Update 2021-12-31: Mostly good, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-30.
Not looking good. The recent rains washed E. coli into the Withlacoochee River, starting way upstream at Hagan Bridge on GA 122 on Thursday, down through US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on Wednesday. We did not see it at Cleary Bluff for Wednesday, downstream from Allen Ramp. Maybe it’s gotten diluted before it got that far. Or maybe it just hadn’t gotten that far by Wednesday.
I’d stay off the Withlacoochee River this weekend.
We almost never see high numbers at Hagan Bridge, but that’s what Elizabeth Brunner got for Thursday.
Valdosta results were bad for US 41 for last Friday, even before the rain, much worse there and for GA 133 for Monday after the rain, and bad for all three of US 41, GA 133, and US 84 for Wednesday. Apparently the contamination is traveling downstream.
There have been no sewage spills reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida. Most likely the E. coli came from cows or horses near the river or its creeks: there are quite a few of those even upstream of Hagan Bridge. Plus possibly wild hogs.
Thanks to Joe Brownlee and Georgia Power for a generous grant for water quality testing equipment and materials.
You or your organization could also donate to the WWALS volunteer water quality testing program.
I’ve set the known bad spots red on Swim Guide, and the known good spots green. A bunch of other WWALS “beaches” are yellow for no data.
Thanks to Elizabeth Brunner for her three GA 122 sites on three rivers, starting with Folsom Bridge on the Little River, where her results were higher than usual, but still within safe levels.
Elizabeth’s Lakeland Boat Ramp results on the Alapaha River were also within safe levels.
But her results at Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River were above the 410 cfu/100 mL one-test limit.
Thanks to Gus Cleary for testing at Cleary Bluff, downstream from Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee River. His results for Wednesday were higher than usual, but well within bounds.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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