Tag Archives: GA 133

Bad Upstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-07-02

Update 2021-07-06: Tropical Storm Elsa headed up Suwannee River Basin 2021-07-06

Valdosta has published its upstream results for Friday, which showed very bad water quality at US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, Map]
Chart, Map

There’s been even more rain since then, and more is coming straight at the Suwannee River Basin with Tropical Storm Elsa. Continue reading

All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-20

Update 2021-05-28: No rain, clean Withlacoochee River 2021-05-27 .

Good news: all clear on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers for this weekend! That’s as far as E. coli in numerous water quality samples. And the Alapaha River, too, from the one datapoint we have.

[All clear, many samples, three rivers, Swim Guide]
All clear, many samples, three rivers, Swim Guide

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for the GA 122 sites Tuesday: Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River. For Thursday, thanks to Bobby McKenzie for testing Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River and the pictures of the too-low Withlacoochee River at Langdale Park and GA 133. Thanks to Michael Bachrach and Jacob Bachrach in the bug suit for Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps Thursday. Thanks to Gus Cleary for Cleary Bluff Monday and Thursday. Thanks to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for wrangling review of results.

Thanks to Madison Health for State Line, Sullivan Launch, and FL 6 Thursday.

Valdosta was again asleep at the wheel.

Here’s the chart: Continue reading

Good upstream, bad down, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-13

Update 2021-05-22: All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-20.

There’s good water quality news upstream for tomorrow’s Withlacoochee River paddle from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and the Salty Snapper.
https://wwals.net/?p=55532

Yesterday (Thursday) Bobby McKenzie sampled Langdale Park Boat Ramp and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, and Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River. His results today for all three were well within the single-sample limit for E. coli.

Eyeballing the Withlacoochee at GA 133, he decided the level was too low for that stretch of the paddle. However, Bobby paddled from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and up it, and except for a couple of portages as you get to Sugar Creek, there’s plenty of water. Bring mud boots and you can stand up in the river there and drag your boat across. And 10% off lunch for each paddler at the Salty Snapper!

[Results, Plates, River, Swim Guide]
Results, Plates, River, Swim Guide

Also for Thursday, there’s bad news from Knights Ferry Boat Ramp downstream to the state line, and by now that contamination has probably washed farther down the river. WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach got horrendous results at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, and above the single-sample limit at State Line Boat Ramp. Nankin Boat Ramp was barely within that limit. If I were you, I would stay off the Withlacoochee River below US 84 for a few days. Continue reading

Tifton, Ashburn spills, bad downstream 2021-03-03

Update 2021-03-13: All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-11.

Tifton and Ashburn, Georgia spilled raw sewage, March 3, 2021, both from places that had spilled before. For once we may have actually seen some of that in downstream water quality results. But they could not have caused the extremely high test result at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp that same day, nor the bad results into Florida the next day: those were most likely the usual cattle manure.

[Ashburn, Tifton spills and water quality]
Ashburn, Tifton spills and water quality

The high Fecal coliform at US 41 and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River that same Wednesday could have been from the Tifton spill on the New River upstream, and the high E. coli at GA 133, all in Valdosta’s thrice-weekly testing. It’s about 64 river miles from 2406 N. Ridge Ave. to US 41, and about 70 miles to GA 133, but with the rivers high and fast, it’s conceivable a spill that started in the early morning (or the previous evening) could have moved downstream that fast.

Or with rains over an inch closer upstream on the Withlacoochee River, something else may have washed into the river. Or both.

The only way to be sure would be DNA tests. Valdosta is supposed to be doing those as part of the Consent Order. We are looking forward to seeing results. Continue reading

Clean Forty Miles, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-04

Update 2021-02-11: Advisory lifted, Withlacoochee River, but big rains Tuesday 2021-02-09.

The Withlacoochee River tested clean at sites forty miles from US 41 to the state line on Thursday, February 4, 2021, in WWALS tests. We have no new data downstream, but chances are it was clean there, too. Plus the Little River at Troupville Boat Ramp was clean. The rains predicted for yesterday and today have been underwhelming, so chances are the Withlacoochee was clean into Florida, too. So according to the data we have, the Withlacoochee River is good for boating, swimming, and fishing at least from US 41 in Valdosta, Georgia, to CR 15 in Florida. Which serves us right, after we rescheduled the big paddle for today until February 27. It’s cold out there, though, and rain is still predicted.

