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March 19, 2014

Another possible river contamination alert issued due to wastewater overflow from Georgia

Live Oak — Wastewater overflow from Valdosta may impact the Withlacoochee River, the Florida Department of Health has reported Wednesday. The city of Valdosta has reported a spill, made up of a combination of storm water and untreated sewage that has overflowed into the One-Mile Branch, Two-Mile Branch, Sugar Creek and Cherry Creek which flow into the Withlacoochee River. 

This is the second time an alert like this has been issued this year. The last one was in late February. There were also several alerts issued last year due to a spill from Valdosta. 

Until further information is known regarding possible contamination of the rivers, residents are urged to take precautions when in contact with the Withlacoochee River. This includes those individuals in the counties of Hamilton and Madison.

Water contaminated by wastewater overflow presents several health hazards to humans and may contain untreated human sewage with microbes that could cause gastro-intestinal and other diseases. 

Anyone who comes in contact with the river water should wash thoroughly, especially before eating or drinking. Children and older adults, as well as people with weakened immune systems, are particularly vulnerable to disease so every precaution should be taken if in contact with the river water. 

For more information visit www.floridahealth.org. 

From the Valdosta Daily Times:

1,033,500 gallons and counting

Sewage spills reported by city in 24 hours

Kay Harris 

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The City of Valdosta reported more than one million gallons of untreated wastewater from the sewage system have spilled into several waterways around the community following nearly five inches of rain locally.

So far, 1,033,500 gallons of wastewater have spilled and several sites are still overflowing, while others have been stopped and repaired.

On Monday, The Times was alerted to manhole overflows and sewage spills in the Meadowbrook Drive area, the same area that has been hard hit by spills since 2008. Residents could not speak to The Times due to their ongoing lawsuit, filed in 2013, against the city, but The Times was able to photograph several areas of wastewater overflow into nearby Sugar Creek.

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