Category Archives: VWW

Clean Withlacoochee River water quality test results then One Mile Branch fish kill 2022-09-22

Update 2022-09-25: High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23.

Thursday WWALS test results are very good. The most recent Valdosta test results from Valdosta are for Monday, and they are also good.

But Friday WWALS found a fish kill in One Mile Branch starting at Valdosta State University. That is upstream from Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River. Later today we should have some E. coli test results from One Mile Branch.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide]
Chart, River, Swim Guide

Ashburn had yet another sewage spill a week ago into Hat Creek upstream on the Alapaha River, and High Springs had a spill Thursday a week ago near the Santa Fe River. Both were so small they probably had no detectable effect on river water quality.

So I would swim, boat, and fish in the Withlacoochee River downstream from the Little River Confluence. But I would avoid the Withlacoochee River from there up to Sugar Creek. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-09-15

Update 2022-09-19: Ashburn sewage problem and Moultrie 2022-09-16.

Good news: all clean in all the WWALS water quality tests on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers for Thursday. Happy fishing, swimming, and boating!

Maybe see you tomorrow morning on the Roline to Hunter Creek Suwannee River paddle. The Suwannee River is usually clean upstream anyway.

[Chart, Rivers, Map]
Chart, Rivers, Map

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for her usual three GA 122 sites, on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, all results good. Thanks to WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach for testing their usual three downstream Withlacoochee River sites at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps.

There’s no update from Valdosta after its dire Monday results for GA 133 and US 84. But first Continue reading

Bad GA 133 and US 84, Withlacoochee River 2022-09-12

Update 2022-09-16: Clean Rivers 2022-09-15.

Bad news in Valdosta’s upstream Withlacoochee River water quality results.

Too high E. coli at both GA 133 (St. Augustine Road) and US 84.

Best to avoid the Withlacoochee River for now in those stretches.

[Chart, Swim Guide]
Chart, Swim Guide

We also see high Fecal coliform for Monday at US 41 (North Valdosta Road), but OK E. coli. That is usual for after a big upstream rain, and you can see 0.61 inches on the Skipper Bridge gauge for the previous day.

But at GA 133 and US 84, Continue reading

Clean river water quality tests, but heavy rains 2022-09-08

Update 2022-09-13: Bad GA 133 and US 84, Withlacoochee River 2022-09-12.

By all the recent water quality test results we have, all is clear for boating, swimming, and fishing on the Withlacoochee and other rivers this weekend.

The Tifton 2,000 gallon spill Sunday is very unlikely to affect anywhere anyone is testing on the rivers.

But by all our experience with heavy rains such as fell far upstream Thursday and are falling today, contamination is likely to wash into the Withlacoochee River: most likely cattle or hog manure.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-09-08]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-09-08

The WWALS upstream Thursday samples by Elizabeth Brunner on GA 122 were all clean at Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River.

The WWALS downstream Thursday samples on the Withlacoochee River by Jacob and Michael Bachrach at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps were also clean.

And the Valdosta upstream results for Wednesday were also pretty clean, at US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on the Withlacoochee River. The most recent downstream results Valdosta has publlshed are for Monday a week ago. WWALS already tested downstream twice since then. Continue reading

Good river water quality 2022-09-01

Update 2022-09-09: Tifton sewage spill, Little River 2022-09-04.

All WWALS water quality results for Thursday came in below the one-time test limit of 410 cfu/100 mL. There has been rain, but not as much as it usually takes to wash significant contamination into the rivers. More rain is predicted for the next week, but no more than what we’ve seen this week.

Ashburn got around to reporting two sewage spills this week, but those are both old and on Hat Creek, far upstream from the top of the Alapaha River Water Trail, so probably they did not have much effect on that river.

Starke reported a sewage spill from two manholes, but it was small and not near a waterbody, so it probably had no effect on the Santa Fe River.

