Tag Archives: creeks

Pictures: Sugar Creek Withlacoochee River on-land cleanup 2023-07-22

Thanks to Russell Allen McBride for leading the rerouted on-land Sugar Creek and mostly Withlacoochee River cleanup. Children and experienced adults teamed up to get the job done. We found only one big trash jam and we cleaned that one up.

Phil Hubbard came with boat and chainsaws ready to do a chainsaw cleanup, but due to the reroute there was no chainsawing.

We thanked Valdosta Assistant Utilities Director Jason Barnes for alerting us to the sewage spill contamination in Sugar Creek that caused us to reroute from a cleanup paddle to an on-land cleanup. He arrived before we left, so we thanked him again in person.

[Before, WaterGoat, Trashjam, Level log, after, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2023-07-22]
Before, WaterGoat, Trashjam, Level log, after, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River 2023-07-22

Yes, Vivian, there could be alligators. Continue reading

Lucille M. Norton Bridge across Grand Bay Creek dedicated 2006-07-09

Here’s a bridge named after a schoolteacher, the Lucille M. Norton Bridge across Grand Bay Creek in Lanier County, Georgia, on GA 31, aka US 221 and Lakeland Highway.

[Lucille M. Norton Bridge]
Lucille M. Norton Bridge

Kenna Walsh, Valdosta Daily Times, July 7, 2006, Updated September 12, 2014, Bridge to be named for Lucille Norton,

LAKELAND — This Sunday, a well known and loved Lakeland teacher will receive an eternal dedication. Lucille Norton, a native of Lanier County who died at age 86, taught home economics in Lakeland for 58 years. This Sunday, the bridge over Grand Bay Pond on U.S. 221 will be named in her honor at a 2 p.m. ceremony in the Lanier County Courthouse.

Continue reading

Knights Creek tested too high for E. coli before Valdosta reported the latest spill 2023-07-10

Update 2023-07-26: Valdosta notified GA-EPD four days after the latest Knights Creek sewage spill 2023-07-06.

Update 2023-07-18: Another Valdosta River Street Spill into Hightower Creek 2023-07-17.

Valdosta’s own water quality tests of Knights Creek showed way too high E. coli for the day before Valdosta’s press release about its most recent sewage spill into Knights Creek.

[Map and Report]
Map and Report

I don’t know whether these tests were done by Valdosta’s downstream testing contractors or by their in-house people. If the latter, it seems likely that Valdosta knew of these Monday results before the city issued a press release the next day at 6:24 PM Tuesday, July 11, 2023. Yet there is no mention of them in the press release.

Valdosta got even higher results for March 29th, with a note: “Possible cause of high results on 3/29 was substantial rainfall in area.”

But Valdosta also got too-high results for March 30th (above the one-time test limit of 410), on June 13th (above the alert limit of 1,000), and on June 21st (above the one-time test limit). I’m not finding records of rain on Valdosta at all these dates. Plus if that was the cause, why are the too-high results all only for the BELOW location and not the ABOVE location? Has Valdosta had more sewage spills than they have reported?

Speaking of reported, neither this spill nor Valdosta’s previous spill have shown up in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. I have asked GA-EPD about that.

These Knights Creek test results are according to data on the city of Valdosta Utilties Department web pages, 2023 Knight’s Creek Biological Monitoring Results. Continue reading

Yet another Valdosta sewage spill, five days ago, at 1800 E. Park Ave., Knights Creek 2023-07-06

2023-07-17: Knights Creek tested too high for E. coli before Valdosta reported the latest spill 2023-07-10.

Update 2023-07-14: Clean Withlacoochee River 2023-07-13.

Obviously informing the public of dangers to public health is not a top priority of the City of Valdosta.

[Map: 1800 E. Park Avenue and Knights Creek in ARWT]
Map: 1800 E. Park Avenue and Knights Creek
in the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT)

Valdosta spilled 194,251 gallons of raw sewage, starting about five days ago, and today they get around to telling the public at 6:24 PM.

That’s more than 10,000 gallons, which means it is a major spill.

At least this time, unlike last sewage spill, Valdosta bothered to say how many gallons and a relatively precise location. Yet this spill is not in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report, and that last one still is not.

There was no need to put another marker on the ARWT map for this most recent spill, because it is the same location as the series of spills this February. Unlike in February, this today’s press release does name Knights Creek. It does not say Knights Creek flows into Mud Swamp Creek, the Alapahoochee River, and the Alapaha River, then the Suwannee River to the Gulf.

