Horrid quality at GA 133 Friday, but good downstream and Saturday 2020-11-07

2020-11-13: Horrendous water quality at GA 133 & US 84 Wednesday, clean downstream 2020-11-12

Something bad got in the Withlacoochee River between US 41 and GA 133 on Friday: very bad, eleven times the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream alert limit for E. coli. But downstream water quality results by Valdosta Friday at US 84 and by WWALS down to the State Line show nothing unusual. Whatever it was maybe hadn’t gotten that far. Valdosta downstream results for Monday (today) and FDOH results for Tuesday may be interesting.

Once again, nothing at US 41 or GA 133 can be due to last Tuesday’s Tifton spill, because Tifton is on the Little River, and those places are on the Withlacoochee River upstream of the Little River Confluence.

So what caused those very bad GA 133 Valdosta results? It’s hard to avoid thinking somebody dumped into the river. When this phenomenon just started, rumor had it that GA-EPD had found the culprit, which was a private company. If so, there must be more than one, or whoever it was is back at it.

[Many locations]
Many locations

We also have Friday WWALS datapoints for Naylor Beach on the Alapaha River and for Royal Spring on the Suwannee River, both good.

For context and the complete WWALS composite chart of water quality data from Georgia and Florida, see

WWALS tester Suzy Hall wrote about Friday:

Cloudy, misty day. First stop was Knights around 10ish. A family of Otters greeted me and provided entertainment. I was stoked at seeing this. Recently, I’d seen a family at 31!! There is alot of trash at Knights and Nankin. Knights has seen radial tire burns, so lots of wire, which is sad. The issue at State Line is the county hasn’t bothered to pick up the Boomerang trash. Quality results, on the other hand were awesome and almost surprising considering the water levels.

[Trash at State Line, Withlacoochee River]
Trash at State Line, Withlacoochee River

Well, maybe we forgot to ask Lowndes County to collect the trash we picked up before the WWALS Boomerang paddle race. Anyway, today Lowndes County Public Works promised to get it today.

You can see Suzy’s three locations on this map. State Line Boat Ramp is the one at the GA-FL line.

[US 41 to FL 6, Withlacoochee River]
US 41 to FL 6, Withlacoochee River
in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

Suzy added:

John will appreciate that I forgot my pen. Knights is green shotgun shell. Nankin is brass. State Line is a rock. Hey! You do what ya gotta do!!

Yes, I’ve done that, too: tie whatever you’ve got onto the Whirlpaks to distinguish them until you get to where you can write on them.

[KF, Nankin, SL, samples, Withlacoochee River]
KF, Nankin, SL, samples, Withlacoochee River

WWALS tester Tasha Ekman LaFace got good results at Naylor Beach on the Alapaha River.

[Upstream, Naylor Beach, Alapaha River]
Upstream, Naylor Beach, Alapaha River

That’s in the same new Lowndes County park as Naylor Boat Ramp, on US 84.

[Downstream, Naylor Beach, Alapaha River]
Downstream, Naylor Beach, Alapaha River

And we have a good datapoint from Royal Spring, which is about halfway between the Hal W. Adams Bridge and the Santa Fe River.

[Royal Spring, Suwannee River]
Royal Spring, Suwannee River

Royal Spring is highlighted on this map. Tifton is way up at the top left corner, with Valdosta halfway to the center of the map, and the Alapaha River vertical down from the top center.

[Tifton to the Gulf, Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Suwannee Rivers]
Tifton to the Gulf, Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Suwannee Rivers
in the WWALS map of all public landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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