This third annual report on Lowndes County Impaired Streams Monitoring, as required by GA-EPD, maybe the last. Unfortunately, this monitoring has not discovered any sources of impairment.
Their conclusion for Fecal Coliform, E. coli, and Mercury is, “Lowndes County has not identified any point sources within the drainage areas that can be attributed to the widespread exceedances. Based on the limited data collected to date, it is the opinion of Lowndes County that the cause of the exceedances is from natural conditions.”
They do have speculations on Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in Cat Creek, “DO levels in Cat Creek at the Highway 122 bridge near the Lowndes County-Berrien County line were below 4.0 mg/L for most of the sampling period. Water flow conditions at the bridge were almost stagnant. The channel at this point is wide and shallow with low flow velocities. As the stream flows southward, water velocity and depth transition into more defined streambank conditions. There were three sampling events at the Highway 122 bridge for which DO levels exceeded 4.0. In all three cases, the sampling events were preceded by rainfall events in excess of 1.0”. DO levels begin to increase and were at or near compliance levels +/- 2.7 miles downstream at the Cat Creek Bridge with the exception of early June and one sampling event in August. May and June of 2022 experienced below average precipitation levels with a 37% and 12% drop respectively resulting in below normal water velocity and depth for this period.”
Lowndes County’s bottom line is, “Based on the data assessment above, Lowndes County does not propose implementation of any additional BMPs at this time.”
It appears to me that more frequent sampling, plus DNA marker testing, could reveal some sources, as well as further correlation with rainfall.
The entire report is on the WWALS website, received in response to a LAKE open records request.
See also the 2020 and 2021 annual reports, as well as Stream monitoring with only annual reporting privatized by Lowndes County Commission 2020-04-28 and Lowndes County, GA, Stream Monitoring and Stormwater Permit 2020-04-28.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®