Update 2022-01-28: Clean Rivers 2022-01-27.
I’d avoid the Withlacoochee River this weekend.
Bad E. coli levels upstream seen by Valdosta earlier in the week were still seen by WWALS upstream and down in Thursday samples. A too-high result at Hagan Bridge is heading downstream through Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia. A too-high result at Knights Ferry is heading downstream to Florida.
The good news is no sewage spills have been reported this week. But it’s been raining yesterday and today, most likely washing more cattle and other manure into the river, down Okapilco Creek and from elsewhere.
If you want to paddle this weekend, I’d recommend the Alapaha River or upstream on the Suwannee River.
Valdosta’s downstream results for Monday and upstream for Wednesday were even worse than what WWALS got for Thursday. We don’t know about upstream Monday because Valdosta took a vacation. We don’t know about downstream Wednesday because Valdosta’s downstream contractor apparently hasn’t phoned home yet.
But WWALS tester Gus Cleary got pretty good results downstream of Allen Ramp for Wednesday.
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.
Back upstream for Thursday, WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner got OK results for Folsom Bridge on the Little River at GA 122.
And Elizabeth got good results for Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River at GA 122.
But Elizabeth’s results for Hagan Bridge Landing on the Withlacoochee River at GA 122 were too high.
Michael and Jacob Bachrach got too-high results at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River for Thursday.
The Bachrach’s results for Nankin Boat Ramp were OK, but that contamination from Knights Ferry has probably passed there by now, more than a day later.
And the Bachrach’s results at State Line Boat Ramp were OK for Thursday, but by now that upstream contamination has probably reached there and is heading into Florida.
Gus Cleary’s results for Wednesday were clean, but soon that E. coli will pass by there.
I’ve marked quite a bit of red on Swim Guide. Remember, it’s moving downstream.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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