Bad quality north Lowndes to state line, Withlacoochee River 2020-04-15

If it was this bad at the state line yesterday, this contamination must be in Florida by now. So watch out Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia, and Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida.

I am going now to collect some samples, as are some other WWALS testers. You can help.

[Bad from US 41 to state line]
Bad from US 41 to state line
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida data, see

So after contamination after last week’s rain, the Withlacoochee River was cleaner Sunday and even more so during the week. But that changed much for the worse with the rain yesterday.

[Again after rain]
Again after rain

The FDOH before recent datapoints means Florida Department of Health, in this case actually Madison Health. The V before datapoints is for Valdosta, which collected that data and reported it this afternoon.

The W before the Saturday and Sunday datapoints is for WWALS. Once again, Suzy Hall’s numbers are vindicated by Valdosta data. 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.

See also What do these numbers mean?

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

4 thoughts on “Bad quality north Lowndes to state line, Withlacoochee River 2020-04-15

  1. Ruthann Phenis

    Well, crap. Literally. This is ridiculous. Do we have no avenue of legal action? Sorry, I just cannot wrap my head around why this is allowed to continue and at this rate. Wasn’t THAT much rain….Why is it so much worse these days. It would appear someone in GA is purposely dumping or has a set up that any rain causes the pollution…Have been on this river over 20yrs and this is worse than when Valdosta sewerage system was in old location. And what are the laws regarding livestock and being on the river. I know there are regulations in FL and there were those caught in violation (raising cattle and allowing them next to and even in the river) and were made to stop. We just seem to be going in circles? We are most appreciative of all you are doing!! Truly! We are just OVER it and frustrated. We’d planned to be able to go use the river next week and now, yet again, we cannot.

    1. jsq Post author

      It’s agriculture. We are making progress. But because it’s agriculture, there is no quick fix. This will take months or years.
      This problem has probably been going on for years, and nobody knew because until very recently there wasn’t enough testing.
      So the good part is now at least we know so we can start doing something about it, and we have started doing that. -jsq

  2. Ruthann Phenis

    Thank you and we are extremely appreciative of all you do.
    I think part of our frustration is that, except for flooding, we have not had the repeated problem of well water contamination, as well as such extreme contamination when it rains.
    I just read about the Lowndes County meeting and all I can say is a “frustrating typical”. We’ve fought spills for over 20 years and they’ve turned a deaf ear. They don’t care. Am so happy to see that it appears that now they have some people who ,perhaps, actually do care. It is imperative that we see that all this information is in the newspapers and tv. Sadly, it is the only way to help keep people informed and hold them accountable.
    Thank you for the “fight for right”….it shouldn’t be so difficult….
    FL has regulations regarding livestock raised too close to rivers. Maybe GA will follow suit?

    1. jsq Post author

      Yes, Georgia should pass laws about livestock too close to streams, but that’s an even longer row to hoe, and will take probably years.
      No, it shouldn’t be so difficult, but as long as money talks and legislators listen, it will be. Some laws about that would be good.
      Remember, Lowndes County, has its own sewage system, which has not spilled in a year or more. At that same Tuesday meeting the Lowndes County Commission approved $6,545,729.00 to replace a force main, to prevent spills. That’s proactive, for which I commend them. -jsq

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