Still, five days to inform the public? Why, Valdosta? Continue reading

Nutrien phosphate mine on the ground 2023-05-12

Update 2023-06-11: Crossings under CR 6 by Nutrien Phosphate Mine 2023-06-10.

A little birdie dropped these pictures, which were taken near Fivemile Still Road off of Woodpecker Route (CR 135), in Hamilton County, Florida, northeast of White Springs.

The locations are all less than a mile up Fivemile Still Road, which was closed above that.

[Inside the Nutrien phosphate mine, Hamilton County, Florida]
Inside the Nutrien phosphate mine, Hamilton County, Florida

Fivemile Still Road parallels Long Branch, which runs into the Suwannee River above Big Shoals Tract Launch.

Or did. Hard to say where Long Branch runs after all this mining. Continue reading

Okapilco Creek Bridge closed between Pavo and Barney, GA 2023-04-07

It’s actually two bridges closed: over what GDOT calls Brice Pond Tributary Bridge and over Okapilco Creek.

There are detours shorter between Pavo and Barney than GDOT indicates.

Which is fortunate, since the closure is very long: from 7 AM April 11, 2023 to 4 PM July 31, 2024, according to GDOT 511.

[Creeks and Bridges]
Creeks and Bridges

Press Alert, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), April 7, 2023, Brooks County… Two Bridges on SR 122 Closed Beginning Next Week, Continue reading

Rivers and mining: WWALS comments on Suwannee-Satilla Draft Regional Water Plan 2023-05-15

Sent yesterday as PDF, in response to the invitation to comment and before the May 24, 2023 meeting in Tifton of the Georgia Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council.

[The WWALS letter and rivers and mines in and near the Suwannee River Basin]
The WWALS letter and rivers and mines in and near the Suwannee River Basin

May 15, 2023

To: Water Planning

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

RE: WWALS Comments on SSRWPC Draft Regional Water Plan

Dear DNR,

Responding to your invitation to comment on the draft Regional Water Plans, I write to mention some omissions in the Suwannee-Satilla Regional Draft Water Plan of March 2023.

Continue reading

Pictures: turtle rescue 2023-04-24

While taking pictures of Valdosta’s trash traps, I found a turtle in distress in the Lee Street detention pond trash trap above One Mile Branch.

[Turtle upside down in trash trap, rightside, culverts, Lee Street detention pond 2023-04-24]
Turtle upside down in trash trap, rightside, culverts, Lee Street detention pond 2023-04-24

That turtle did not look right. Continue reading

Dollar General developer and property owner sue Lowndes County about rezoning denial –VDT 2023-05-03

The plaintiffs’ case is based on the Lowndes County Commission not agreeing with county staff’s recommendation to approve the rezoning, as well as “evidence supporting their petition and codes relating to the Unified Development Land Code.”

Maybe this is the “enhanced facade” that Dollar General offered in the Public Hearing after which the County Commission denied the rezoning, on January 1, 2023.

[Enhanced facade, plat, and future development, VDT and actual stormwater by WWALS]
Enhanced facade, plat, and future development, VDT and actual stormwater by WWALS

Also the plaintiffs say all the public comments were “generalized and speculative”. Huh, I sure thought I heard a bunch of quite specific public comments. The letter WWALS sent to the Commission before that Public Hearing was quite specific, for example, in saying the allegation that the closest effect on nearby property owners would be on their residences was hogwash, given that stormwater from the subject site runs west under GA 122 onto neighboring property much closer than that residence.

There was speculation in various comments, but it was based on easily documented history of Dollar General and of property development in Lowndes County.

After a story by a Valdosta Daily Times reporter, that local organ of record weighed in with an editorial supporting the citizens. Continue reading

Clean Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers 2023-04-13

Update 2023-04-21: Clean WIthlacoochee River 2023-04-20.

Update 2023-04-18: Naylor Beach and Boat Ramp in Swim Guide 2023-04-18.

Happy swimming, fishing, and boating this weekend!

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide Map 2023-04-13]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide Map 2023-04-13

All WWALS water quality test results for Thursday show clean from E. coli for the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers. Crawford Branch at Skipper Bridge Road was a bit higher, but well within the 410 one-time test limit.

No new sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

Rain is predicted for Sunday morning, but probably not enough to wash much contamination into the rivers. Continue reading