Collapsed Sewer Line Causes Spillage

On Wednesday, February 15th, 2023, the City of Valdosta received notification of a possible sewer issue at the 1800 block of East Park Avenue. Upon investigation, city staff identified a collapsed sewer line on East Hill Avenue which caused the collection system to surcharge and manholes to overflow at the East Park location. City staff and a local contractor worked around the clock to divert flow around the collapsed area and stop the spill. An estimated 672,250 gallons of sewer was released into the wetland watershed area adjacent to Knights Creek. City staff immediately began cleanup and disinfecting at the overflow location. All appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified, and warning signs have been posted.

Preventing sewer spills has been, and will continue to be, the city’s top priority through the ongoing Collection System Rehab Program which includes Manhole Rehab, the Smoke Testing Program, Sewer Main Lining and Sewer Main Replacement. In addition, the Utilities Department has an ongoing River Sampling Program that tests waters at different locations down the Withlacoochee river and has continued to install generators at the lift stations to ensure uninterrupted operation during power failures.

In addition to the programs listed above, in 2020 the Utilities Department initiated two additional programs, The “Creek Crossing” program and the “Cap the Cleanout” program, to help locate Infiltration and Inflow in the Collection System as well. These programs are designed to specifically check each manhole and/or sewer line on or near water to verify proper operation and to ensure each house has their cleanout cap installed and the cleanout is in working order. 

The city will continue its ongoing efforts to improve the infrastructure of the sewer system to eliminate these issues in the future. For more information, contact Scott Fowler, Environmental Manager at the Utilities Department at 229-259-3592 or