Tag Archives: flooding

Valdosta sewage into Alapaha River watershed three times in February 2015

Valdosta didn’t mention it and the Florida Department of Health doesn’t seem to know it, 300x219 Knights Creek in Valdosta, in Knights Creek, Valdosta, Georgia, by USGS Streamer, for WWALS.net, 28 February 2015 but Knights Creek is in the Alapaha River watershed. Valdosta spilled sewage into it twice in February. Plus that 16 February spill into Dukes Bay Canal also ends up in the Alapaha River. But never you mind, Valdosta also spilled into the Withlacoochee River through the usual Sugar Creek. Somehow I don’t think all these spills are not Valdosta’s fault. Seems like it’s time for Valdosta to finish fixing its wastewater problem. And since the most recent spills were due to rainfall directly on Valdosta, the levee proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers on Sugar Creek at the Withlacoochee River wouldn’t help, nor would it help at any time for spills directly into the Withlacoochee River at GA 133, nor for Dukes Bay Canal nor Knights Creek, which flow into the Alapaha River.

News Release, Florida Department of Health (FDH), 27 February 2015, Florida Department of Health Advises of Possible Wastewater Contamination, Continue reading

USACE presentation online at City of Valdosta

Emily Davenport, Valdosta Stormwater Manager, sent a letter 2 June 2014 to attendees of the 6 May 2014 Army Corps of Engineers presentations, with paper materials attached, and a note that they are also online at Stormwater Division, Regional Flooding.

Study before Levee –Tim Carroll @ VCC 2014-05-06

Comment on facebook 10 May 2014 and he told me the same by telephone.

It is clear a full watershed wide study must be completed before any decisions can be made. As established in this first study—The City of Valdosta is the recipient-not the origin- of the flood waters. While it confirms what we already knew, my job is to try and keep the ball rolling forward. Engage congressional leaders, secure funding and find long term, sustainable solutions that benefit all communities within the watershed basin. A levee by itself is not the answer.
–Tim Carroll

This was a comment on Continue reading

Videos: Flooding study by Army Corps of Engineers @ VCC 2014-05-06

In these videos of the initial flooding study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Valdosta City Council Work Session, you can see they’re the Corps, all right: they want to build a levee. They did emphasize that this was just an initial study on what could be done inside Valdosta, and their main conclusion was that there was enough need to indicate federal interest, as in possibilities of getting federal funding for solutions. City Manager Larry Hanson got the Corps to confirm (several times) that Valdosta alone couldn’t stop the flooding, since the vast majority of floodwaters comes from upstream on the Withlacoochee and Little Rivers.

Later that same evening in response to citizen questions at the Valdosta City Hall Annex, the Corps clarified more that they did understand there were issues of impervious surfaces and development and loss of wetlands and they wanted to do a much larger study of the entire watershed, which could take several years to accomplish. They kept emphasizing that the Suwannee River watershed is one of the largest in the country, and there are also flooding problems on the Suwannee River, which could be important for obtaining federal dollars.

As we already knew, Valdosta has funded projects already started to move the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) uphill and to add a force main to prevent manhole overflows. People downstream in Florida may be relieved to hear something is being done.

Here’s a video playlist, followed by images of the Corp’s slides and of the City Council, and some notes.

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Flooding study tonight, twice @ VCC 2014-05-06

Tonight we get to hear twice about the long-awaited flooding study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: once with no citizen input at the Valdosta City Council Work Session, and then with citizen input at Valdosta City Hall Annex. Presumably this study will say something about the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), the new force main to prevent manhole overflows, and maybe some upstream measures to keep quite as much water from getting there. This study only addresses issues within the city limits of Valdosta, not the larger watersheds upstream on the Withlacoochee and Little Rivers and downstream: that will take more funding. People downstream in Florida may be relieved to hear something is being done.

