Tag Archives: e. Coli

Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers except a hot spot near the Suwannee River 2024-07-11

The Alapaha, Withlacoochee, and Santa Fe Rivers tested clean, except the Santa Fe at Wanamake (Butler) Ramp, a tenth of a mile up from the Suwannee River.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida, but in Georgia, Ashburn had yet another spill.

Saturday is supposed to be sunny, and Sunday it might rain late in the day.

So pick a river at a level you like, and happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend.

Or join us Saturday morning for Sasser Landing Alapaha River Cleanup, 2024-07-13.

[Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-07-11, except a hot spot near the Suwannee]
Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-07-11, except a hot spot near the Suwannee

The Withlacoochee is in Action Stage at North Valdosta Road (US 41) and upstream, and soon will be at Pinetta. The Santa Fe River is still at rock bottom in several places. Continue reading

Bad Franks Creek, unknown rivers, after much rain 2024-07-03

Franks Creek at GA 122 west of Hahira tested far too high for E. coli for Wednesday.

And that’s the smallest set of test results we’ve ever had. Due to the Fourth of July holiday, most of the WWALS testers are on holiday, and Valdosta also did not report any results for this week.

[Bad Franks Creek, Unknown Rivers 2024-07-03 After rain with more rain coming]
Bad Franks Creek, Unknown Rivers 2024-07-03 After rain with more rain coming

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

Since Saturday, there have been as much as 7 inches of rain on the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers and 3 or more on the Little River. More rain is predicted this weekend and all week, although mainly in the evening.

The Withlacoochee was in Action Stage Wednesday at Skipper Bridge, and is right now at North Valdosta Road. At US 84, it looks like maybe it has peaked 5 feet below Action Stage. It’s still rising at Pinetta and Lee, although far below Action Stage.

The Santa Fe River did not get much rain, and in many places such as near Fort White is at its low threshold, as is the Ichetucknee River.

If you want little chance of contamination washed in, and don’t mind really low water, try the Santa Fe or the Ichetucknee Rivers.

So pick your desired water level and tolerance for E. coli risk, and go in the morning. Happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend! Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers 2024-06-27

Update 2024-07-05: Bad Franks Creek, unknown rivers, after much rain 2024-07-03.

The Withlacoochee River tested clean for Wednesday and Thursday, and the Santa Fe River for Monday.

Retesting upstream and downstream from the previous One Mile Branch Valdosta Williams Street anomolous results found little to no E. coli.

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; maybe too low in some areas.

There was rain on the Withlacoochee River in several places over several days, so some contamination may have washed in.

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

[Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers, but rain 2024-06-27]
Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers, but rain 2024-06-27

Cindy Vedas tested three upstream Withlacoochee sites Thursday.

For Franklinville Road at Tyler Bridge, she got Continue reading

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

Update 2024-06-29: Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers 2024-06-27.

With no rain for a further week, the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers tested 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

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

A Georgia City Has Spilled Millions of Gallons of Raw Sewage Into 2 Pristine Rivers –Amber Nolan, greenmatters 2024-06-03

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

Update 2024-06-07: Quitman: Noncompliance, 9 effluent violations, 5 sewage spills, 11 monitoring violations, 1 reporting violation –GA-EPD Nov 2022 – Oct 2023.

A reporter from Key West wrote about what people are saying about Valdosta sewage, and it’s not very pretty.

Maybe Valdosta will get a different public image when it tells people what it is doing, such as the $67 million bond for water and sewer projects the Valdosta City Council will vote on tomorrow.

And when the sewage spills don’t happen anymore.

Meanwhile, if you want to see what we are protecting, you can paddle with us this Saturday on the Withlacoochee River in Florida. https://wwals.net/?p=64848

[Valdosta sewage viewed from Key West 2024-06-03: It's not very pretty]
Valdosta sewage viewed from Key West 2024-06-03: It’s not very pretty

Please go to the original article. I’ve archived it here to be sure it is preserved, using some WWALS images to illustrate it.


Amber Nolan, Greenmatters, June 3, 2024, A Georgia City Has Spilled Millions of Gallons of Raw Sewage Into 2 Pristine Rivers
And the city is hardly doing anything to clean up its mess.

Besides its inclusion in Stephen Foster’s song “Old Folks at Home,” the Suwannee River, along with its sister river, the Withlacoochee, are off most people’s radars. Both are federally designated wild rivers that flow through Georgia and Florida, and offer top-notch kayaking and canoeing opportunities. The lower Suwannee is also home to the 53,000-acre National Wildlife Refuge, and the river’s freshwater springs are extremely popular swimming holes.

Yet, for more than a decade, accidental raw sewage spills into the rivers have been a constant occurrence from a wastewater treatment facility in Valdosta, Ga., and the sewage then flows south across state lines into Florida. Attempts to solve the problem have been bandages on a gash wound, and in April 2024, millions of gallons of sewage again spilled into the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers. So why does this keep happening, and what’s being done to prevent sewage from polluting these pristine rivers? Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22

Update 2024-05-31: Ashburn and Quitman sewage spills reported 2024-05-22.

