City makes plans to relocate wastewater plant -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

City makes plans to relocate wastewater plant

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Many of you know first-hand that recovery from a flood can take years. Nearly two years after major flooding in Valdosta, there's still a lot of work to do.

The city is still making plans to replace a heavily damaged water treatment plant.

And many homeowners are still working on costly repairs.

Rising flood waters in 2009 damaged equipment at the Withlacoochee waste water treatment plant and at 30 years old the plant is nearing the end of it's life.

"Each time we've had a flood here it's gotten worse," said Henry Hicks, the utilities director for the City of Valdosta. "The water's reached higher levels each time because there's been more development more impervious surface."

The city of Valdosta purchased this tract of land that's 54 feet higher than the current site.

"It's no where even close to being in a harm's way in case of another flood," said Hicks.

"The water actually came right up here to this brick," said Jack Brinson.

Many flood victims are still feeling the effects from the flood.

"On this side and in meadowbrook, only two houses out of everybody had a flood policies because we were told we were not in flood plain and did not need it," said Brinson.

He pays a couple thousand dollars a year for a mandatory flood insurance policy.

(jack Brinson) "We actually had to replace all of our ducts, pipes, insulation and everything that went underneath our house. Everything in the shed was gone."

He says he wasn't hit as hard as some of the neighbors.

"One of my neighbors across the street, we had to go over to his house in a canoe and retrieve his valuables," said Brinson.

Brinson says it's costs tens of thousands of dollars for some of his neighbors to get back in their homes.

Jack Brinson says it's an experience you just don't think can happen to you and he hopes it doesn't happen again.

The land purchased for the new water treatment plant is on Wetherington Lane just up the road from the current site.

It was paid for with SPLOST money.

If FEMA approves the city's claim, the plant could be finished in a few years.

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