Update 2022-07-22: Bad Quality Withlacoochee River 2022-07-21.
All clear for fishing, swimming, and boating on the Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers, according to the latest water quality test results we have.
But avoid Cat Creek and Beatty Branch for fishing. See below. (I don’t know anybody crazy enough to boat or swim in those creeks.)
There hasn’t been much rain the past few days, so probably not much contamination will wash into the rivers. No sewage spills have been reported in Florida or Georgia, other than Valdosta’s 200 gallon sewage spill on Baytree Road, which they vacuumed up quickly enough that probably little if any ever reached the Withlacoochee River.
Thunderstorms could change things quickly, but that’s what we know now.
Thanks to Scott Fowler of Valdosta Utilities for forwarding Valdosta test results soon after they are finished, so we know that Valdosta E. coli results were good for Wednesday and Monday at US 41, GA 133, and US 84. And we know Valdosta’s US 41 and GA 133 results for last Friday, July 8, 2022, were sky-high: 4,700 and 5,200 cfu/100 mL, respectively. The alert limit is 1,000.
Those high results could not be related to the July 9th Valdosta spill, because it hadn’t happened yet. That E. coli is probably not coming from Valdosta, since US 41 is upstream of almost all of Valdosta. Sure, something could be coming down Cherry Creek through Lake Cleve into the river, or it could be septic tanks in houses around there, or septic tanks across the river in Lowndes County.
Since high E. coli keeps turning up at US 41 and GA 133, WWALS set out to find out where it is coming from. Continue reading