Tag Archives: Onemile Branch

Training: water quality testing by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream standards 2020-02-08

Chemical and Bacteriological water testing training for Georgia Adopt-A-Stream standards by our local trainers. Yes, we will also be scheduling a training for Florida methods.

Before attending either, please sign up using this google form. Be prepared to start testing soon afterwards in our water quality testing program.

Obviously E. coli from Valdosta’s December 2019 worst-ever raw sewage spill is motivation for testing, but that’s not all that gets into our waterways. The only way to tell when our rivers are clean and when they are not is regular testing.

When: 9 AM, Saturday, February 8, 2020

Location: SGRC, 327 W Savannah Ave, Valdosta, GA 31601, for the indoor classroom part.
The outdoor practicing part will be at Onemile Branch in Drexel Park, Valdosta. Please be dressed appropriately for the weather and wear boots for potential contact with the water.

Free: No charge to anyone. But be prepared to start testing soon after the training. We also recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook

[Papers and chemicals]
Papers and chemicals at training in Drexel Park, 2019-09-14.
Kits, chemicals, and supplies such as Petrifilms are expensive, especially the more we test.
You can contribute to supplies at https://www.gagives.org/story/Wwals-Waterqualitykits.

Continue reading

WWALS Water Quality Testing US 84 & FL Campsites, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-16

Update 2019-12-18: Valdosta sewage at GA 133 on Withlacoochee River? 2019-12-17.

There’s good news from the recent WWALS water quality tests that fill in the gap between Valdosta’s water quality testing inside Valdosta and at US 84 in Lowndes County, Georgia, and SRWMD’s testing in Florida. Valdosta’s sewage had not even reached US 84 as of 5 PM yesterday, Monday, December 16, 2019.

[Looking down]
Looking down onto the rapids above US 84 bridge.

You can donate to the WWALS water quality testing program and help pay for the Petrifilms and other equipment.

For Sunday, December 15, Suzy Hall found 100 cfu/100 ml E. coli at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, 33 at Nankin Boat Ramp, and 100 at State Line Boat Ramp. Those numbers are higher than the zeros I got for Wednesday, December 11, at Knights Ferry and Nankin, and the zero Sara Jay got for that Wednesday at State Line. However, Suzy’s Sunday numbers are Continue reading

WWALS water quality data, Withlacoochee River, after Valdosta record sewage 2019-12-12

Update 2019-12-17: City of Valdosta Water Quality Testing, Gornto Rd., US 84 2019-12-12.

Good news: WWALS data from the Withlacoochee River matches SRWMD data from the Suwannee River. Both showed clean of E. coli bacteria. This is mystifying: where is the sewage from Valdosta’s record largest sewage spill? So we’ve got WWALS data and SRWMD data posted. Valdosta, where is your data?

Results of WWALS testing Wednesday: zero (no) E. coli at State Line Boat Ramp, Nankin Boat Ramp, and Knights Ferry Boat Ramp showed zero (0) at all three locations.

You can donate to help pay for the Petrifilms and other equipment.

[Sean McCarthy, Scotti Jay, Sara Jay]
Sean McCarthy, Scotti Jay, Sara Jay at State Line Ramp.

This is not what we expected.

Our Petrifilm and incubator methods are not as precise as Florida’s fancy methods, as in we don’t usually detect levels as low as what Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) reported yesterday, so our zeroes are Continue reading

SRWMD water quality data, Withlacoochee River, after Valdosta record sewage 2019-12-12

Update 2019-12-13: WWALS water quality data on the Withlacoochee River down to the state line.

The record Valdosta sewage spill had not reached Florida yet as of today, according to timely notification of water quality sampling results by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).

WWALS has some reason to believe the spill had reached Knights Ferry by Saturday. More on that below. And further WWALS bacterial results from yesterday should be available tomorrow morning. You can donate to the WWALS water quality testing program to help defray the costs of this emergency and our regular testing.

Meanwhile, where are Valdosta’s results? They’re supposed to be testing daily after a major spill. Why aren’t they publishing their results? I will file an open records request tomorrow, but why should that be necessary?

Received 5:01 PM today, December 12, 2019:

Hello Mr. Quarterman,

I don’t know if Julie was able to get back to you. I know that she has been in meetings the past several days. Here is the update on sampling efforts that I have as of now:

[Valdosta to Branford]
Valdosta to Branford, in WWALS map of all public landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

  • Dec 9: FL agencies were notified of the spill around 5:30pm.
  • Dec 10: FDEP sampled Withlacoochee at Continue reading

Water Quality Testing Training @ SGRC 2019-09-14

Donations to WWALS Water Quality testing project can be made here: https://www.gagives.org/story/Wwals-Waterqualitykits Petrifilm is quite expensive and each bacterial test uses four films. Thank you.

[Suzy with a Petrifilm]
Suzy Hall with a Petrifilm

We are testing after the Valdosta’s biggest raw sewage spill ever. Yesterday we took samples on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Nankin Boat Ramp, State Line Boat Ramp, Pinetta (CR 150), and Madison (FL 6). Incubation of bacterial samples takes 24 hours, so we should have some results by this evening. Other tests already indicate we probably have found the sewage going downstream.

Here are some pictures from our September 14, 2019 Water Quality Testing. Thanks to Erica McLelland and SGRC for Continue reading

Where: Valdosta’s biggest sewage spill; behind the Target, next to Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-09

Update 2019-12-12: SRWMD water quality data, Withlacoochee River, after Valdosta record sewage 2019-12-12

Valdosta’s biggest-ever sewage spill was “Behind the Target, next to the creek,” which we deduce was at 30.842906, -83.312762, as shown here on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT). Also near the bottom right you can see the Remer Lane Pump Station that failed and caused this problem.

[Spill and Remer Lane Pump Station]
Spill and Remer Lane Pump Station

This spill finally did show up in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report for December 10, after 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

Testing One Mile Branch after Sewage Spill 2019-06-24

Pretty clean at the bottom of Vallotton Park (33.3 cfu/100 ml), but rather dirty at the top of Drexel Park (533 cfu/100 ml), on Onemile Branch, with the site of last week’s FOG sewage spill in between; that’s what WWALS water quality testers Sara Squires Jones and Scotti Jay found Monday. These numbers are for the disease-causing bacteria E. coli. The state limit is 200 colony-forming units per 100 mililiters of water (cfu/100 ml). That 533 reading is still below the state’s 1000 limit for real alarm, but it’s still not good.

[#1: 6 colonies]
Downstream #1: 6 colonies

This map shows in red the spill location on Ashley Street near La Jalisco Supermercado, with the testing locations in blue, at North Lee Street near Mr. B’s IGA at Vallotton Park, and at Williams Street at the east end of Drexel Park.

[Spill and testing locations]
Map: Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT), with added Spill and testing locations. Continue reading