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Neighbors in Valdosta cope with sewage spills; leaders work to fix infrastructure

Valdosta has seen over 500,000 gallons of sewage being spilled since December.
Posted at 6:08 PM, Mar 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-06 18:08:16-05
  • Valdosta has seen over 500,000 gallons of sewage spilled since last Decemeber.
  • Officials confirm this is due to aging infrastructure.
  • Watch the video to hear from neighbors affected by the spills.


Valdosta's latest sewage spill has neighbors concerned about infrastructure.

"I think regular updates would be helpful, rather than seeing people show up in your backyard unannounced."

I'm Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta.

During my last story about the city's pollution control plant, a neighbor had reached out to me about a spill in his own backyard.

Now, I'm checking back in.

Richard Stalvey has lived in Valdosta for 50 years.

He calls Knob Hill Drive home.

He also says he's seen two sewage spills in less than 60 days.

"I did notice some peculiar odor over a day or two before they called me and and never dawned on me that it was the sewage."

Richard was aware of some of the other spills around the city, but he never thought it would be in his own backyard.

"I couldn't believe it would be happening in this section of town, because it's a fairly high area. It's not in a floodplain, so I was somewhat shocked."

He tells me he appreciates the city's action cleaning and repairing the collapsed sewer line.

Now, he's pushing for better communication.

"I think they've been very negligent in communicating with the affected parties because like I say no one has reached out to me directly as to this problem."

Sewage problems have been plaguing the city for months.

The last two spills in Knob Hill happened in January and the last week of February, resulting in over 100,000 gallons of sewage being released.

December 2nd, an estimated 6,300 gallons of sewage flooded four houses over on Pin Oak Circle. Then, just a week later, on December 11th, 425,000 gallons overflowed in the 1800 block of Park Avenue.

This is due to Valdosta's aging infrastructure.

The city is working to overcome these types of spills, saying in a statement quote, "the Utilities Department is not only updating aging infrastructure but also managing a multitude of programs and developing new plans of action to limit and prevent Sanitary Sewer overflows."

As leaders work to stop the spills, Richard says he hopes they'll work on one other thing.

"They should communicate with the homeowners i think where it is actually occurring."

If you're looking for more information about our city's utilities programs, contact the City of Valdosta Utilities Department, Environmental Division, at 229-259-3592.