Tag Archives: Michael Mitchell

Lifted: Florida Withlacoochee and Suwannee Wastewater Warning; WWALS signs stay up for now 2020-01-24

Received 4:19 PM yesterday, Florida has lifted its river warning advisory. But everyone should keep testing rivers, creeks, and wells, not just after this December 2019 record-largest Valdosta raw sewage spill, but ongoing, at least weekly, to eventually lift the stigma so we can all promote eco-tourism. You can help.

[01-24-2020 Wastewater Spill Valdosta Hamilton Madison LIFTED 0001]
01-24-2020 Wastewater Spill Valdosta Hamilton Madison LIFTED 0001
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But WWALS will leave our warning signs up at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line (GA 31, Madison Highway, Mozell Spells, CR 145) Boat Ramps in Georgia for now.

This is because that 397 cfu/100 mL E. coli at Continue reading

Valdosta sewage from Sugar Creek to Florida 2019-01-01

Update 2020-01-03 Valdosta Sewage Public Meeting, Valdosta City Hall Annex, 2020-01-08.

You can see Valdosta’s sewage going down the Withlacoochee River as the high red numbers in these composite tables WWALS has cobbled together from various data sources (all acknowledged below).

Early on, the sewage apparently mostly sat in Sugar Creek downstream from the spill site, due to low water and no rain.

[Early (12/10-12/18)]
Early (12/10-12/18)

Most of the Georgia numbers in above table are from Valdosta Utilities data. The ones marked with a W are WWALS data using the Georgia Adopt-a-Stream 3M Petrifilms method.

Fecal coliform numbers started dropping in Sugar Creek at Gornto Road on December 14, and were much more acceptable by December 15 and 16th. Where did the sewage go? Continue reading

High E. coli at state line in Florida DOH water quality data 2019-12-24

According to data sent yesterday by Florida Department of Health (FDOH), Valdosta found elevated E. coli and Fecal coliform counts at US 84, 14 miles downstream from Sugar Creek, on December 18th.

[14-18 Dec 2019]
14-18 Dec 2019

That is consistent with Suzy Hall finding high E. coli counts at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp 8.44 miles downstream and three days later on December 21st.

It’s also consistent with FDOH detecting elevated E. coli after a rainy weekend at the state line 15.55 miles and three more days later on December 24th.

[24 Dec 2019]
24 Dec 2019

FDOH sent no data from Valdosta for any days after Continue reading

Valdosta and Florida water quality data after Valdosta record raw sewage spill 2019-12-16

Update 2019-12-17: WWALS Water Quality Testing US 84 & FL Campsites, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-16.

Here is Valdosta’s water quality testing data since the spill was discovered.

Apparently the spill was so bad it actually went upstream on Hightower Creek to St. Augustine Road, judging by the 1530 Fecal coliform cfu/100 ml reading on December 10th and 1275 on December 11th. Sugar Creek at Gornto Road was 5100 that day, and 8100 on December 11th. A reading of 1000 indicates a real problem. This was far worse.

The good news is that the levels are decreasing at those sampling stations.

The better news is that the sewage had not made it downstream even as far as US 84 (Valdosta sampling) or anywhere on the Withlacoochee or Suwannee Rivers in Florida (SRWMD sampling) as of December 15, 2019. (WWALS already got SRWMD’s data from Wednesday, December 12, 2019 last week and published it).

[Testing locations]
Testing locations

You may notice a big gap between US 84 and CR 150 (Sullivan Launch). We have already published some WWALS data for Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps, in which we also did not yet see the Valdosta sewage. More will follow today.

You can donate to help pay for the Petrifilms and other equipment.

Also notice that the Florida Department of Health titles this: “SITUATION REPORT – Dec 3 2019 Valdosta Sewage Spill”. So apparently Valdosta’s record-largest raw sewage spill started Tuesday, December 3rd, not Continue reading