With no rain for four days, the Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Ichetucknee Rivers tested clean this Wednesday. We have no Valdosta data, because it’s a holiday weekend.

The only sewage spill reported this week was an old small one from Tifton, far upstream.

There’s a chance of rain tomorrow, but probably not enough to cause much contamination.

Happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend if you can find a river that is not too high. Maybe try the Suwannee River upstream from the Alapaha River, or the Santa Fe River upstream from the Ichetucknee River. Most of the other river stretches are pretty high; see below.

Or come see us at the Florida Folk Festival, on the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida, this Saturday or Sunday.

[Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22 dirty Knights Creek 2024-05-20]
Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22 dirty Knights Creek 2024-05-20

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

The old Tifton sewage spill that showed up in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report for May 21 was 6,000 gallons of raw sewage on May 13, 2024, at the Southside Lift Station on W. Golden Road, due to Power failure. Continue reading

Gainesville: North Central Florida Regional Planning Council 2024-05-23

Update 2024-05-24: Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22.

Years ago, the dozen downstream Florida counties formed a task force about Valdosta sewage spills. See for example https://wwals.net/?p=51455

Due to recent events, it appears that task force will get reactivated this Thursday, at the monthly meeting of the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council (NCFRPC).

See for example https://wwals.net/?p=64677 and for background see https://wwals.net/issues/testing/

[NFRPC in Gainesville, Thursday, May 23, 2024, M&L Suwannnee & Withlacoochee River Task Force Reactivation]
NFRPC in Gainesville, Thursday, May 23, 2024, M&L Suwannnee & Withlacoochee River Task Force Reactivation

When: 7 PM, Thursday, May 23, 2024

Where: Drury Inn and Suites, Orange Blossom Room/Sweetwater Room, 4000 Southwest 40th Boulevard, Gainesville, Florida
Note the meeting will be in Gainesville, not the usual Lake City location.

Or online: https://meet.goto.com/408138813
DIAL IN NUMBER: Toll Free: 1.866.899.4679
ACCESS CODE: 408-138-813

Includes: VII. B. Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force Reactivation

 -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!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Dirty Withlacoochee and Alapaha River and creeks 2024-05-15

Update 2024-05-24: Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22.

After the big rains Monday and Tuesday, the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers tested dirty this Wednesday, as did almost every creek location in Valdosta’s followup testing, including Sugar Creek at Gornto Road, just above Valdosta’s Sugar Creek WaterGoat trash trap, and the last test site before the Withlacoochee River.

If I were you, I’d avoid the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers this weekend. Maybe try the Suwannee River upstream from the Alapaha River, or the Santa Fe River upstream from the Ichetucknee River. Also, rain is predicted.

WWALS has cancelled the Suwannee River paddle for tomorrow, due to predicted thunderstorms. It will be rescheduled later.

[Dirty Alapaha and Withlacoochee Rivers and creeks 2024-05-15;
Dirty Alapaha and Withlacoochee Rivers and creeks 2024-05-15;

The river tested too high in E. coli at all three of Valdosta’s test sites, North Valdosta Road (NVR), GA 133, and US 84, and way too high at Russ Tatum’s WWALS test site at Holly Point, below Allen Ramp in Florida. NVR (US 48) is upstream from all of Valdosta’s creek test sites for this week. There are a couple more creeks upstream from there that come out of Valdosta, but we also know something comes down Cat Creek after big rains. We have a grant application in to fund more testing up there. Continue reading

Valdosta test results: filthy Withlacoochee River after big spill, many creeks still filthy after smaller spills 2024-04-11

Update 2024-05-04: Clean rivers and some creeks, but rain 2024-05-02.

Valdosta knew the Withlacoochee River was filthy on that Friday and Saturday before it issued its press release on Monday, April 15, about its 6.7-million-gallon spill into Spring Branch to that river. We know this because Valdosta, unlike the other cities that spilled during the big rains of April 11, Valdosta puts its followup test results on the city’s website. Those results also show the river is clean, and has been since the Sunday after the spill. But some creeks are still filthy; see below.

[Valdosta test results: filthy Withlacoochee River after big spill, many creeks still filthy after smaller spills]
Valdosta test results: filthy Withlacoochee River after big spill, many creeks still filthy after smaller spills

For people going to festivals at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park: that location is upstream on the Suwannee River from the Withlacoochee River, and thus is not affected by any of the sewage spills that went into the Withlacoochee. I wouldn’t be surprised if the big rains washed some contamination into the Suwannee River. But that was three weeks ago, and most likely that E. coli was diluted and washed downstream long ago. The biggest thing you have to worry about in the Suwannee River at that park is probably contamination from people on the beach there. Continue reading