Update 2021-04-28: Bad upstream, too: Withlacoochee River water quality 2021-04-26.
It’s best to stay off the Withlacoochee River for a few days, with bacterial counts this high in the samples WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach took yesterday (Monday). This is not a good time for boating, fishing, or swimming in the river.
Probably Madison Health tested today, and we may see results via FDEP tomorrow. But at least until then, better safe than sorry.
This river contamination is most likely the usual cattle manure (and plus some wild hog manure) washed into the creeks and rivers by the Saturday rain. It is almost certainly not from the tiny FOG spill Valdosta had Friday.
Bad Monday: Withlacoochee River 2021-04-26
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida water quality results, rainfall, and spills, see:
Remember, 1,000 colony-forming units (cfu) per 100 mililiters of water (cfu/100 mL) of E. coli is the alert limit by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, as in watch out! All three of Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps were higher than that, and State Line was more than three times as high. This means chances of getting ill from the water are significant.
So those three Boat Ramps are red on Swim Guide. Others are still showing green, simply because we do not have new data for them. But I wouldn’t trust the river water upstream or down right now.
Below are some river pictures that Michael Bachrach took yesterday, and pictures of the Bachrachs’ Petrifilms with the colonies they counted.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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