Update 2020-06-11: Contamination moving downstream in Florida 2020-06-09.
The E. coli numbers jump up from US 84 to Knights Ferry in additional data from Valdosta for Monday. In between is Okapilco Creek coming out of Brooks County, with many beef and dairy cow pastures upstream.
Valdosta’s 1,600 cfu/100 mL at the state line is nowhere near Madison Health’s 24,196, but still higher than the 1,000 alert limit.
It’s a good guess that Madison and Hamilton County Health Departments are putting up signs in Florida after their Withlacoochee River Advisory of yesterday.
I hope some Florida state agency is testing downstream from FL 6, because by now the contamination may well have moved down that way.
I am heading out to collect samples for WWALS and to put our yellow diamond Caution signs back up at State Line and Nankin Boat Ramps. The Knights Ferry access road is washed out so that one will have to go up later. You can help.
Yesterday I set all eight Withlacoochee River Boat Ramps and Launches in Swim Guide to show red for failed water quality.
Thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for the additional Valdosta data from US 84 downstream to the state line. See What do these numbers mean?
Remember, the higher-than-alert results from US 84 north are not from Brooks County. There are horse farms and cows and hogs up there, too, as well as septic tanks, domestic pets, and wildlife in the woods. And yes, runoff from city streets. But no sewage spills have been reported.
What happens if this contamination reaches the Suwannee River? The Suwannee is already nearing flood level, so there may be enough rainwater to dilute the E. coli. Such flow models are a specialty of the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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