Tag Archives: quality

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

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

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

Suwannee Riverkeeper on Steve Nichols radio 105.9FM WVGA 2018-09-13

Thursday morning Suwannee Riverkeeper will be on the “top rated morning talk show in south Georgia” with Steve Nichols, talking about paddle outings, water trails, paddle races, and the Sabal Trail pipeline federal eminent domain jury trials going on right now in Valdosta.

When: 8:30AM, Thursday, September 13, 2018,

Where: The Morning Drive with Steve Nichols, 105.9FM WVGA
Live streamed on the show’s facebook page

Event: facebook, meetup

Suwannee Riverkeeper banner, Interview

What:

Guest: Suwannee Riverkeeper® John S. Quarterman

Host: Valdosta Today bills The Morning Drive with Steve Nichols as:

The top rated morning talk show in south Georgia, Steve Nichols offers both sides of every story from Berrien County to the Beltway, and everywhere in between.

Should be fun. Do tune in.

More: For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Cyanobacteria infecting Florida political races

We are fortunate in the Suwannee River Basin in not having this bad a problem, but are similarities. Greg Allen, NPR, 7 September 2018, Toxic Algae Seeps Into Florida Congressional Races,

For months now, mats of algae from Lake Okeechobee have been flowing down the river, bringing toxins that can affect people and animals. In beach communities east of the lake, the algae have had a big impact on tourism and businesses.

With more toxic algae blooms on Florida’s west coast and a red tide algae bloom causing massive fish kills in the Gulf of Mexico, water quality is increasingly having a big impact on key midterm races in Florida. While Democrats tend to be more outspoken on environmental issues, Republican candidates are also speaking up because they’re feeling the heat.

Outflows from Lake Okeechobee

Seems to me all the candidates are dancing around the real issue, which is Continue reading

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

Update 2018-09-14: agenda.

Both chemical and biological testing: you can get certified to do it. Georgia Adopt-A-Stream trainer Julie Shutters is coming to Valdosta for a six hour training course.

Tropical Storm Irma and after in Georgia
Tropical Storm Irma and after in Georgia

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: Southern 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: See the Continue reading

Big Georgia Wastewater Permits in the Suwannee River Basin

Schedules of testing, with permissable levels: these are in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater permits, so we need to see those permits. You’d think they’d be on the EPA or GA-EPD website, but….

The U.S. EPA has delegated NPDES permitting to Georgia. You can get draft wastewater permits right off the GA-EPD website, but to get the actual current approved permits, you must get GA-EPD to send them to you. I found this out from Audra Dickson, Wastewater Regulatory Program Manager. I asked her for permits for half a dozen cities and one county, and the next day Alyssa Thomson, Environmental Specialist, Wastewater Regulatory Program, Municipal Permitting Unit, sent them via email.

They’re on the WWALS website now.

Instream Monitoring Requirements, Valdosta Mud Creek WPCP
Instream Monitoring Requirements, Valdosta Mud Creek WPCP

Why this list? 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

Valdosta FOG 2018-08-08

Many sewer spills tend to be small, many caused by fats, oils, or greases (FOG) that people should not be pouring down the drain anyway. On August 8, 2018, I visited Scott Fowler, Environmental Manager, Valdosta Utilities. Joseph Gangler, who handles the city’s FOG program, posed somewhat reluctantly with the city’s new FOG pamphlets.

Joseph Gangler, FOG Prevention Program Technician, FOG

Valdosta has started a YouTube video program called Keeping You Informed (KIY), which includes FOG Program KYI, Metro 17 Valdosta Production, 27 August 2018, in which FOG Prevention Program Technician Joseph Gangler shows you what it’s about. Continue reading

Spectra responds in pipeline certificate rulemaking 2018-08-24

As we’ve seen so often in the Sabal Trail docket, Spectra seems to be acting in place of FERC, responding yesterday to thousands of comments on FERC’s certificate rulemaking.

Spectra’s bottom line: a pipeline company’s bottom line matters more than the Fifth Amendment due process, or water, air, or safety. See page 25:

Contrary to some commenters’ arguments, the Commission’s public interest determinations are not rendered insufficient under the Fifth Amendment public use requirement because the Commission considers precedent agreements among applicants and affiliates to be evidence of public benefits.

Spectra repeatedly argues that FERC does not have authority to consider hardly anything other than whether the pipeline company has customers, yet FERC has authority to give eminent domain to private corporations and to let them gouge through our lands and under our rivers without local agreement or payment first.

Page 9: Tolling Orders, Pages

In this election year, you can ask every candidate for statehouse or Congress whether they support Continue reading