Sugar Creek, Gornto Road, after Valdosta record sewage spill 2019-12-12

Sara Jay took this video of Sugar Creek at Gornto Road, near The Salty Snapper and the YMCA, on Thursday, December 12, 2019, after Valdosta’s record-largest raw sewage spill.

As you can hear and see in the video, Sugar Creek, which usually runs clear, is cloudy from lime and dark at the edges out of the current.

[Edge]
Edge

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

Finally, some testing data from the City of Valdosta, which indicates Sugar Creek yesterday was pretty dirty at Gornto Road, but the Withlacoochee River was not yet dirty at US 84, after Valdosta’s worst-ever sewage spill.

Thanks to Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber for sending this data after I visited him in his office this afternoon. He also explained why we found no E. coli Wednesday at Knights Ferry, Nankin, or State Line: the sewage is moving very slowly due to low creek and river levels.

[Signs, 13:43:03, 30.859734, -83.317029]
Valdosta Caution Sewage Spill and bridge Signs, 13:43:03, 30.8597340, -83.3170290

Received 6:44 PM, December 13, 2019:

Good Evening Mr. Quarterman,

Please see below the test results that were received today from the sampling Thursday afternoon. Continue reading

WWALS water quality data, Withlacoochee River, after Valdosta record sewage 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

Suwannee Riverkeeper float on front page of Jasper News 2019-12-12

On the front page of the local newspaper: the Suwannee Riverkeeper float in the White Springs Christmas Parade. Thanks, Randy Madison and Jasper News!

[The Suwannee Riverkeeper float included a canoe.]
The Suwannee Riverkeeper float included a canoe.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

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

Valdosta’s biggest spill ever: sewage into Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-09

Update 2019-12-12: You can donate to the WWALS water quality testing program to help defray costs of testing, especially after this record Valdosta sewage spill.

Update 2019-12-11: Where the spill was.

While I was congratulating Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse Thursday evening on no spills for months, Valdosta’s biggest-ever raw sewage spill was apparently already happening, and even he didn’t know.

Yet again Valdosta failed to adequately inform the public, or, for that matter, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

Valdosta Warning Sign, Sign
Photo: Julie Bowland, of Valdosta sewage spill sign at Troupville Boat Ramp, 21 December 2018.

How Bad Is It?

The 7,592,910 gallons of raw sewage spilled this time is more than the 6,273,595 gallons Valdosta spilled in two dozen incidents last December.

It’s 3.45 times Continue reading

Valdosta sewage into Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-09

Update 2019-12-10: Valdosta’s biggest spill ever: sewage into Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-09.

Yet another sewage spill from Valdosta, with no email notification from Valdosta, nothing on the City of Valdosta website, nothing in spills reported to GA-EPD, and nothing on the Hamilton or Madison County, Florida Department of Health websites.

So how do we know? It’s being mailed around from the facebook pages of Madison County Emergency Management and Madison County Florida Board of County Commissioners.

DOH Madison, Notice

December 9, 2019

HEALTH OFFICIALS IN HAMILTON,
MADISON COUNTY ADVISE OF POSSIBLE
WASTEWATER CONTAMINATION IN THE
WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER

Possible Impacts from Valdosta, GA Wastewater Overflow Continue reading

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

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