Madison County, Florida, Health advisory for Withlacoochee River about Valdosta sewage spill 2024-04-17

Update 2024-04-18: Dirty creeks, but clean rivers 2024-04-17.

Update 2024-04-18: Updates on Homerville, Quitman, Tifton, and Valdosta in GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report 2024-04-11.

It’s been a long time since the last Health Advisory from the Madison County, Florida, Health Department.

But Valdosta took the risk of guessing how big to make its sewage catch basin, and found out last weekend it was too small.

[Valdosta sewage spill gets Madison Health Advisory 2024-04-17; 1.67 million gallons into Withlacoochee River 2024-04-12]
Valdosta sewage spill gets Madison Health Advisory 2024-04-17; 1.67 million gallons into Withlacoochee River 2024-04-12

WWALS has already been testing the waters. Results soon.

And now FDEP and SRWMD are joining in with Madison DOH.

Received this afternoon.


Lisa Hayes

Madison, Fla.— The Florida Department of Health in Madison County (DOH-Madison) has issued a health advisory to residents and visitors near the Withlacoochee River in North Florida due to a wastewater overflow in the City of Valdosta, Georgia, from a recent weather event with excessive rain amounts. Drinking water is not affected by this advisory.

DOH-Madison, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Suwanee River Water Management District are working together to assess and closely monitor the situation. As these assessments continue, we will provide updates to the public.

DEP plans to conduct sampling and testing this week along the Withlacoochee River. Until further information is known regarding possible bacterial contamination of the river, residents and visitors in the area are urged to take precautions when in contact with the Withlacoochee River.

Water contaminated with elevated fecal bacteria presents several health risks to humans. Microbes normally found with fecal bacteria could cause gastrointestinal issues and other conditions.

Anyone who comes in contact with the river water should wash thoroughly, especially before eating or drinking. Children and older adults, as well as people with weakened immune systems, are particularly vulnerable to disease, so every precaution should be taken if in contact with the river water.

For more information about the potential health effects of wastewater overflow, contact DOH- Madison at 850-973-5000 or visit


About the Florida Department of Health

The Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

Follow us on X at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, visit

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2024-04-17–map-valdosta-wwtp-withlacoochee-river-downstream in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!