Category Archives: VWW

Bad US 84 Wednesday, good Withlacoochee River Thursday 2022-01-13

Rains last weekend got contamination into the Withlacoochee River upstream at US 84, still showing up Wednesday in Valdosta results. But all the WWALS results for Thursday and downstream Wednesday showed acceptable low levels of E. coli.

So I’d paddle and fish in the Withlacoochee River today. Not so sure about swimming: it’s cold.

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

As you can see, Valdosta got bad results at US 84 for both Monday and Wednesday. Continue reading

Bad upstream Withlacoochee, Little Rivers, Ashburn Spill Alapaha River 2022-01-06

Update 2022-01-14: Bad US 84 Wednesday, good Withlacoochee River Thursday 2022-01-13.

Water quality is not looking good upstream on the Little or Withlacoochee Rivers. But not much sign of contamination downstream Thursday. I’d avoid those rivers upstream for a few days.

Downstream, chances are the E. coli will get diluted before it reaches the state line. But of course we can only go by the test results we have. I would paddle downstream this weekend, but you have to make your own decisions.

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

WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner got too-high results at Folsom Bridge on the Little River and Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, both on GA 122. There was much rain upstream Sunday at Sylvester and Moultrie, and probably Tifton, so what Elizabeth found may have washed down from far upstream.

Ashburn had a 40,000 gallon sewage spill Monday, which showed up today in the daily GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. The Ashburn spill went into Hat Creek, which runs into the Alapaha River. Elizabeth’s third GA 122 test site, Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, was OK. This is not unusual: Ashburn is so far upstream we’ve never detected effects of one of its spills downstream.

Valdosta got a bad result at GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River for Monday. That could have been something washing downstream, or it could be the notorious suspected dumper. All three of US 41, GA 133, and US 84 tested OK for Wednesday.

WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach got OK results at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps for Thursday.

And WWALS tester Gus Cleary got OK for Cleary Bluff, downstream of Allen Ramp, for Wednesday. Continue reading

Mostly good, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-30

Update 2022-01-07: Bad upstream Withlacoochee, Little Rivers, Ashburn Spill Alapaha River 2022-01-06.

Better than last week. Michael and Jacob Bachrach spotted one blob of E. coli at Nankin Boat Ramp, but not at Knights Ferry or State Line on the Withlacoochee River. Gus Cleary tested both Sunday and Wednesday at Cleary Bluff downstream from Allen Ramp, and his results are very good. Elizabeth Brunner saw slightly elevated numbers at GA 122 on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, but all within bounds.

More rain fell since all these tests, and more is expected, so there could be more contamination. Meanwhile, no new sewage spills have been reported.

So far, I’d risk it, if I was wanting to boat on the Withlacoochee River this weekend. Here’s the data, so you can make your own decisions.

Happy New Year, and thanks to the WWALS testers for testing on this holiday weekend.

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

Thursday’s rain was quite spotty. The only two gauges we follow that got more than half an inch were in Moultrie upstream on Okapilco Creek, and at Folsom Bridge on the Little River between Barney and Adel. Continue reading

Bad upstream, watch out below, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-23

Update 2021-12-31: Mostly good, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-30.

Not looking good. The recent rains washed E. coli into the Withlacoochee River, starting way upstream at Hagan Bridge on GA 122 on Thursday, down through US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on Wednesday. We did not see it at Cleary Bluff for Wednesday, downstream from Allen Ramp. Maybe it’s gotten diluted before it got that far. Or maybe it just hadn’t gotten that far by Wednesday.

I’d stay off the Withlacoochee River this weekend.

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

We almost never see high numbers at Hagan Bridge, but that’s what Elizabeth Brunner got for Thursday.

Valdosta results were bad for US 41 for last Friday, even before the rain, much worse there and for GA 133 for Monday after the rain, and bad for all three of US 41, GA 133, and US 84 for Wednesday. Apparently the contamination is traveling downstream.

There have been no sewage spills reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida. Most likely the E. coli came from cows or horses near the river or its creeks: there are quite a few of those even upstream of Hagan Bridge. Plus possibly wild hogs. Continue reading

Good up and down water quality, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-16

Update 2021-12-25: Bad upstream, watch out below, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-23

There’s been no rain to speak of, and all the tests show no river contamination.

So, happy swimming, fishing, and boating this weekend.

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

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for Folsom Bridge Landing @ GA 122 on the Little River. Continue reading

Weird upstream, clean downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-09

Update 2021-12-18 Good up and down water quality, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-16.

Odd bad results upstream, at GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, and at Folsom Bridge (GA 122) on the Little River Clean downstream, though. Last time we saw high Valdosta results for GA 133, they never showed up downstream.

So I’d swim, fish, or boat on the Withlacoochee River this weekend, although not at GA 133, and I’d avoid Folsom Bridge on the Little River.

