Filthy upstream Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, clean downstream 2021-09-02

Update 2021-09-10: Bad Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, good Alapaha River 2021-09-09.

In a very unusual configuration, the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers at GA 122 showed too much E. coli in Thursday samples, while everywhere downstream tested clean, also clean on the Alapaha River.

Whatever got into the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers upstream is no doubt washing downstream. Probably it will pass by in a day or two.

The Alapaha River would be a better choice for swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

The Folsom Bridge Gauge on the Little River at GA 122 showed very heavy rain Wednesday, 2.74 inches. Probably the same storm also rained on or above GA 122 on the Withlacoochee River at Hagan Bridge. Something washed into both rivers.

[Chart: bad up, good down 2021-09-02]
Chart: bad up, good down 2021-09-02
For context and the complete WWALS composite spreadsheet of water quality results and rainfall, see:

We do not have any new data from other sources since the Madison Health far-too-high result at the state line for Tuesday caused the Madison Health Alert.

However, WWALS Thursday results for State Line Boat Ramp are well within even safe limits, and the same for all the WWALS Withlacoochee River sites downstream from Hagan Bridge.

So I’ve set red for Folsom Bridge Landing and Hagan Bridge Landing on Swim Guide. All the other “beaches” for which we have recent data are green.

[Map: filthy upstream clean down Swim Guide]
Map: filthy upstream clean down Swim Guide

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for testing the three GA 122 sites. Her plates for Folsom Bridge show a bluish overall tint, which is why they’re recorded as TNTC for Too Numerous to Count. One of our testers did try to count colonies anyway, and that result would still be too high to be safe. We do not know the source of the E. coli. There may be cows or wild hogs upstream.

Above Hagan Bridge on Hutchinson Mill Creek there are horses, and there are cows farther upstream on the Withlacoochee River, but we don’t know which, if any, of those were the source for Hagan Bridge.

[Plates, Folsom Bridge Landing 2021-09-02]
Plates, Folsom Bridge Landing 2021-09-02

Thanks to WWALS testers Valerie Folsom for Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River.

[Willacoochee Landing, Alapaha River @ GA 135 2021-09-01]
Willacoochee Landing, Alapaha River @ GA 135 2021-09-01

Thanks to WWALS tester Tasha Ekman LaFace for testing at Naylor Park Beach on the Alapaha River at US 84 last Friday.

[Naylor Park Beach, Alapaha River @ GA 122 2021-08-27]
Naylor Park Beach, Alapaha River @ GA 122 2021-08-27

Thanks to WWALS Intern Bobby McKenzie for testing on the Withlacoochee River at Langdale Park (the access road beside US 41 was too boggy), at GA 133 (ditto for that access road, so he went a bit downstream), and at Troupville Boat Ramp. This was Bobby’s last day as an intern, so we could use a tester for these sites.

[GA 133 Landing, Withlacoochee River @ GA 133]
GA 133 Landing, Withlacoochee River @ GA 133

Thanks to WWALS testers Jacob and Michael Bachrach for testing at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps. As you can see, getting down Knights Ferry Road was challenging.

[Mud Trap, Knights Ferry Road, Withlacoochee River 2021-09-02]
Mud Trap, Knights Ferry Road, Withlacoochee River 2021-09-02

Thanks to WWALS tester Gus Cleary for testing at Cleary Bluff, downstream from Allen Ramp.

[Cleary Bluff, Withlacoochee River @ Withla Bluffs Way 2021-09-01]
Cleary Bluff, Withlacoochee River @ Withla Bluffs Way 2021-09-01

Thanks to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for reviewing everyone’s plates and generally organizing.

Thanks to Joe Brownlee and Georgia Power for the grant that bought most of the testing equipment and materials.

[Presentation and Play, Alapaha River, Naylor Beach]
WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman receives the envelope from Mary Beth and Elizabeth Brownlee via Hazel, Elleanor and Lindsey Williams; back: Suzy and Abbie Hall, at Naylor Beach on the Alapaha River in Naylor Boat Ramp Park, Lowndes County, Georgia. More pictures here:–wwals-naylor-ga-power/

There are more images of the recent WWALS test sites and plates on the WWALS website:–wq

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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