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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A creek runs through it

Published December 04, 2006
Sometimes it’s a creek. And sometimes it’s mostly a sandy path down through the woods. Officially, it’s known as Okapilco Creek that meanders through the Moultrie city limits on down to Brooks County and into the Suwannee River Basin.

The wastewater treatment plant on West Bypass is at capacity, for all practical purposes. The plant is 20-plus years old. The state allows this facility to discharge four million gallons of treated effluent into the Ochlockonee River each day. At the moment, 3.5 million gallons are being discharged, and that extra 500,000 gallons can be immediately taken up by the 700-planned residential units now being approved within the city limits, Hopkins said. That leaves no room for industry and commercial development.

It is speculated that much of the reduced flow in the Okapilco, outside of dry weather, is that many ponds have been built up stream in that watershed, stocking water for farming and recreation, thus reducing flow. That also has affected the flow of the Ochlockonee River which begins as just a creek on the Colquitt -Worth line. The Ochlockonee flows into the Gulf of Mexico at Panacea, Fla., after combining with Crooked River and Sopchoppy River just above Highway 98 as well as many creeks and branch heads along the way.

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