Twomile Branch and Withlacoochee River 2020-07-28

Update 2020-07-31: Just when you think it’s safe, nope, Withlacoochee River to GA-FL line 2020-07-29.

For Monday, July 27, 2020, Valdosta reports still slightly elevated bacterial counts at GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, but nothing like the alert level of Friday. Yet counts at US 41 upstream and US 84 downstream remain completely normal. We can guess that rainwater coming down the Little River into the Withlacoochee diluted the contamination.

[Towmile Branch, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River]
Towmile Branch, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River

We don’t know where that Friday GA 133 contamination came from. Both Valdosta and Lowndes County say they did not spill any sewage, and the state of Georgia still reports no sewage spills in the Suwannee River Basin (ditto for Florida).

[Downstream, 16:25:10, 30.8661346, -83.3102568]
Downstream, 16:25:10, 30.8661346, -83.3102568

I even tested Tuesday on Twomile Branch just below Joree Millpond and behind the last house on Lake Drive (thanks to the landowner). Results there were higher than are good for longterm average, but below the single test limit.

[Upstream again, 16:12:23, 30.864, -83.3158]
Upstream, Twomile Branch, Lake Drive, Valdosta, GA, 2020-07-28, 16:12:23, 30.8640000, -83.3158000

We have no Valdosta results downstream of US 84 since Wednesday a week ago, and nothing from Florida since Tuesday a week ago.

More rain fell Tuesday on the Little River, and also near Okapilco Creek in Colquitt and Brooks Counties, Georgia, so we may see a combination of rainwater dilution and manure runoff downstream.

[Still slightly up at GA 133, but not US 41 or 84]
Still slightly up at GA 133, but not US 41 or 84
For the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida results, and context, see:

Twomile Branch comes down through Joree Millpond.

[Spillway, Joree Milpond, 16:25:34, 30.8664, -83.30985]
Spillway, Joree Milpond, 16:25:34, 30.8664000, -83.3098500

Then it runs into Sugar Creek which joins the Withlacoochee River upstream of GA 133.

[Twomile Branch, McKey Park to Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River]
Twomile Branch, McKey Park to Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River

We are planning a cleanup on Twomile Branch. In the interests of physical distancing, we’d like to do it in small groups of half a dozen, probably including Onemile Branch and Sugar Creek as well. Contact us if you’re interested.

[Twomile Branch, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, GA 133]
Twomile Branch, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, GA 133

We do have WWALS testers out during the week this week.

[GA 133 west of Valdosta, east of Troupville Boat Ramp]
GA 133 west of Valdosta, east of Troupville Boat Ramp in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

We are buying more testing kits with the Georgia Power Foundation Grant. If you want to help test, please sign up.

Thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for getting the Monday upstream Valdosta results posted. Thanks to the landowner at 1219 Lake Drive for testing and cleanup access.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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