This very high Valdosta Monday 1,600 E. coli data for Knights Ferry Boat Ramp and even higher 3,200 for Nankin Boat Ramp help explain the Florida high result downstream on Tuesday, which itself helped explain yesterday’s Florida bacterial alert for the Withlacoochee River.
For how bad those numbers are, see What do these numbers mean?
Valdosta’s Wednesday Nankin result was better, and its Knights Ferry 570 result at least wasn’t as horrible, although that was still higher than the one-time sample 410 limit. Yet Okapilco Creek @ US 84 had actually gotten worse.
So we can hope the Florida downstream good results are a good indicator. But there could be more E. coli still coming down the Withlacoochee River.
WWALS testers are collecting samples today and tomorrow, so we shall see.
Meanwhile, we have to put Knights Ferry Boat Ramp back to red on Swim Guide, because that’s the most recent data we have for it. Nankin just barely squeaks by under 410, so it’s green like all the eight Withlacoochee River “beaches,” except Knights Ferry.
Thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for getting this Valdosta downstream data published. Maybe that can become standard practice, so people will have a better idea of river conditions before the weekend. This is in Valdosta’s own interest, since it usually shows contamination going up below US 84, which is well below anything Valdosta could have spilled into the river. And in any case, speedy publication shows concern of Valdosta about people downstream.
It would also be nice if Valdosta would publish its Friday results before the following Wednesday; maybe even on Saturday.
We don’t know what happened downstream of FL 6: nobody is testing down there.
Floridians, you may want to ask your statehouse delegation and FDEP and other appointed officials to fund and implement regular, frequent, water quality testing all the way to the Gulf. If Valdosta, GA, can do it on forty river miles to the state line, the great state of Florida can do it.
Meanwhile, so far as I know, that’s all the water quality data we can get today. And this is definitely my last post today on this subject.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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