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VDT has selective smell

To the VDT the county government always smells like azaleas and the city of Valdosta government always smells like sewage. The local newspaper of record doesn’t seem to smell sewage or landfill problems from Lowndes County. Today’s VDT editorial complains about environmental groups paying attention to “theoretical disasters” (presumably referring to the Sabal Trail pipeline), yet the VDT has never covered the group that has most consistently followed the watershed-wide flooding issues that cause Valdosta’s flooding problems: WWALS Watershed Coalition. The VDT recommends citizens get more involved in sniffing out Valdosta’s sewage problems, yet it doesn’t seem to cover Citizens Wishing To Be Heard anymore, nor has the VDT called for the citizen participation sessions promised by the local governments for the Army Corps of Engineers flooding studies. Maybe the VDT could encourage citizen participation, rather than ignore it.

VDT editorial today, It just plain stinks, Continue reading

Flood control measures encourage settling too close and provoke severe flooding events

Flood control to keep water out of houses seems like a good idea, but it turns out that it causes the flood control measures to keep needing to be raised higher, and it encourages people to build too close to flooding areas, plus “rare and catastrophic events take place”. Like the 2009 “700 year flood” and the four or more floods this year that have overflowed the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant. In our case, there are also the issues of widespread clearcutting and buildings and streets with impervious cover. The local runoff containment requirements in the various local government zoning codes may be like levees: “flood control structures might even increase flood risk as protection from frequent flooding reduces perceptions of risk”.

This encourages human settlements in floodplain areas, which are then vulnerable to high-consequence and low-probability events.
Much simpler just not to give out building permits for flood zones. Or we could put medical buildings right next to a creek, assuming because it’s never flooded it never will….

Socio-hydrology: conceptualising human-flood interactions, G. Di Baldassarre, A. Viglione, G. Carr, L. Kuil, J. L. Salinas, and G. Bloschl, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 3295–3303, 2013 doi:10.5194/hess-17-3295-2013, © Author(s) 2013. CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Abstract. Over history, humankind has tended to settle near streams Continue reading

Fourth or fifth flooding at Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater plant this year?

So many I’ve lost track; somebody help me….

Valdosta City PR Friday, Public Notice for Permit Violation at WWTP,

Due to continued heavy rains in Valdosta and surrounding areas in recent days, moderate flooding of the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers caused a hydraulic overload at the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant. As a result of a peak hourly flow of 15.58 million gallons, the incident led to a discharge of total suspended solids in excess of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limit.

The total suspended solids result for the effluent sample collected August 22, 2013 was 203 milligrams per liter. This is greater than Continue reading

Arsenic, Outings, and Flooding: WWALS Watershed Coalition @ VLCIA 2013-04-16

Water issues strongly affect economic development, so I talked about the new WWALS Watershed Coalition at the 16 April 2013 Board Meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority.

The VDT declined to speak, so I did. After apologizing for no okra today, I commended the Authority for talking about the missing agenda items and for mentioning due diligence and flood control.

Mostly I talked about the new WWALS Watershed Coalition, www.wwals.net, incorporated in June 2012, which is about watershed issues such as flooding, water quality, and invasive species related to the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River System. I mentioned arsenic in some local well water, which the Department of Health has finally said should be tested, three years after Janet McMahan discovered it was a problem. I invited VLCIA board and staff to two upcoming WWALS events: Continue reading

A New Home! Year Six @ VLCIA 2013-04-16

The Industrial Authority was very forthcoming about everything about their new office purchase except who they were buying it from; this was at the 16 April 2013 Board Meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority. The seller turns out to be a household name hereabouts.

New Office –Roy Copeland

Chairman Roy Copeland talked about the at least five year process for finding “a new home” for VLCIA. 103 Roosevelt Drive He noted that before he joined the board they were considering buying a property he and his wife own. He and former Lowndes County Chairman Ashley Paulk looked at another property near the Courthouse. VLCIA even toured the historic Lowndes County Courthouse but concluded it couldn’t be renovated for their purposes. Jerry Jennett noted the search had gone on even longer than five years. Copeland said the parameters they had set were, as far as he recalled, Continue reading