Update 2023-09-09: Upstream Alapaha River results.
In samples taken Thursday, WWALS testers found the Withlacoochee River filthy upstream of the Little River Confluence, at Franklinville, US 41, and GA 133.
FYI: Franklinville is upstream from Valdosta, so it’s not them this time.
So it’s a good thing we cancelled tomorrow’s Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup on the Withlacoochee River.
The Little River and the Alapaha River tested clean.
Update 2023-09-09: Except at the outflow creek from the Alapaha, GA, WWTP, where Heather Brasell got way-too-high 1,900 E. coli. However, she got zero for the Alapaha River just upstream from Sheboggy Boat Ramp at US 82; can’t get much better than that.
On the Little River, the Withlacoochee River downstream of the Little River Confluence, and the Alapaha River, happy swimming, fishing, and boating, as long as you don’t mind the rivers being high and fast.
We are still short-handed for WWALS volunteer water quality testers.
Maybe you’d like to become one.
Sign up here:
Three new sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia, all from Quitman.
On Thursday, Quitman reported two spills for August 31st of unknown amounts into they didn’t know what. On Friday, those got corrected to starting on August 30th, which makes more sense, since that was Hurricane Idalia. They were also corrected to 900 gallons from 614 North Walker Street and 1,875 gallons from 800 North Essie Drive, which is Quitman’s way of saying 800 North Highland Road, both into “Ditch”. 800 North Highland Road is Quitman’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, so the spill went into Okapilco Creek. However, by this Thursday, we detected none of it downstream on the Withlacoochee River.
Quitman added Friday a 500-gallon spill starting September 2nd from 114 Baker Street into “Ditch”. That one is in the Piscola Creek Basin, uphill from Pride Branch.
Plus Valdosta’s August 27th 8,400-gallon spill from 819 Bunche Drive into Dukes Bay Canal did finally show up in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report.
High Springs had another spill on September 1st:
“Saddle for lateral connection from across Hwy 27 came loose, somehow. Was only spraying out of tapped hole on 4″ line. Dug down and identified problem and upon not finding a shut off, turned off valve to stop back feeding and turned off near by neighborhood grinder pumps to slow flow down to remove faulty saddle and place band on line.
Wastewater Type: Untreated
Spill Volume: 1,700
Volume Recovered: 300
Waterbodies Impacted: N
Clean-up Status: Complete
Clean-up Actions: Applied lime, Signs posted
Chart: Filthy upstream Withlacoochee River, clean downstream and Little and Alapaha Rivers 2023-09-07
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of water quality results, rainfall, and sewage spills, see:
The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for last Friday downstream and for Monday a week ago upstream, all clean. That’s right, their downstream contractor has reported results more recently than their in-house testing staff. I can only guess Valdosta has been pre-occupied with hurricane cleanup.
In Valdosta’s ongoing followup testing after their numerous Knights Creek spills, they got too-high E. coli for August 29th, and way too high for September 5th, neither of which can be blamed on the hurricane. I continue to wonder if they’re having spills they don’t know about.
Thanks to WWALS testers Kim Tanner and her assistants the Jones family for testing Lakeland Boat Ramp and Nayor Park Beach on the Alapaha River. She reports, “More great results with thanks to the Jones Family. I included extra photos of the Lakeland Boat Ramp since it appears to be completed. And there was not much beach at Naylor Park Beach.”
I tested Franklinville, North Valdosta Roads (US 41), and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, and got those filthy results.
Thanks to WWALS Testing Trainer and Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman for delivering supplies and for training more testers. She also personally tested Folsom Bridge and Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River, and Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps on the Withlacoochee River.
She reports at Folsom Bridge, “Erosion is bad all along Webb Road. Especially in front of the Mary Turner marker. Water was high.”
At Troupville Boat Ramp, the trash can needs emptying, and it looks like some trash some blew out of it.
At Nankin, she reports, “Surprisingly the driveway to Nankin was easily passible. There were trees down on both sides of the road that had been cut to clear the road. Water was fast.”
ForState Line Boat Ramp she reports, “The water was high. This was the trickiest place to get near to the water. I went up the left side near where that big hole is and then down from there. The area that we usually put the camera for boomerang was well underwater. This was the slipperiest place.”
Here’s a live Swim Guide Map.
Thanks to Joe Brownlee and Georgia Power for another generous grant for water quality testing equipment and materials.
You or your organization could also donate to the WWALS volunteer water quality testing program.
There are more images below.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®