Health Advisory, Withlacoochee River, State Line 2020-10-02

Update 2020-10-06 Two or more sources last Tuesday, advisory lifted Monday, Withlacoochee River 2020-10-05.

A Health Advisory was isssued today by Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida, for fecal bacteria in the Withlacoochee River, apparently based on a too-high water quality test result at the GA-FL line on Thursday (yesterday). As that washes downstream, it’s probably best to avoid the river. Upstream, Valdosta reported a too-high reading at GA 133, and that is probably also washing down the river, so this is not a good weekend for boating.

[Chart, State Line, Swim Guide, Advisory]
Chart, State Line, Swim Guide, Advisory
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida water quality results, see:

You sure can’t tell what’s in Withlacoochee River water by looking at it.

[Sample: Nankin 2020-09-26]
Sample: Nankin 2020-09-26

It sampled pretty clean at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps when Suzy Hall tested it on Saturday.

[2020-09-26 State Line, Nankin]
2020-09-26 State Line, Nankin

But not yesterday, when Madison Health tested.

[Withlacoochee River Advisory October 2, 2020]
Withlacoochee River Advisory October 2, 2020

It probably looks about the same, but it isn’t.

[State Line Boat Ramp 2020-09-26]
State Line Boat Ramp 2020-09-26

Meanwhile upstream, Valdosta has revealed yet another too-high result at GA 133 on Wednesday. There are no sewage spills reported for the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia. But something is getting into the Withlacoochee River at GA 133.

[Bad State Line]
Bad State Line

Maybe that’s what washed down to the state line in one day. Or maybe the heavy rain at US 84 washed something into the river.

Whatever it was, best to avoid the Withlacoochee River this weekend.

[Map: Swim Guide, red State Line]
Map: Swim Guide, red State Line

Only State Line Boat Ramp shows red right now on Swim Guide, but contamination from the two known locations is probably washing downstream.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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