Tag Archives: Tifton

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

Hurricane Michael, Albany to Tifton 2018-10-11

Driving back from a long-scheduled conference in Alabama, from the state line to Tifton was widespread damage from Hurricane Michael. Nothing like the devastation on the Gulf coast, of course, but very unusual for inland Georgia.

[Traffic light repair 15:20:18, 31.6363489, -84.2473075]
Traffic light repair 15:20:18, 31.6363489, -84.2473075

We saw plenty of downed power lines, so don’t be surprised if everybody is power is not back everywhere for a while.

Hurricanes apparently aren’t good at obeying speed limit signs. 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

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

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

Hurricane Season Open House by Lowndes County, GA EMA 2018-07-26

Tropical Storm Alberto already caused two sewage spills from Tifton, the biggest of 36,000 gallons, both into the New River upstream from the Withlacoochee, and Valdosta spilled 300,000 gallons last month, uphill from the Withlacoochee River, without even a tropical storm to blame. So preparing for a hurricane or tropical storm seems like a good idea. Maybe the various utility managers would like to say a few words about how they’re not going to be asleep at the wheel.

When: 6-8PM, Thursday, July 26, 2018

Where: 250 Douglas St, Valdosta, GA 31601-5029

Event: facebook

Join local emergency responders and Meteorologist Kerri Copello, News Manager for WFXL/Fox 31, for a tour of the EOC and an informational session on the 2018 Hurricane Season to include preparedness information.

Lowndes County EOC facebook event cover picture
Lowndes County EOC facebook event cover picture

More in a LAKE blog post.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Pictures of all the BLRPR paddlers 2018-04-28

You’ve seen who won the eleven awards. Now here are the rest of the paddlers in the 6th Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race, from more counties, states, and watersheds than ever before. Also more Solo Female Kayaks than Solo Male Kayaks, and several whole families of paddlers.

[Finish]
Finish

Statistics: 2018 BIG Little River Paddle Race

43 Boats 
37 kayaks
6 canoes

49 Paddlers
29 male
20 female Continue reading

Two sewage spills from Tifton, GA

Tifton spilled twice into the New River watershed, 36,000 gallons and 5,400 gallons, both into the New River watershed upstream of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee Rivers, apparently both spills during or after Tropical Storm Alberto, and there was no public notice until two weeks later.

Stuart Taylor, Tifton Gazette, June 11, 2018, 36,000 gallon raw sewage spill enters drainage system, cited as source Thomas Coker, “plant manager with ESG Operations,” who is also listed by the City of Tifton as Wastewater Superintendent. I called him to clarify some details. Here is information about the two spills, both related to Tropical Storm Alberto:

  • 36,000 gallons, Wednesday, May 30 through Thursday, June 7, 2018, from 315 E. 20th Street, into Tifton’s stormwater system, after 2 inches of rain.

    Spills located in Suwannee River Basin, Maps
    Google map by WWALS.

    Because this spill was more than Continue reading

Pictures: BIG Little River Paddle Race 2018-04-28

Update 2018-07-05: Al the winners.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, April 29, 2018 — With the first-ever winner from Florida and a new record time, the next two categories one each from Tift and Lowndes Counties, Georgia, and a record number paddlers from 4 to 67 years old, the BIG Little River Paddle Race at Reed Bingham State Park Saturday was a fun time and a successful fundraiser for Friends of Reed Bingham State Park (FORB) and WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS).

Trophy, The winner: Lloyd Reeves, Crescent City, FL

Lloyd Reeves drove three hours from Crescent City, Florida, with a very fast kayak, to become the first-ever Florida winner, and he proved himself a winner in another way with the prize.

Trophy, The winner: Lloyd Reeves, Crescent City, FL

In addition to the First Prize trophy, winner Reeves got a hundred dollar bill from race organizer Bret Wagenhorst of WWALS. and a matching hundred dollar bill from Dianne Walters of FORB. Reeves then Continue reading