Update 2021-09-17: Good water quality results, then hard rain, Withlacoochee River 2021-09-16.
Like last week, but worse: the Alapaha River would be a better choice for boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend than either the Little or Withlacoochee Rivers.
Yes, Madison Health today lifted its Health Advisory for the Withlacoochee, because they got good results for Tuesday and Thursday. But WWALS has more recent upstream data, and it’s not pretty.
Rain fell hard Wednesday and Thursday on the Little River and probably upstream on the Withlacoochee. E. coli contaminated the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers at GA 122, according to plates by WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner.
No, Floridians, that’s not coming from Valdosta; GA 122 is upstream of Valdosta.
And no sewage spills have been reported.
Rain also fell hard on Brooks County and upstream on Okapilco Creek in Colquitt County. E. coli contamination showed up at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, which probably means cattle manure washed down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee.
Chart: Bad Little, Withlacoochee, good Alapaha 2021-09-09
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of water quality and rainfall data, see:
WWALS testers Jacob and Michael Bachrach got TNTC (Too Numerous to Count) for Knights Ferry Boat Ramp for Thursday,
Yet they got good readings downstream at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps.
But that just means the Knights Ferry contamination had not washed downstream yet.
Probably it has by now. You don’t want that on you.
Gus Cleary got good results on the Withlacoochee way downstream for Wednesday. But that was before the rains, and before the contamination had a chance to get there.
I’ve set the various WWALS “beaches” on Swim Guide by the latest data we have. So Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps still show green, but see above. Similarly, Troupville Boat Ramp and GA 122 still show green, but also see above.
If you want to boat, swim, or fish this weekend, I’d recommend the Alapaha River. Valerie Folsom’s plates for Wednesday at Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 were not completely usable, but they seemed pretty good.
Elizabeth Brunner’s plates for Lakeland Boat Ramp @ GA 122 for Thursday were good and pretty clean.
Thanks to all the WWALS testers, and to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for reviewing all the plates.
We have no data from Valdosta for this week, although they did post data through Friday.
There are more pictures on the WWALS website:
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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