Residents Speak Out About Valdosta Sewage Problems

By: Joe Hellriegel Email
By: Joe Hellriegel Email

"My kids play outside all the time, I'm worried they might get into the sewage."

After Valdosta received three inches of rain in eight hours Tuesday morning, manholes around the city overflowed, spilling 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways. This is a growing concern for residents near those areas like Lashea Hudson who has two young daughters.

"They're so young, they don't know and if they got into the creek and there is sewage they could get really sick and that's just another thing we would have to worry about," said Hudson.

The City of Valdosta reported 11 manholes that overflowed, including on Gornto Road, where Hudson lives. She says it was unbearable to even stand outside.

"The smell was really bad, it was so bad we could actually smell it inside our house, and you just walk out here it's hard to breathe because the smell is so thick. It's a really big problem," said Hudson.

The city did report that the The Mud Creek and Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plants, which had problems in the past, were working properly because of a $2.5 million sanitary sewer system improvement project.

The Florida Department of Health released this statement addressing the spills:

"The Florida Department of Health continues to monitor the situation regarding the wastewater spill in Valdosta, GA. The Department works closely with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to identify when water sampling is necessary and then review sample results to determine when a public health risk is identified. When deemed appropriate the Department of Health issues a health advisory."

Here is a full list of reported manhole overflows:

-Two manholes in the 600 block of Scott Drive overflowed, and the estimate of the overflow into Sugar Creek is 63,000 gallons and 6,000 gallons respectively.

-A manhole in the 1200 block of Lake Drive overflowed an estimated 31,500 gallons in Two Mile Branch.

-A manhole in the 4100 block of Bemiss Road overflowed an estimated 18,000 gallons into Cherry Creek.

-One manhole in the 800 block of Gornto Road has overflowed an estimated 15,000 into Two Mile Branch.

-Two manholes on Remer Lane overflowed into Sugar Creek and overflowed an estimated 99,000 gallons and 6,000 gallons respectively.

-One manhole in the 1700 block of Gordon Street has spilled an estimated 6,000 gallons into Sugar Creek.

-A manhole at 1100 Jo Ree Street has overflowed an estimated 13,500 into One Mile Branch.

-A manhole in the 600 block of Cypress Street has overflowed an estimated 22,500 gallons into Knights Creek.

-A manhole in the 2400 block of Meadowbrook Drive overflowed an estimated 6,000 gallons into Sugar Creek.

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