Tag Archives: Scott Fowler

Videos: Tour of Valdosta WTPs 2018-10-03

Thanks to Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse and staff for the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants Wednesday. Afterwards, I got them to sit down in a conference room and say again the most important points. They said what they had done to prevent future spills like the big ones this year.

Valdosta staff,
Counterclockwise from front: Utilities Director Darryl Muse, Public Information Officer Ashlyn Becton, Environmental Manager Scott Fowler, Mud Creek WTP Superintendent Mud Creek Stanley K. Martin.

We also elicited Valdosta Utilities’ view on the letter establishing the Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force, which was mainly Continue reading

Valdosta water quality testing data 2018-09-12

Here is most of a year’s river water quality testing data from the city of Valdosta, on a Water Reporter map:

Valdosta stations, Map

Click on any of the colored diamonds for graphs. Scroll right to see more graphs. Click on any graph to see every datapoint. Clearly fecal coliform (FCOLI) and E. coli (ECOLI) have significant spikes way beyond the Georgia state limit of 200 cfu/100 ml.

However, as we already saw on the spill followup data map, often, even usually, FCOLI and ECOLI are just as bad or worse upstream Continue reading

Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants 2018-10-03

WWALS will tour Valdosta’s Wastewater Treatment Plants (WTPs). Thanks to Scott Fowler and Director Darryl Muse for the longstanding invitation. WWALS invites you to come, from both Georgia and Florida, especially people downstream on the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, or Suwannee Rivers.

When: 9AM, Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Where: Valdosta Utilties, 1016 Myrtle Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601
The Myrtle Street off of E. Force Street between Troup and Forrest (not the one in Remerton).

Event: facebook, meetup

Valdosta's Mud Creek WTP

Where: We will go to the Withlacoochee WTP next to the Withlacoochee River, and the Mud Creek WTP on Knights Creek, upstream from Mud Creek, the Alapahoochee River, and the Alapaha River. We may go to other points such as force mains or lift stations. If we have time we will also tour Valdosta’s drinking water treatment plant.

Duration: Probably several hours, but should be done by noon.

Free: There is no charge. This tour is primarily for WWALS members, but we won’t turn away anybody else and I doubt Valdosta will, either. We do recommend you join WWALS today.

Why: For why so many people are interested in Valdosta’s WTPs and what Valdosta has done to date, see Valdosta (and other) Wastewater.

This is not a regular WWALS outing or event, but 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!

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

Video: Valdosta explains Mud Creek WTP spill 2018-08-21

Kenneth Lowe, Assistant Plant Superintendent of the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, explained that plant’s that recent spill to the organizational meeting of the WWALS Water Quality Testing Committee.

Tom Potter, Kenneth Lowe, Ronnie Thomas, Erica McLelland, Shirley Kokidko, student, Effluents
Tom Potter, Kenneth Lowe, Ronnie Thomas, Erica McLelland, Shirley Kokidko, student

He apologized profusely several times for the spill. Continue reading

135,000 gallons from Valdosta Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant 2018-08-13

Valdosta spilled again, and again bigger than any recently from Albany or Tifton. This news was first seen on WALB TV out of Albany 5:10 PM last night. Valdosta sent email to WWALS at 10:17 PM.

Should Suwannee Riverkeeper have to watch WALB in Albany to learn first about a wastewater spill in Valdosta, the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin?

More importantly, if “Spills of any nature are unacceptable,” why do you keep having them, Valdosta? Especially with only 1.5 inches of rain? What will you do in another tropical storm or hurricane? And how and when will we know?

WALB TV, TV

Krista Monk, WALB TV, 5:10 PM, 14 August 2018, City of Valdosta reports 135K gallon sewage spill, Continue reading

Valdosta spilled 300,000 gallons Tuesday 2018-06-26

For a year and a half, Valdosta had no major sewage spills. Until yesterday. The 300,000 gallons Valdosta spilled uphill from the Withlacoochee River is far more than the 90,000 gallons Albany spilled into the Flint River a month ago, and far more than the 36,000 + 5,400 gallons Tifton spilled into the New River a few weeks ago. It’s even more than the 250,000 gallons Tifton spilled into the Little River last September during Hurricane Irma.

New WWTP site near Withlacoochee River

Sure, 300,000 is less than the millions of gallons Valdosta spilled in January 2017. And sure, Valdosta has spent tens of millions of dollars building a whole new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) uphill out of the flood plain, and a force main, and mamy other improvements. Sure, the situation is better than it used to be, as I’ve been bragging about on the radio and in this blog recently.

But it was that same new WWTP that spilled yesterday. Sure, what spilled was mostly rainwater.

But people in the seven Florida counties downstream (or in Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia downstream) are not Continue reading

Valdosta Wastewater Signals Uncrossed

Thanks to new Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse, we think we have communication channels clarified between Valdosta and WWALS, and we have a proposal for the state of Georgia to do what Florida and Alabama are already doing to prevent communication issues in the future.

Especially since we expected paddlers from Atlanta and Gainesville, Florida, at the Saturday October 14 Withlacoochee outing and Rivers Alive Nankin Landing Cleanup in conjunction witih KLVB, I called upstream the Thursday before to check with Valdosta Utilities, and was told no spills in October.

Much to our surprise after the outing, WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman noticed this online: Thomas Lynn, Valdosta Daily Times, 13 October 2017, Sewer blockage causes city pill,

A sewer line blockage caused nearly 4,000 gallons of sewage to spill earlier in the week.

The City of Valdosta Utilities Department staff responded to a sanitary sewer spill at the 400 block of Connell Road around noon Thursday, according to city officials Friday.

Map: Hydrologic Unit Boundaries, Overview
Hydrologic Unit Boundaries, Two Mile Branch Sub-Basin, Valdosta Master Stormwater Management Plan.

That’s in the top center edge of the Two Mile Branch watershed.

Noon was an hour before I called; keep reading for what happened.

The VDT story continues: Continue reading

Valdosta report of spill at Cherry Creek Lift Station 2017-09-12

City Council Tim Carroll forwarded me the appended press release yesterday. I assumed it would be on Valdosta’s News page, but it is not.

Goodyear (Skipper Bridge) Station

Also, despite assurances back in January that Continue reading

Valdosta WWTP spilled millions of gallons and didn’t tell the public for days 2017-01-25

Update 2017-01-30:

Valdosta also didn’t tell the public all day after the spill stopped, and then posted something that’s flat not true.

I just called Valdosta WWTP Superintendent John Waite, as it says to do on the city’s PR posted Wednesday, January 25, 2017 5:09:00 PM, Withlacoochee Plant Warranty Repairs Underway, which says “The plant is under warranty and the repairs will be complete by end of day Jan. 25 at no cost to the city.” Meanwhile, the Valdosta Daily Times posted yesterday evening City sewage spill stopped.

I asked Superintendent Waite when the spill stopped.

Answer: Continue reading