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

Valdosta’s Wednesday results for GA 133 are way too high, and Fecal coliform was also high for US 41.

Elizabeth Brunner’s Thursday results for Folsom Bridge on the Little River were above the 410 one-time E. coli limit, which is very unusual for that location. But her other two GA 122 sites, at Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River and at Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, were well within limits.

Downstream, Jacob and Michael Bachrach got good Thursday results at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps, and Gus Cleary the same for Wednesday at Cleary Bluff below Allen Ramp, all on the Withlacoochee River. Gus also tested last Friday, and got nothing out of the ordinary, after Valdosta last saw high results at GA 133 for Wednesday a week ago. Continue reading

Good Withlacoochee River water quality except GA 133 2021-12-02

Update 2021-12-10: Weird upstream, clean downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-09.

All clear again, except something got into the Withlacoochee River at GA 133 Wednesday, according to Valdosta water quality data. Whatever it was hadn’t reached Knights Ferry, Nankin, or State Line Boat Ramps by Thursday, according to WWALS data by Michael and Jacob Bachrach. No sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida. According to Gus Cleary’s three tests in seven days at Cleary Bluff, downstream of Allen Ramp, all is good even at the river bottom (the Saturday November 27th test). Whatever the GA 133 contamination is, experience indicates it will get diluted or at least it will go by swiftly. Looks like the old GA 133 mystery is back. Somebody is going to catch whoever it is sooner or later.

Meanwhile, happy swimming, fishing, and boating on the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, river, map]
Chart, river, map

Oh, yes: and please stop shooting up and taking our signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. Those things cost money and time to replace, and people do use them to plan paddling on the river.

You may have noticed there was no water quality post last week. That was because the skeleton crew over the Thanksgiving holiday got down to just Gus, who got clean results. Plus with no rain, there was no reason to expect contamination. Valdosta’s data, now available thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Becton, shows the Withlacoochee River was indeed clean last week. November 24th looks odd, because Valdosta’s downstream contractor tested that day, while their in-house tester tested on the 23rd. It’s all in the WWALS composite spreadsheet. Continue reading

Clean rivers still 2021-11-20

Update 2021-12-03: Good Withlacoochee River water quality except GA 133 2021-12-02.

The Withlacoochee still tested clean for Saturday. No rain is expected for the next ten days except possibly a bit on Friday. So the rivers will probably stay clean.

Have fun fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend and week.

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

Jacob and Michael Bachrach tested at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps Saturday, and got clean results at all three.

This confirms our clean report from Wednesday and Thursday WWALS test results.

Also, it’s great that people love our water trail signs, but please stop shooting at them, painting on them, and stealing them. They’re there to help people enjoy the rivers and keep them clean. Continue reading

Clean rivers again 2021-11-18

Update 2021-11-21: Clean rivers still 2021-11-20.

Another clean week! Have fun fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend. Well, swimming if it warms up.

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

The most E. coli WWALS testers found was 200 cfu/100 mL for Thursday at Folsom Bridge Landing @ GA 122 on the Little River. That’s well below the 400 cfu/100 mL one-time sample limit. Thanks to Elizabeth Brunner for that location and for zeroes at Hagan Bridge Landing on the Withlacoochee River and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, both also on GA 122.

Valerie Folsom also got zero for Wednesday at Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River.

Gus Cleary got a very low 33 for Wednesday at Cleary Bluff, downstream from Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee River.

Thanks to the WWALS testers and to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for herding the cats.

Valdosta’s Monday upstream results were also clean. Continue reading

Clean rivers 2021-11-13

Update 2021-11-20: Clean rivers again 2021-11-18.

As far as we know from the water quality results we have, happy swimming, fishing, and boating this weekend!

WWALS ran a skeleton crew this week, because there’s been no rain, and we did not expect any contamination. Didn’t find any, either. Valdosta’s results through Monday also were clean.

[Chart + Folsom + Lakeland; Hagan, charts, Cleary Bluff; Map: Swim Guide]
Chart + Folsom + Lakeland; Hagan, charts, Cleary Bluff; Map: Swim Guide

Are there any database programmers in the house? We have far too many manual steps collecting the numerous sources of water quality data and rainfall into the WWALS composite spreadsheet, and also over to Swim Guide and Georgia Adopt-A-Stream. We hear Valdosta suffers from the same delay in getting data into their online table. If anybody wants to help collect these sources from various formats, record them in a database, and pull them back out into various other formats, please contact us.

Or maybe you’d like to get trained to join our testing crew?

This week, Gus Cleary tested both Sunday and Wednesday at Cleary Bluff, downstream from Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee River, and got good results each time. (Gus would like zero every time, but that’s not likely.)

Upstream, Elizabeth Brunner got clean results for Thursday on GA 122 at Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River. Continue reading