Tag Archives: Gilchrist County

Please deny and review Nestlé water withdrawal permits –WWALS to SRWMD 2019-12-09

Sent via email and filed online today. See also PDF.

You can still send in your own comment or come to the SRWMD Board meeting tomorrow morning, 9 AM, Tuesday, December 10, 2019.


December 9, 2019

To: Hugh Thomas, Executive Director
   Suwannee River Water Management District
   9225 Co Rd 49, Live Oak, FL 32060
   Hugh.Thomas@srwmd.org
   386-362-1001

Cc: Lindsey Garland
   Public Communications Coordinator
   SRWMD
   Lindsey.Garland@srwmd.org
   

[Please Deny Seven Springs permit renewal, Ginnie Springs, Santa Fe River]
Please Deny Seven Springs permit renewal, Ginnie Springs, Santa Fe River

Re: Please deny and review Nestlé water withdrawal permits

Director Thomas,

Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS Watershed Coalition asks the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) to act for the public good by denying the Seven Springs Water Company permit renewal request at Ginnie Springs on the Santa Fe River, and by reviewing the Nestlé permit for Madison Blue Springs on the Withlacoochee River, among others.

Please Deny Seven Springs permit renewal, Ginnie Springs, Santa Fe River

Continue reading

Oppose Nestle water from Ginnie Springs and Madison Blue Spring @ SRWMD 2019-12-10

You can help oppose Nestlé’s water withdrawals from the Floridan Aquifer, at the next Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) board meeting in Live Oak.

You can sign one of many petitions, such as one by SumOfUs.

Even better, you can come object to that extension. I ask people to come to every SRWMD board meeting, and maybe you can make this one.

Best, you can file a comment with SRWMD.

When: 9:00 AM, Tuesday, December 20 10, 2019

Where: SRWMD Headquarters, 9225 County Road 49, Live Oak, FL 32060-7056

What: SRWMD Board meeting

You can also ask SRWMD to review Nestlé’s withdrawal permit at Madison Blue Spring on the Withlacoochee River.

These are Nestlé’s landholdings next to Madison Blue Spring, according to the Madison County Property Appraiser:

[Nestle-madison-blue-spring]

For comparison, this little bit on the Withlacoochee River is Madison Blue Spring State Park, smaller than Nestlé’s main bottling plant. Continue reading

Santa Fe Gilchrist Blue Springs Hopping and Camping 2019-02-01-02 2020-02-01-02

Spring Hopping and overnight camping on the newest addition to the Suwannee Riverkeeper: the Santa Fe River. Includes Ginnie Springs, where Nestlé wants still more water, and you can still comment to SRWMD against Nestlé water withdrawals there and elsewhere.

One night of camping at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park and two days of spring hopping on the Santa Fe River. We will meet at 10 a.m. at the Santa Fe Public Boat Ramp and drop kayaks and gear. Then we will shuttle to the takeout at Gilchrist County Santa Fe River Park on SR 47. We will explore the many beautiful springs along the river and stop at Gilchrist Blue Springs for overnight camping. State park rates apply. Campers will need to bring all their camping equipment and food in their kayaks. Sunday morning we will pack up and launch at 10 a.m. and continue downstream, exploring more springs along the way to the takeout.

Campers should reserve their sites at ReserveAmerica.com. If you want to share a site, leave a comment below. Eight people and two vehicles are allowed at each site.

Those who don’t want to camp are still welcomed to come for the day paddle for a total of 10 miles.

When: Gather 10 AM, launch 11 AM, Saturday, February 1, 2020
Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, Sunday, Febuary 2, 2020

Put In: River Rise Ramp @ US 27. From High Springs, travel north on US 27 crossing the Santa Fe River and the boat ramp is on the right, in Columbia County.

GPS: 29.844121, -82.6309

Camping: Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park first day.

Take Out: Santa Fe River County Park Ramp @ FL 47. From Ft. White, travel south on SR 47; cross the Santa Fe River and the boat ramp is on the left in the county park in Gilchrist County.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) per day for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Gilghrist Blue Springs
Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park.

Continue reading

Videos: Valdosta and Florida Counties about sewage 2019-07-10

Congenial yet sometimes testy, the Florida counties meeting Valdosta about sewage again last night.

