Daily Archives: March 13, 2021

All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-11

Update 2021-03-19: Clean week despite rain, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-18.

A rare simple all clear for Withlacoochee River water quality: all good for boating, swimming, and fishing.

[Clean, good, go]
Clean, good, go

We seldom see test plates this clean. Gus Cleary got zero (0) E. coli colonies on any of his three test plates for Thursday, March 11, 2021. They don’t look much different from his control plate. Most importantly: no blue colonies with bubbles. That’s at his place downstream of Allen Landing.

[Clean plates]
Clean plates

Also for Thursday, Madison Health also got very clean results at State Line, Sullivan Launch, and Florida 6.

Upstream, the most recent we have from Valdosta is for Monday, but that was all clear at US 41, GA 133, and US 84. Since there has been no rain all week, probably the Withlacoochee River remains clean. Continue reading

Tifton, Ashburn spills, bad downstream 2021-03-03

Update 2021-03-13: All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-11.

Tifton and Ashburn, Georgia spilled raw sewage, March 3, 2021, both from places that had spilled before. For once we may have actually seen some of that in downstream water quality results. But they could not have caused the extremely high test result at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp that same day, nor the bad results into Florida the next day: those were most likely the usual cattle manure.

[Ashburn, Tifton spills and water quality]
Ashburn, Tifton spills and water quality

The high Fecal coliform at US 41 and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River that same Wednesday could have been from the Tifton spill on the New River upstream, and the high E. coli at GA 133, all in Valdosta’s thrice-weekly testing. It’s about 64 river miles from 2406 N. Ridge Ave. to US 41, and about 70 miles to GA 133, but with the rivers high and fast, it’s conceivable a spill that started in the early morning (or the previous evening) could have moved downstream that fast.

Or with rains over an inch closer upstream on the Withlacoochee River, something else may have washed into the river. Or both.

The only way to be sure would be DNA tests. Valdosta is supposed to be doing those as part of the Consent Order. We are looking forward to seeing results. Continue reading