WWALS with its new water quality testing program. And the Florida Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) could have more effect on the Suwannee River Basin than sewage.

Plus let’s not forget the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants 9AM tomorrow morning, October 3, the WWALS Troupville Boat Ramp Cleanup October 13, the WWALS Boomerang paddle race November 3 from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and back, and 300 of our closest friends coming to the Withlacoochee River mid-June 2019 in Paddle Georgia.

printed, Resolution

The resolution asks the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) to do what Florida and Alabama already do: publish pollution spill reports online the same day they receive them, with signup for email notices. The first step in fixing pollution is Continue reading

FDEP now maps last 30 days of spills

Pollution spill maps online, up to date, with interactive links to details: Florida is doing it, and so can Georgia.

Florida, Maps

For more than a year FDEP has been posting spill reports online in a spreadsheet the same day it gets them, with email notice signup (Alabama also does that). FDEP has added a Public Notice of Pollution (PNP) Finder: Last 30 Days, which helps a lot in finding spills in our watersheds.

Did you know there was a Phosphoric Acid spill at White Springs last week, on 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

Valdosta Consent Order from GA EPD 2013-09-23

Due to tens of millions of dollars spent by Valdosta, we don’t see spills of tens of millions of gallons anymore. The most obvious Valdosta Sanitary System Improvement is the new, uphill, out of the flood plain, Withlacoochee Wasterwater Treatment Plant, pictured here on Scott Fowler’s office wall at Valdosta Utilities:

Withlacoochee WPCP 2016, Wastewater Plants
Withlacoochee WPCP 2016

The old, now-closed, Withlacoochee WTP was the plant that had the biggest problems back in 2009 and 2013. As found on the City of Valdosta website, the 23 September 2013 Valdosta Consent Order from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division is now also on WWALS website, including I made a web version, from which I extracted the paragraphs quoted below.

This was the original problem: Continue reading

Alabama sends email for sewage spills 2017-09-01

Florida does it. Alabama does it. Maybe Georgia should do it: post pollution notices online as they are received, and send out email notices to those who have signed up. That way cities and counties would not have to notify anybody but the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD), and Riverkeepers wouldn’t have to poll each and every city and county to find out what is going on.

Sewage spills in Alabama in 2016
See below for the interactive map of sewage spills in Alabama in 2016 by Alabama Riverkeepers, and see also the Florida map I drew from Florida’s Pollution Notices.

Alabama also requires reporters to include latitude and longitude in their reports, and to use an electronic reporting system. Both are great improvements on Georgia’s current methods of telephoning in a number and responding to open records requests with records that do not have GPS coordinates.

Dennis Pillion, AL.com, 1 September 2017, ADEM rolls out email notifications for sewage spills, Continue reading

Lead TMDL Evaluation for Three Segments in the Suwannee River Basin 2016-06-01

Through November 24, 2017, public comment is open about lead in our Georgia watersheds, in a new proposed Total Maximum Daily Load Evaluation.

Map: Streams Not Supporting Designated, Lead Criteria Violation

Map: Streams Not Supporting Designated, Lead Criteria Violation

Georgia EPD, Proposed TMDLs, 29 September 2017, NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF REVISED TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS FOR WATERS AND POLLUTANTS OF CONCERN IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA, Continue reading

Sinkhole, Sabal Trail, Okapilco Creek, Brooks County, GA 2017-09-19

Update 2017-09-21: Yes, I reported it to GA-EPD, et al. (PDF), and here are facebook photos of most of the images below.

How close to exposed is Sabal Trail’s pipe? This sinkhole is at least a foot deep, maybe two or more, and Sabal Trail only buried their pipe three feet deep, despite requests by Brooks, Colquitt, and Lowndes Counties to bury it deeper.

At sinkhole, Sinkhole

N of sinkhole, Sinkhole

Is that fill material exposed Continue reading