Good downstream, but recurring GA 133, Withlacoochee River 2020-08-27

Update 2020-09-01: Valdosta concurs last week, but not week before, Withlacoochee River 2020-08-28

The good news: all WWALS results for Thursday were good downstream on the Withlacoochee River, and for Tuesday from Madison Health. So as far as we can tell, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend on the Withlacoochee River.

The bad news: something is still getting into the Withlacoochee River above GA 133, and it does not seem related to rainfall. This bad news has been going on too long. It really needs to be resolved for the Troupville River Park.

[Good Troupville, Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line Boat Ramps; bad GA 133]
Good Troupville, Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line Boat Ramps; bad GA 133

Thursday (yesterday) I sampled at Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River, and at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps on the Withlacoochee River, with very good results at all of them.

[Pictures at Troupville, KF, Nankin, SL Boat Ramps]
Pictures at Troupville, KF, Nankin, SL Boat Ramps

So the indications are green to go on Swim Guide.

[Green on Swim Guide]
Green on Swim Guide.

Madison Health Tuesday results downstream as reported by FDEP also are good.

Some time after last Friday, FDEP also reported last week’s Tuesday and Thursday Madison Health downstream results, which were also good.

And Valdosta reported good at US 84 for Monday this week and Monday, Wednesday, and Friday last week.

[Good downstream]
Good downstream
For the complete WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida results and further context, see:
http://wwals.net/issues/testing/

But something is wrong at GA 133, and it’s not just Fridays anymore. This Monday (August 24) and last Wednesday (August 19) Valdosta reported many thousands of cfu/100 mL of Fecal coliform and higher than the one-time sample limit of 410 of E. coli at the GA 133 bridge over the Withlacoochee River.

[Bad GA 133]
Bad GA 133

There was rain upstream at Skipper Bridge Sunday and Monday, but no significant rain at Skipper Bridge Tuesday and Wednesday last week. If you look farther back on the WWALS composite spreadsheet, the same thing happened Wednesday August 5.

Valdosta results weren’t quite that high on Wednesday August 12, but still high, and ditto Monday August 3.

This is after we thought we heard that GA-EPD found and resolved the two Friday sky-high results on July 24 and July 31.

It sure looks like somebody is still dumping something into the Withlacoochee River upsgtream of GA 133. Both Valdosta and Lowndes County say it’s not them.

So who is it? RV park? Port-a-Potties? Other?

This is a big problem, because that GA 133 bridge is right at the top of the area many organizations and people are trying to turn into a Troupville River Park.

[GA 133 bridge over Withlacoochee River]
GA 133 bridge over Withlacoochee River

We don’t have any data from Valdosta more recent than for Monday. So how do we know the same thing didn’t happen at GA 133 Wednesday, just before a bunch of people were just downstream on the Withlacoochee River above the Little River Confluence?

[Stairs or ramp?]
Stairs or ramp?

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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