The Valdosta catch basin many Floridians thought would be finished by now? Probably by December.

That report the Utilities Manager last time said explained why 8 or 10 million gallons was big enough for a catch basin? No, it doesn’t explain that. Fortunately, Georgia EPD wants to know how many gallons will be needed for how much rain, and apparently won’t issue a permit for the catch basin until there are answers, so maybe we’ll finally find out.

GA-EPD also wanted to know what if the catch basin fills up? Valdosta’s answer: tanker trucks to ship the sewage from the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Or the other direction, if needed. That sounds like a fine idea. Although it doesn’t address the question of what if the heavy rains fall directly on Valdosta and both WTPs fill up.

Meanwhile, the catch basin is just one of a combination of fixes, mostly intended to alleviate infiltration of stormwater into the sewer system, and about 25% of those are done, says Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber.

Will all these projects be finished this year? No.

Floridians offer to get national elected officials to help.

Floridians also emphasized Ecotourism, and asked me to talk about the 350 people who just came through on Paddle Georgia (#PaddleGA2019), the WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Florida to Georgia and back, and the proposed River Camp at the Little River Confluence west of Valdosta, like the ones on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. Valdosta Mayor John Gayle wrote down the date of the WWALS Boomerang (October 26th), and afterwards both Hamilton and Madison Counties promised to help.

Tom Mirti of SRWMD described Florida water quality testing, but didn’t mention that FDEP’s monthly testing isn’t made public until four months later. He did mention that FDEP is now testing for sucralose. Merrillee Malwwitz-Jipson, who requested that, was sitting right there. Thanks to her and Jim Tatum for coming from Florida to this meeting.

Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber said Valdosta was still testing at the state line, which caused me to ask why I didn’t get any results for those locations this year in response to open records requests, then? Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse said that was because they haven’t actually tested at the state line this year. He also complained that he had staff working 100 hours a week. Which makes me wonder whether the city of Valdosta is really giving him what he needs, or whether he hasn’t asked for everything he needs.

Anyway, people were rightly impressed with how much Valdosta has done and with their current plans. However, there is still room for improvement.

Below are Continue reading

Agenda: Florida Counties meet Valdosta about sewage 2019-07-10

Here’s the agenda for tonight’s Special Called Meeting of the Valdosta City Council, with business of Valdosta Utilities presenting to the dozen Florida counties. You may wonder why you haven’t seen this City Council meeting on Valdosta’s website or in the Valdosta Daily Times. Well, Georgia Open Meetings law only requires one notice on the front of the venue and a notice to the newspaper of record 24 hours in advance.

When: 6PM, Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Where: General Purpose Room,
Valdosta City Hall Annex,
300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, GA 31601

Event: facebook

[071019-Special-Called-Meeting-Agenda-0001]
071019-Special-Called-Meeting-Agenda-0001
PDF

Maybe Valdosta should consider that elected official embarassment does not outweigh informing the public.

Thanks to Valdosta City Clerk Teresa Bolden for the agenda. See also Continue reading

Again: Florida Counties meet Valdosta about sewage in rivers and wells 2019-07-10

Update 2019-07-11: WWALS Videos.

Update 2019-07-10: The agenda.

Like three months ago, the dozen downstream Florida counties will meet with Valdosta again tomorrow. It’s a public meeting and anyone may attend. Presumably, like last time, anyone may ask questions.

When: 6PM, Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Where: General Purpose Room,
Valdosta City Hall Annex,
300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, GA 31601

Event: facebook

[Movie: 10% completion of 162 years? --Tom Mirti, SRWMD]
Movie: 10% completion of 162 years? –Tom Mirti, SRWMD

We already knew about this from Continue reading

Solar power would bring more jobs than toll roads –Suwannee Riverkeeper in Gainesville Sun 2019-05-22

In the Gainesville Sun, yesterday, May 22, 2019:

Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the toll road bill, SB 7068, Suwannee Riverkeeper — which was among the 90 organizations throughout Florida that asked him to veto it — continues to oppose that boondoggle and propose actual benefits to Florida’s economy and waters.

Aerial Google map, Crystal River to Monticello and Thomasville
Google map of one likely route of the Suncoast Connector.

