Weekend Storms Result in Sewer Spills

The City of Valdosta was fortunate to escape life and major property loss during the weekend weather event that hammered South Georgia. While city infrastructure held up well against the unforgiving storm, routine rainfall inspections conducted by Utilities Department staff on Jan. 22 identified sanitary sewer spills at three locations. The spills were caused by the large amounts of rainfall in excess of 6 inches received within a 24-hour period, which resulted in stormwater infiltration and inflow entering the sanitary sewer system and exceeding the capacity of the sewer system.

All the areas in the system where major repairs or improvements have been made in recent years experienced no sewer spills.  The combined stormwater and sewer flows resulted in manhole overflows at the following locations.  These are not common spill locations and all have been added to the city’s list for rehabilitation.

  • In the 800 block of Gornto Road, an estimated 9,725 gallons flowed into Two Mile Branch.
  • In the 1200 block of Wainwright Drive, an estimated 9,800 gallons flowed into One Mile Branch.
  • In the 1600 block of James P. Rogers Drive, an estimated 57,500 gallons flowed into Mud Creek.

Staff immediately began monitoring and testing the impacted area, as well as cleanup and disinfecting at the overflow locations and stream discharge points. Warning signs have been posted at the spill locations and downstream from these locations, and the public is advised to avoid any contact with the affected areas. Furthermore, all appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified.

The city continues its ongoing efforts to improve the infrastructure of the sewer system to eliminate these issues in the future. Improving our sewer system has and will continue to be a main priority. Individuals with questions should contact Environmental Manager Scott Fowler at 229-259-3592 or by email at sfowler@valdostacity.com.        

Posted by Sementha Mathews Monday, January 23, 2017 5:37:00 PM