Update 2022-07-29: Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-07-28.
Update 2022-07-26: Madison Health Alert, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-25.
Update 2022-07-23: High Springs 500-gallon sewage spill, mostly cleaned up 2022-07-07.
Avoid the Withlacoochee River this weekend for fishing, swimming, and boating.
Try the Little, Alapaha, or Alapahoochee Rivers, or the Suwannee River upstream from the Withlacoochee River Confluence.
WWALS tested a record 18 sites Thursday, thanks to Elizabeth Brunner, Michael and Jacob Bachrach, and Gus CLeary, with WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall reviewing all the plates.
We didn’t find much upstream, except too high on Beatty Branch at Cat Creek Road.
I did take DNA samples on Cat Creek at Cat Creek Road and on the Withlacoochee River at US 41, so maybe we’ll see what’s getting into the waterways upstream.
Downstream was horrible: all three of Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps were above 1,000 cfu/100 mL E. coli, which is the alert limit.
The most likely culprit is cattle manure washing down Okapilco Creek from Brooks County, Georgia.
This week it’s apparently not Valdosta, Ray City, or Moody Air Force Base.
Ashburn today got around to reporting a spill of 2,000 gallons from its Airport WPCCP, which is twenty miles up Hat Creek from the Alapaha River, and then another 26 miles to the most upstream beginning of the Alapaha River Water Trail, Sheboggy Boat Ramp at US 82. So don’t expect much effect from that Ashburn spill.
The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for Monday, and they were OK for US 41, GA 133, and US 84.
However, Valdosta yesterday got around to posting its downstream results for last week, and they were horrible at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps. Also horrible at Okapilco Creek, so very likely cattle manure runoff.
Would have been useful for everyone to know those Valdosta results last week, not a week later.
Yesterday Valdosta also changed its report of its June 30th sewage spill from affecting the Withlacoochee River to affecting “Withlacoochee Creek”, whatever that is.
There are more pictures on the WWALS website: https://wwals.net/pictures/2022-07-21–wq
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.
Or maybe you’d like to become a WWALS water quality tester; please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/DzWvJuXqTQi12N6v7
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®