Good Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, bad Alapaha River 2021-10-14

Update 2021-10-22: All clean: Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2021-10-21.

Something we’ve never seen: the only too-high result is on the Alapaha River for Thursday. We’ve never seen a reading at Lakeland Boat Ramp that high.

The Little and Withlacoochee Rivers tested good for Thursday, which is what we expected since there has been no rain for days.

So in the reverse of what we often say, avoid the Alapaha River and swim, fish, and paddle on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers this weekend, according to the best data we have.

Still looking good for the WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and back, coming up in one week at State Line Boat Ramp.

[Chart + Little + Alapaha River, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide]
Chart + Little + Alapaha River, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide

You can also see in the charts that Valdosta’s upstream results for last Friday showed extremely high Fecal coliform for US 41 (upstream from Valdosta), GA 133, and US 84, and way-too-high E. coli for GA 133. That somewhat helps explain why our plates for that Thursday (October 7th) for Knights Ferry Boat Ramp showed high background Fecal coliform colonies.

No, we don’t know what it is. There have been no sewage spills reported this past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia. Most likely it is some sort of manure runoff, this time coming from far upstream on the Withlacoochee River.

For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of water quality data, rainfall, and sewage spills, see

Thanks to the WWALS testers:

  • Valerie Folsom for Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River
  • Elizabeth Brunner for the GA 122 sites:
  • Michael and Jacob Bachrach for the downstream Withlacoochee River sites:
    • Knights Ferry Boat Ramp
    • Nankin Boat Ramp
    • State Line Boat Ramp @ GA 31
  • Gus Cleary for Cleary Bluff downstream from Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee Rive r.

Thanks to Joe Brownlee and Georgia Power for a generous grant for water quality testing equipment and materials.

We have no new test results from Valdosta since for Monday upstream, and none for downstream since September 29, week before last.

We have no new data from FDOH or FDEP since September 9.

I have set the WWALS “beaches” Swim Guide for the data we have.

[Map: Bad Alapaha, good Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, Swim Guide 2021-10-14]
Map: Bad Alapaha, good Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, Swim Guide 2021-10-14

You or your organization could also donate to the WWALS volunteer water quality testing program.

Or maybe you’d like to get trained to join our testing crew.

There are more pictures on the WWALS website.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!