One of these three unneeded turnpikes would have to cross the Suwannee River, plowing through counties where we have many members. All this very poorly written bill says about its route is: “Suncoast Connector, extending from Citrus County to 164 Jefferson County.” Apparently that means from Crystal River to Monticello, and on to Thomasville, Georgia, through farms, forests and swamps. If this toll road builds its bypasses, bye-bye local businesses in Chiefland, Fanning Springs, Old Town and Cross City.

Yes, the turnpike bill has a “project development phase” for $45 million and increasing each year, with a Continue reading

Videos: Parker Pond water withdrawals, BMAPs, Valdosta, and Testing @ SRWMD 2019-05-14

The deputy went in to see what the ruckus was about. It was Lu Merritt, Mike Roth, Jim Tatum, Mike Kern, and then me, in extensive discussion about a water withdrawal permit request, that Jim Tatum called Words of Truth to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) Board.

On the agenda for that Monday, 14 May 2019:

20. Approval of New Water Use Permit 2-001-234425-1, Authorizing a Maximum 0.1462 mgd of Groundwater for Agricultural Use at the Parker Pond Project, Alachua County

I was actually there for this later item:

30. Valdosta Wastewater Update

In interaction with Tom Mirti, I confirmed that FDEP is doing DNA and sucralose (human waste marker) testing monthly at the GA-FL line on the Withlacoochee and Alapaha (not Alapahoochee) Rivers, and at the Withlacoochee Confluence with the Suwannee River. However, SRWMD has no plans for doing complementary weeks.

I found the public relations method research by Katelyn Potter to be fascinating.

Below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker, with some notes, followed by a WWALS video playlist. Continue reading

Opening: J.H. Anderson Jr. Park at Rock Bluff Springs, Suwannee River 2019-05-31

Second magnitude Rock Bluff Springs has been accessible only by boat up its 700-foot run from the Suwannee River, but SRWMD has acquired 175 acres around the spring that is opening as J.H. Anderson Jr. Park, at the end of this month.

When: 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM, Friday, May 31, 2019
10:30 AM – Opening Ceremony & Ribbon Cutting
11:30 AM – Guided Hikes, Swimming, & Plant Walks followed by refreshments

Where: 6560 Co Rd 340, Bell, FL 32619

Event: facebook

[Photo: Edwin McCook]
Photo: Edwin McCook, of Rock Bluff Springs, in SRWMD Tentative Budget, Fiscal Year 2018-2019.

This new park and Rock Bluff Springs are in the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT), and the park is now on our WWALS SRWT Map and on our map of all landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

To find maps of this new J.H. Anderson Jr. Memorial Park, I looked in some older working documents, including SRWMD’s 2018-2019 budget, which also says:

1. DEP Springs Protection and Restoration Grants FY 2017-18 Continue reading

Jim Tatum reports on FL Rivers Task Force meeting 2019-04-25

Thanks to Jim Tatum of OSFR for reporting from the April 25th meeting of the twelve-Florida-county Rivers Task Force meeting in Lake City. His Task Force on Valdosta Spills says the Task Force is asking Florida Senator Rubio to speed permitting for Valdosta’s WWTP catch basin. It doesn’t say whether they get the point that the other third of Valdosta’s December spills would not be affected by that.

It says they’re still agonizing about direct notification of spills. Our experience with Valdosta and that of many others is that it’s not worth wasting time expecting Valdosta to notify anybody except the state of Georgia, which is why it’s so useful that GA-EPD publishes Sewage Spill Reports each business day. That’s been going on since December 20, 2018, after 30 organizations in Georgia and Florida, including OSFR, signed a resolution asking GA-EPD to do that.

Photo: Jim Tatum for OSFR; Darlene Velez of SRWMD explains the water quality missions of the state agencies.
Photo: Jim Tatum for OSFR; Darlene Velez of SRWMD explains the water quality missions of the state agencies.

The hot button at the moment is water quality monitoring and sampling. Thanks to OSFR’s Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and WWALS ‘ John Quarterman, it was revealed some time ago that water sampling has been less than adequate by our (and Georgia’s) agencies, lacking even a baseline for comparison in places.

Once called out, the agencies have been scrambling and Ms. Velez’ PowerPoint covered this wonderfully. Your writer did not know that Continue reading