Update 2020-02-15: EPA passes the buck to GA-EPD for Valdosta raw sewage spill 2020-01-31.
This unusually-worded Florida bacterial advisory for the Withlacoochee River probably has nothing to do with yesterday’s Valdosta 200 gallon sewage spill into two-mile branch:
The unusual wording is that the advisory gives no hint of the source of the contamination:
Jasper, FL — The Florida Department of Health in Hamilton and Madison counties today issued a joint health advisory to residents and visitors near the Withlacoochee River in North Florida.
Until further information is known regarding possible bacterial contamination of the river, people in the area are urged to take precautions when in contact with the Withlacoochee River. The Florida Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection are conducting water sampling.
We got the advisory at 4:42 PM today. At 5:10 PM Nathan Dean, reporter for WCTV, called to ask why the advisory. The best I could do was to say that tiny amount of Valdosta sewage could not possibly have made its way to Florida by today, and probably never would, because it was so small it would get diluted long before that.
At 7:48 PM I got forwarded through two intermediaries an explanation from SRWMD’s Darlene Velez that she orginally sent at 5:20 PM. She said Madison County Health Department had decided to do weekly sampling. I quote in part: Continue reading