So by what we know today, happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend. Conditions could change rapidly, of course.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

Thanks to Continue reading

Good river water quality 2022-08-25

Update 2022-09-02: Good river water quality 2022-09-01.

WWALS got good water quality results downstream on the Withlacoochee River for Thursday, and good upstream results for the Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers. Valdosta’s Wednesday and Monday results concur. So happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-08-25]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-08-25

No new sewage spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida. We did get an update on the Quitman spill of week before last; see below.

Of course, there was some heavy rainfall upstream in spots, and that could wash something into the river. But by the test results we have now, have a good time on the water. Continue reading

Valdosta enforces new grease ordinance; how about enforcing its trash ordinances?

I look forward to Valdosta enforcing its trash ordinances like it’s doing with these Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG) ordinances. No new ordinance is needed, City Marshals just need to enforce the ones already in place.

[Valdosta example: Fats, Oils, and Grease in a manhole]
Valdosta example: Fats, Oils, and Grease in a manhole

Here’s an idea: Roger Budd Co. could set an example by buying trash cans for its parking lots, and keep them cleaned out, like city ordinances require. That would be much smaller capex than these FOG traps. And for both RBC could advertise on its billboards how green its businesses are.

Although any business will be more likely to do that once the City of Valdosta gets around to putting such trash cans on its own city parking lots, starting with across from City Hall.

Meanwhile, I applaud the City of Valdosta pro-actively preventing sewage spills with this new FOG ordinance.

Mackenzie Petrie, WALB, Continue reading

2021 ANNUAL REPORT, Lowndes County Impaired Streams Monitoring 2021-04-07

After two years, Lowndes County has still not found sources of the fecal contamination in its streams. Maybe the testing methodology needs to be revised.

Fortunately, WWALS is covering part of what the county does not: WWALS is testing for E. coli after big rains on Cat Creek and Beatty Branch and multiple Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha River locations, and we are doing some DNA spot tests.

Fecal Coliform
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.

[Map and graphs]
Map and graphs

There are no DNA marker or chemical tracer results in the report. A few DNA tests would have given some indication of what species were producing the fecal contamination.

Also, the report includes no Continue reading

Good Withlacoochee River water quality 2022-08-18

Update 2022-08-26: Good river water quality 2022-08-25.

All clear for fishing, swimming, and boating on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers this weekend, according to the latest water quality results we have.

[Chart, Rivers, Plates]
Chart, Rivers, Plates

There hasn’t been enough rain to wash any significant contamination into the creeks and rivers, no, not even Okapilco Creek.

The only sewage spill in the past week we know of is the Valdosta one last Sunday near Sugar Creek on Meadowbrook Drive at Gornto Road. That one, like the other four Valdosta spills this summer, was probably too small and fixed too quickly to have any detectable effect on the Withlacoochee River. We still don’t know Continue reading

Valdosta sewer spill, Meadowbrook Drive at Gornto Road 2022-08-14

Valdosta had a sewage spill on Meadowbrook Drive at Gornto Road this weekend, which this morning they said they fixed that same weekend. We don’t know how many gallons, but we’re guessing not many. Maybe we’ll know more about that once Valdosta reports to GA-EPD. If it was small, it probably did not get into Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River, although we hope Valdosta is testing to find out.

Congratulations to Valdosta for fixing this problem quickly. Room for improvement on internal handoffs on Valdosta’s Click ‘n’ Fix smartphone app, and on completeness of reporting. Also, we would like to know the cause, considering there was no rain.

[Map, Manhole]
Map, Manhole

That’s the fourth small Valdosta sewage spill and one major one since June. So far as we can tell by later testing, none of them had any noticeable effect on the Withlacoochee River.

Plus there was a spill from Quitman, Georgia, that very likely did affect Okapilco Creek and the Withlacoochee River, although more than a week later nobody yet knows how many gallons. And there was a spill from High Springs, Florida, which probably did not affect the Santa Fe River.

WWALS member Suzy Hall noticed yesterday (Sunday) afternoon Continue reading