Valdosta Daily Times

February 28, 2014

City reports Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant permit violation

City of Valdosta

VALDOSTA — On Feb. 27, 2014, the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) notified the Environmental Protection Division of a violation to the facility’s discharge limits for Total Suspended Solids (TSS).  The incident followed a peak flow of 13.47 million gallons into the treatment plant which resulted from the heavy rain from the previous day.


After utility managers investigated the cause of the violation, it was determined that excess solids building up in the secondary clarifiers caused some solids to wash out and pass through the remaining treatment processes. It is important to note that the spill volume reported was highly-treated wastewater meeting all permit requirements with the exception of the allowed limit for TSS only.


The reported TSS measured for the effluent sample collected for Feb. 26 was 107 milligrams per liter, which is greater than 1.5 times the seven day average allowed by the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.  The reported volume of this spill is the approximately 7.5 million gallons into the Withlacoochee River.


Again, while this constitutes a major spill under regulatory guidelines, the total volume reported for the permit violation was highly-treated wastewater and met all other permit requirements, with the exception of TSS.


Upstream and downstream sampling of the Withlacoochee River was initiated on Feb. 27, and public notice signs were posted downstream of the spill location.


Contact Environmental Manager John Waite at (229) 259-3592 or at