Valdosta Daily Times

March 17, 2013

City releases totals from spills

Kay Harris
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The City of Valdosta filed a report with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) with the total number of gallons of wastewater spilled in recent weeks.

From Feb. 21 to March 4, a total of 15 major spills resulted in nearly 45 million gallons of treated and untreated wastewater being released into waterways from the city’s sewage system.

One spill was caused by a grease blockage, three due to hydraulic overloads, and the remainder were due to the amount of rain received over a three day period.

According to the report, affected rivers include Knights Creek, Cherry Creek, Sugar Creek, One Mile Branch, Two Mile Branch, Dukes Bay Canal and the Withlacoochee River.

More than 2 million gallons of untreated raw sewage spilled into Sugar Creek from locations on Scott and Meadowbrook Drives, with an additional 989,759 gallons spilled from a second location on Meadowbrook into Two Mile Branch.

From the Withlacoochee wastewater treatment plant on Wetherington Lane, 5 million gallons of raw sewage and an additional 40 million gallons of partially treated and untreated wastewater spilled into the river over a three day period.

Marzieh Shahbazaz of the Georgia EPD stated that the agency met with city officials last week and will decide what course of action to take following a review.  “If a consent order becomes necessary, it will take about two months to become public,” Shahbazaz stated.

The plant was taken offline on Feb. 28 and returned to normal operations on March 3, according to the City.

The city council discussed a plan of action at their retreat this weekend to address the ongoing problems with the city’s sewage system and the relocation of the treatment plant.