All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-09-22

Update 2021-10-01: All Clean, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2021-09-30.

All WWALS test results for Wednesday were clean in Georgia and Florida, but Valdosta got bad results at US 84 on the Withlacoochee River.

Yet there has been no significant rain since Tuesday, so in the opposite of last time, I’m going to say that E. coli has probably washed downstream and gotten diluted by now.

Make your own decisions, but I would boat on the Withlacoochee River this weekend. And the Alapaha River yet again seems clean. The Little River, probably, according to the one site we tested.

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

Valdosta results for last Friday corroborate what I said last time: because of the heavy rains, it would not be a good idea to boat, swim, or fish in the Withlacoochee River last weekend.

Valdosta even got too high results at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp for Monday, after heavy rains Sunday in Brooks County, presumably because of the usual cattle manure runoff down Okapilco Creek.

[Chart: All clear]
Chart: All clear
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of water quality results and rainfall, see:

We did get very heavy rains in Brooks County Tuesday, both on the west side (Dixie) and the east side (US 84 on the Withlacoochee River). And Valdosta did get too-high E. coli results for Wednesday at US 84.

But also Wednesday WWALS got clean for Wednesday at Clearys Bluff downstream. Which probably means that contamination had not reached there by then.

As high as the Withlacoochee River is, two days later, the E. coli should be down at the Suwannee River by now. Of course we don’t know without more testing.

So I’ve labelled the Swim Guide map “all clear”, but you can see the latest Valdosta results for US 84 and Knights Ferry still show up as red. Judge for yourself.

[Map: all clear, Swim Guide 2021-09-22]
Map: all clear, Swim Guide 2021-09-22

Thanks to the WWALS testers:

  • Valerie Folsom for Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River.
  • Elizabeth Brunner for the GA 122 sites:
    • Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River
    • Hagan Bridge Landing on the Withlacoochee River
    • Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River
  • Gus Cleary for Cleary’s Bluff on the Withlacoochee River, downstream from Allen Ramp
  • WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for herding the cats.

Thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for updating the Valdosta results.

We have no new results from Madison Health.

There are more images on the WWALS website.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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