Cleaner at State Line, Withlacoochee River 2020-40-12

Much better water quality Sunday at State Line Boat Ramp than upstream the day before.

Sunday Suzy Hall got 333 cfu/100 mL E. coli at State Line Boat Ramp, which is merely not very good. That’s way better than the extremely bad result she got at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp Saturday, 15.55 river miles upstream on the the Withlacoochee River. WWALS continues to sample. You can help.

[Withlacoochee River]
All photos by Suzy Hall, Withlacoochee River

Suzy remarked: “Both days plenty of boats enjoying the weather. You see the WWALS sign remains, and looks like it probably needs to. Rain seems to wash uglies downstream.”

[WWALS Signs]

There wasn’t any more rain over the weekend, but Monday rain fell from half an inch at US 84 to more than an inch upstream.

[Water was higher recently]
Water was higher recently and will be again soon.

How can results be that different only a day apart on the same river? Possibly Suzy on Saturday caught the tail end of a wash of contamination, which by Sunday had already passed the state line.

[State Line Boat Ramp]
State Line Boat Ramp

Sure, Suzy could have made a mistake Saturday, but I don’t rate that very likely, because so far she’s been right every time, and she followed testing protocol as always.

Conceivably the contamination just hadn’t reached State Line in a day, although that seems unlikely with good flow in the river now.

[Quitman and Valdosta to Suwannee River]
Quitman and Valdosta to Suwannee River
In the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

We’ll know more when we get updated Valdosta and Florida data; was none from either source since yesterday’s post. Florida results may show whether the contamination went into Florida. Valdosta results may show whether it started upstream of US 84, or as usual at Knights Ferry, indicating it came out of Okapilco Creek.

Also, I did not collect any samples yesterday, because of discussions with related organizations, and having to meet two federal agency deadlines for comments on bad construction projects. Maybe today I will get there.

No new sewage spills in the Suwannee River Basin have been reported to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Curiously, Valdosta does not seem to have reported that Thursday FOG spill near Cherry Creek, but that apparently didn’t even get into Cherry Creek and was not enough to cause a sky-high result more than 25 river miles downstream at Knights Ferry. Previous data and inspection indicates it probably wasn’t Quitman.

Which leaves agriculture, which is why this is all taking so long: there are no quick fixes for that. Yes, we are working on the source(s), and we are making progress. Please be patient.

[Dog in river]
Dog in river

Suzy noted: “Also, Boomer says two-leggeds are disgusting. They leave trails everywhere they go. He also looked longingly down river ready for a day out on the water soon.”

For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida data, see

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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