Monthly Archives: February 2022

Public Hearing about Air Quality Rule changes by GA-EPD 2022-03-31

The two Adel wood pellet plants are examples of air quality permits can be relevant to water.

The Public Hearing will be “1:00 p.m. on March 31, 2022. EPD will be hosting this public hearing via Zoom.”

[Public Notice]
Public Notice

The text of the Public Notice is below. Continue reading

Clean Rivers Again 2022-02-24

Update 2022-03-04: All Rivers Clean 2022-03-03.

Another clean week on the Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers, according to the water quality test results we have from WWALS and Valdosta. No rain is predicted, and no sewage spills have been reported.

So happy boating, fishing, and swimming this weekend!

[Chart, River, Swim Guide]
Chart, River, Swim Guide

With no rain, no E. coli washes out of Okapilco Creek (or Sugar Creek) into the Withlacoochee River.

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for the results at the three GA 122 locations for Thursday. Continue reading

Valdosta trash in creeks and rivers 2022-02-22

We even saw the Valdosta trash problem on the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle. One paddler fell in picking up trash, and two more collected a huge bag of trash in a canoe. I think those two live in a different county.

Maybe you’d like to come say a few words tonight to the Valdosta City Council. 5:30 PM, City Hall, 216 E. Central Ave., Valdosta, GA 31601.

The WWALS trash boom at Sugar Creek is showing some promise, but there need to be more of those and people dedicated to cleaning them out, plus something done about fast food parking lots upstream, including on Threemile Branch.

[Valdosta Trash on Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, Little River]
Valdosta Trash on Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, Little River

For all about the Valdosta trash situation, see:


Remember the second boom we put across Sugar Creek? Here’s a report from the last day of January: Continue reading

Support Georgia HB 1289 to protect the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-02-24

Please ask Georgia legislators to pass HB 1289 against mining near the Okefenokee Swamp. Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, an Alabama-based company operated by people with a history of misrepresentation and pollution, is proposing a mining operation that threatens the Okefenokee Swamp and tourism-related jobs in the area, as well as the Floridan Aquifer and the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers.

[Otter, Okefenokee Swamp, 2019-12-07. Photo: Gretchen Quarterman]
Otter, Okefenokee Swamp, 2019-12-07. Photo: Gretchen Quarterman

Floridians, you can do these things, too. The Swamp is upstream from Florida, both aboveground and through the Floridan Aquifer. You can call these Georgia legislators using the numbers in here: House and Senate.

For what’s in the bill and some other ways you can stop such mines, see Continue reading

Federal water grants funneled through Georgia to Suwannee River Basin

The Georgia Governor’s office yesterday announced grants to many cities and counties for water projects. The funds come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021.

Of the eighteen awardees in the Suwannee River Basin, adding up to $57,285,314.00, no surprise, Valdosta got the most. No, it’s not to fix some more of those sewer and manhole problems. It’s to build a new drinking well system, “southwest of the City limits, west of I-75 on Highway 84 near exit 16…”

Hahira, with about 5% of Valdosta’s population, got the second most, to fix its wastewater treatment plant and some stormwater drainage. Maybe that will stop Hahira from leaking E. coli into Franks Creek and the Little River.

[Treatment Plant Flow Diagram]
Treatment Plant Flow Diagram

Ray City got a substantial amount to fix its aging wastewater treatment plant, which should be good for Cat Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

Unfortunately missing is Quitman, which wanted $482,000 to top off local funds for fixing its lift stations. So no ARPA help to Quitman for stopping sewage spills into Okapilco Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

Here are those awardees, most to least: Continue reading

Litter in the City of Valdosta: Sources and Solutions 2021-09-10

This public health, well-being, and eco-tourism issue may be brought up at the Valdosta City Council meeting at 5:30 PM this Thursday, February 24, 2022, down at City Hall, 216 E. Central Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601.

You can thank whoever brought it up, or bring it up yourself, at the end of the agenda in Citizens to be Heard.

Here’s a facebook event so you can encourage others to attend.

And if you can’t go in person, you can watch on Valdosta’s facebook livestream.

Meanwhile, if you see trash, report it with Valdosta Click N’ Fix:

The Valdosta trash situation is still much like this summary from last fall. For new wrinkles, see

[White Paper, Trash down Sugar Creek to Withlacoochee River]
White Paper, Trash down Sugar Creek to Withlacoochee River

White Paper

See also PDF.

The other documents cited are on the WWALS website. Continue reading

Rivers very clean 2022-02-17

Update 2022-02-25: Clean Rivers Again 2022-02-24.

More good news for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle tomorrow (Saturday) morning: about the cleanest water quality results we’ve seen.

There was some rain this morning, but probably not enough to wash much into the rivers. And no new sewage spills have been reported.

So happy boating, fishing, and swimming this weekend!

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-02-17]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-02-17

Thanks to WWALS testers

  • Elizabeth Brunner for testing at GA 122 at Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River.
  • Michael and Jacob Bachrach for testing at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps on the Withlacoochee River.
  • Gus Cleary for testing at Cleary Bluff between Allen Ramp and the Suwannee River.

As you can see in the chart, Valdosta’s recent upstream data concurs. Continue reading

Pictures: Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River 2022-02-18

Plenty of water, and the water temperature is up to 58 degrees! The latest weather prediction is sunny with a high of 64 tomorrow.

Come on down tomorrow (Saturday) morning to Troupville Boat Ramp for the third annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle on the Withlacoochee River to Spook Bridge!

[Troupville Boat Ramp, lunch stop, US 84 rapids, Spook Bridge]
Troupville Boat Ramp, lunch stop, US 84 rapids, Spook Bridge

Take St. Augustine Road west past the Mall, cross I-75, and at the light for Val Tech Road turn left down to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Drop off your boat, sign in, and join the shuttle convoy to Spook Bridge.

The Hahira Gauge (Little River @ GA 122, Folsom Bridge) reads Continue reading

Pictures: Banks Lake Full Snow Moon Paddle 2022-02-16

A bunch of lucky paddlers caught perfect weather for the Banks Lake Full Snow Moon paddle. No snow, just a warm breeze.

[Paddlers, banners, sunset, moonrise]
Paddlers, banners, sunset, moonrise

I was dogsitting, so did not paddle. Continue reading

Radio about Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Suwannee Riverkeeper 2022-02-18

Friday morning, February 18, 2022, at 8:00 AM, Suwannee Riverkeeper will be on Scott James Talk 92.1 FM radio, about the annual 11-mile Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle, this Saturday, February 19th, on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers.

Radio, Paddle

We’ll also talk about how you can ask Georgia statehouse members to pass HB 1289 to protect the Okefenokee Swamp from mining, while you can ask the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to stop a strip mine far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, and ask GA-EPD to stop that second wood pellet plant in Adel while you’re at it.

We’ll mention the trash situation of Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

When: 8:00 AM, Friday, February 18, 2022

Where: Talk 92.1 FM radio, Scott James drivetime show

Listen: Continue reading