Category Archives: River

Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers, problem on One Mile Branch 2024-06-19

With no rain for a further week, the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Riverstested clean for Wednesday and Thursday. There was an unusual test result for One Mile Branch at Williams Street in Valdosta for Monday.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

The rivers are almost all down to good boating and fishing levels.

There is some chance of rain Saturday and Sunday.

Other than that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

[Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe River 2024-06-20; Problem on One Mile Branch @ Williams Street 2024-06-17]
Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe River 2024-06-20; Problem on One Mile Branch @ Williams Street 2024-06-17

For this Thursday, June 20, Kim Tanner sampled Continue reading

Pictures: Sullivan Launch to Madison Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2024-06-08

We paddled over more small shoals than expected, and both Chitty Bend East Swallet and Sullivan Slough were acting as springs, not sinks, on our paddle down the Withlacoochee River between Hamilton and Madison Counties, Florida.

Between Sullivan Ramp and Madison Boat Ramp we stopped at Hardee (Rossetter Spring) and Madison Blue Spring. Pot Spring was a bit crowded and there is not much place to park a kayak.

There was swimming and lunching with okra.

[Sullivan Landing to Madison Ramp, 2024-06-08: Shoals, Springs, and Sloughs, Withlacoochee River between Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida]
Sullivan Landing to Madison Ramp, 2024-06-08: Shoals, Springs, and Sloughs, Withlacoochee River between Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida

Thanks to Shawn O’Connor for leading this expedition, and to everybody else for paddling.

Here are a few video highlights:
https://youtu.be/TVnzQ3FB9NU

The Pinetta Gauge (right at Sullivan Launch) read 9.78 feet (56.28′ NAVD88) at 1:30 PM.

For more Continue reading

Brooks County Industrial Park: Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water, Sewer

Update 2024-06-21: Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers, problem on One Mile Branch 2024-06-19.

Here’s a map of the sewer system in the Brooks County Industrial Park, plus maps of the water and road systems. These maps were sent by the Brooks County Industrial Authority a couple of years ago in response to a WWALS open records request.

[Brooks County Industrial Park, Sewer System 2006-05-09, Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water]
Brooks County Industrial Park, Sewer System 2006-05-09, Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water

What this industrial park sewer system map does not show is: how does it connect to the rest of Quitman’s sewer system?

How Quitman’s sewer system works and where it is important, because Quitman has had quite a few reported sewage spills; see Quitman: Noncompliance, 9 effluent violations, 5 sewage spills, 11 monitoring violations, 1 reporting violation –GA-EPD Nov 2022 – Oct 2023. Quitman is upstream of the Withlacoochee River, and some of its former spills have quite likely travelled all the way down the Suwannee River to the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading

Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe Rivers except @ US 129 2024-06-13

Update 2024-06-21: Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers, problem on One Mile Branch 2024-06-19.

With no rain for a week, four rivers tested clean, except the Santa Fe River at US 129 (Guy Lemmon) Ramp was above the one-time limit for E. coli.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

The rivers are mostly down to good boating and fishing levels.

There is some chance of rain Sunday.

Other than that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

Oh, and welcome back WWALS tester Cindy Vedas, and first-time tester Mark Coppage.

[Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers except at US 129 2024-06-13]
Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers except at US 129 2024-06-13

Cindy Vedas sampled Thursday at two upstream sites on the Withlacoochee River, and got zero E. coli at both.

About Staten Road, she wrote, Continue reading

Alapahoochee River Cleanup, 2024-07-21

Join us for a river cleanup including many deadfalls, some interesting creeks, an old steel bridge, some rapids, and Turket Creek Waterfall.

Most paddlers will paddle and collect trash, and some of us will have chainsaws.

This is a relatively strenuous paddle, so it is not recommended for beginners. It’s only 2.83 river miles, but it’s jam-packed.

Thanks to Bird Chamberlain, who lives nearby, for leading this outing.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 2 PM, Sunday, July 21, 2024

Put In: GA 135 Alapahoochee Landing, Between Jennings, Florida, and Statenville, Georgia, in Echols County, 3/4 mile upstream of the GA-FL line and west of Pear Tree Lane, north side of road, left (west) bank.

GPS: 30.62845, -83.0893

[Alapahoochee River, Cleanup 2024-07-21, GA 135 to, Sasser Landing]
Alapahoochee River, Cleanup 2024-07-21, GA 135 to, Sasser Landing

Continue reading

Quitman, GA, utility maps 2022-01-03

Update 2024-06-15: Brooks County Industrial Park: Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water, Sewer 2006-05-09.

These are some sewer and water system maps obtained from the City of Quitman in January 2022 in response to a WWALS open records request.

The March 1986 map by Smith and Gillespie Engineers, Inc. is the easiest to read. Unfortunately, most of the numbers of the lift stations seem to have changed since then.

