Creek and river water quality problems 2022-11-03

Update 2022-11-11: Good river water quality, but rain 2022-11-10.

Downstream of the Little River Confluence should be fine for boating, swimming, or fishing in the Withlacoochee River this weekend, and apparently same for the Little and Alapaha Rivers.

On the Withlacoochee River, I got a high E. coli result at Langdale Park Boat Ramp, but there’s not enough water to paddle there anyway.

No new sewer spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

[Chart, Creeks and Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-11-03]
Chart, Creeks and Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-11-03

WWALS tested 23 sites yesterday: the usual 1 on the Alapaha River, 2 on the Little River, and 9 on the Withlacoochee River and 11 on its upstream creeks Cat Creek, Beatty Branch, and Beaverdam Creek, plus Sugar Creek.

We are trying to find the source of the high E. coli Valdosta keeps finding at US 41 and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart: Bad Creeks, OK River water quality 2022-11-03]
Chart: Bad Creeks, OK River water quality 2022-11-03
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of water quality results, rainfall, and sewage spills, see:

Elizabeth Brunner got a high result at Ray City Main Street (US 129) on Beaverdam Creek again. What’s causing that?

But she got OK results for Cat Creek, downstream from Beaverdam Creek.

She also got high results on Beatty Branch again, this time even higher at Betty Road and Cat Creek Road.

Downstream on the Withlacoochee River at Skipper Bridge, Staten Road, and US 41, I got good results, until Langdale Park Boat Ramp, which was pretty bad. At I-75 and GA 133, my results were good. Even Sugar Creek was OK, although high enough to make me wonder if the sporadic GA 133 high results Valdosta sees might be coming from Sugar Creek.

Jacob and Michael Bachrach got good results at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps. Both they and I tested at Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River, which was in the same OK range as Elizabeth’s upstream Little River results at Folsom Bridge at GA 122. Elizabeth’s Alapaha River result on GA 122 at Lakeland Boat Ramp was very good.

So I’ve set to green everything we have recent results for, except red Langdale Park, on Swim Guide

[Map: Bad Creeks, OK River water quality, Swim Guide 2022-11-03]
Map: Bad Creeks, OK River water quality, Swim Guide 2022-11-03

There are more images on the WWALS website.

Thanks to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for herding the testing cats.

Thanks to WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman for delivering Petrifilm to the testers, and for training them.

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:

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!