[Lift Station Scan March 1986]
Lift Station Scan March 1986
PDF

The most informative map is dated March 28, 2019, by Tindall Enterprises, Inc. It has updated numbers for the lift stations that may be current. This matters for determining where reported sewage spills are, and what watersheds they drain into. Continue reading

Ask for U.S. House co-sponsors for PFAS amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act 2024-06-07

You can help ask your members of Congress to protect military servicemembers, the surrounding community, agriculture, industry, and wildlife.

Numerous military bases in recent years have reported contamination of waterways and groundwater by PFAS, the so-called forever chemicals that do not degrade over time, and can cause a variety of diseases.

[Map: military sites with known or suspected PFAS discharges --EWG]
Map: military sites with known or suspected PFAS discharges –EWG

Right now is an opportunity to get a couple of amendments into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to require the Department of Defense to tell everyone about PFAS contamination, to test to see how far it has spread, including private wells, and to provide alternate water supplies if necessary.

That PFAS work will also bring federal dollars to the districts.

You can sign on to a request letter here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeg8c_Stwv5iuXcEEgsYXIx9vIZRQy_lg4RoHIymcR7ZsYNYw/viewform

Or write your own, or call or meet with your Representative.

Affected bases include: Continue reading

Filthy Franks Creek, clean Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers, despite Ashburn spill 2024-06-05

Update 2024-06-14: Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe Rivers except @ US 129 2024-06-13.

With little rain, the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers tested clean for Wednesday. But Franks Creek west of Hahira was quite filthy. Why is a mystery, unless the Hahira sewer pipe crossing the creek was leaking.

[Clean Withlacoochee and Alapaha River, Filthy Franks Creek 2024-06-05]
Clean Withlacoochee and Alapaha River, Filthy Franks Creek 2024-06-05

One sewage spill was reported in the past week, a big one from Ashburn, far upstream from the Alapaha River.

The weather prediction for the weekend is sunny and hot.

The Alapaha is still high, but other than that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing!

Maybe join us tomorrow, Sullivan Launch to Madison Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, 2024-06-08.
https://wwals.net/?p=64848 Continue reading

Quitman: Noncompliance, 9 effluent violations, 5 sewage spills, 11 monitoring violations, 1 reporting violation –GA-EPD Nov 2022 – Oct 2023

Update 2024-06-17: GA-EPD has said why they did not return followup water quality testing results.

Update 2024-06-11: Quitman, GA, utility maps 2022-01-03.

Update 2024-06-07: Filthy Franks Creek, clean Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers, despite Ashburn spill 2024-06-05.

Back on December 27, 2023, I sent what I thought was a routine request to the city of Quitman, Georgia, for state-required followup testing after a major sewage spill.

After four requests to Quitman and two to GA-EPD, I finally got a response from GA-EPD this Wednesday, five months later.

This foot-dragging was quite surprising, since previously I had sent such requests to Quitman and they had their former sewer system contractor send the test results within the statutory three days of the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA).

[Quitman, GA, Noncompliant for Nov 2022 - Oct 2023 --GA-EPD, 9 effluent, 5 spills,, 11 monitoring, 1 reporting]
Quitman, GA, Noncompliant for Nov 2022 – Oct 2023 –GA-EPD, 9 effluent, 5 spills,, 11 monitoring, 1 reporting

The GA-EPD response still did not contain the followup test results, but it did show GA-EPD had already taken action for that an other Quitman sewage spills, effluent violations, monitoring violations, and a reporting violation.

Update 2024-06-17: GORArequest.Water@dnr.ga.gov answered on June 7, 2024 my followup questions of that same day:

John,

The LON was sent November 7, 2023. The spill report indicates 5,000 gallons spilled into a drainage ditch. The volume did not exceed 10,000 gallons, so stream monitoring would not be required. EPD’s database has been updated to revise the volume from 12,000 gallons to 5,000 gallons.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Thanks

This is the subject sewage spill, according to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD)’s Sewage Spills Report of July 21, 2023. Continue reading

Troupville Cemetery Number 2: the black cemetery 2024-06-06

Looks like we’ve finally found the second cemetery of old Troupville, the African-American cemetery.

[Troupville Cemetery #2, the black cemetery, Inside Valdosta State Prison, Southwest corner, Tower 5]
Troupville Cemetery #2, the black cemetery, Inside Valdosta State Prison, Southwest corner, Tower 5

John Horton, retired law enforcement, remembers watching when the state prison was built back in the 1980s.

He says he was told they wanted to build a gymnasium at the southwest corner, where Tower 5 is. But they dug up human bones instead.

So the old cemetery is visible on satellite maps as a quadrangle inside the main fence, with the interior drive path curving inwards to go around it. Continue reading