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

However, the bacterial advisory by Madison and Hamilton Health has not been lifted. We now have four clean test results at State Line: WWALS, Valdosta, Madison Health, and WWALS again. But they probably won’t lift the Florida advisory until they get two successive clean test results themselves. Since more rain is predicted most of the coming week, don’t be surprised if they either don’t lift it for more than another week, or lift it and then issue another a few days later.

Thanks to WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach, who got zero E. coli at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, 33 at Nankin, and 133 at State Line Boat Ramp. Only that last one is above the 126 average test limit, and still well below the 410 one-time test limit. Continue reading

Bad Friday after rain, Better Sunday, Withlacoochee River 2021-01-24

Update 2021-01-29: Very bad, health advisory, Withlacoochee River 2021-01-28.

As expected, the big rains Friday caused contamination on the Withlacoochee River, according to Valdosta’s upstream data for US 41, GA 133, and US 84. Everything was clean the day before, both upstream and down. We don’t know about downstream again until I tested Sunday. While Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps were not as clean as we like, they were well within the one-time test limit of 410 cfu/100 mL E. coli. So it appears that if the downstream sites were contaminated Friday, most of that had already washed away in the rest of the rainwater by Sunday.

[KF, Nankin, SL, chart, Swim Guide]
KF, Nankin, SL, chart, Swim Guide

Apparently the Withlacoochee River is clean again, although we do not have many datapoints yet. Be warned more rain is expected today. Continue reading

Bad Knights Ferry and Nankin, Christmas Day, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-25

Update 2020-12-29: Bad Nankin, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-28.

Merry Christmas, although this isn’t a preseent anybody would want. Michael and Jacob Bachrach tested Friday after Thursday’s rains, and got really bad results at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp and bad enough at Nankin on the Withlacoochee River. State Line Boat Ramp has probably gotten the contamination washed down there by now, and into Florida.

Meanwhile, last we heard from Valdosta, both US 41 and GA 133 had bad results for Monday after rain last Sunday.

We do have some good results from the Suwannee and Alapaha Rivers from before the Thursday rain. Since there is much less manure upstream on those rivers, chances are they stayed cleaner after the storm, but we have no more recent test results for those.

[Bad water quality, Withlacoochee River]
Bad water quality, Withlacoochee River

The Bachrachs did try to count the E. coli colonies on the Knights Ferry plates, and the result would have been more than 8,000 cfu/100 mL, way above the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream alert limit of 1,000. Yet when the plate background turns purple like that, AAS says to call it TNTC for Too Many to Count. I’d avoid that water. Continue reading

Valdosta catching illegal dumpers, and some new management

Valdosta is actively pursuing the culprits ditching trash and dumping fecal waste into the Withlacoochee River, causing repeated spikes at GA 133.

They say they have even caught some.

And Valdosta has promoted two people: Catherine Ammons of Human Resources to Deputy City Manager of Administration, and Richard Hardy of Public Works to Deputy City Manager of Operations. Hardy is still Director of Public Works, but now he’s also over Engineering and Utilities, which also still retain their same Directors.

We don’t know whether these two news items are related. We do know we’re glad Valdosta recognizes that people downstream will continue to think they’re the cause of every Withlacoochee River contamination incident unless they actively find the real culprits.

Don’t worry: we post positive news about Valdosta when there is some, but we continue to watch them and other possible contamination sources like a hawk.

[Cleanups, Deputy City Managers]
Cleanups, Deputy City Managers

Pursuing dumping culprits

Valdosta PR, December 2, 2020, City Stresses Importance of Reporting Illegal Dumping in Local Waterways (see also Valdosta Today), Continue reading

Bad GA 133 for a week, yet good downstream, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-03

Update 2020-12-12: Clean downstream, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-10; odd Gibson Park, Suwannee River 2020-12-05.

Thanks to Madison Health and WWALS testers Josh and Angela Duncan, we have good bacterial water quality results for Thursday at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps, as well as at Sullivan Launch and FL 6.

This is mysterious, since Valdosta has gotten very high bacterial results at GA 133 for Friday, Monday, and Wednesday. Yet Valdosta got acceptable results downstream at US 84 those same days.

It appears that somebody is still dumping into the Withlacoochee River at or upstream from GA 133. Valdosta says it’s on the case and they’re encouraging everybody else to help find the culprits. Yes, please help.

[Chart and KF Plates]
Chart and KF Plates

Despite all that, according to the water quality results from US 84 downstream all the way to FL 6, I’ve marked all the WWALS “beaches” on Swim Guide Continue reading

Better now, Withlacoochee River water quality 2020-11-14

Update 2020-11-20: Good since Thursday, Withlacoochee River Water Quality 2020-11-17

Whatever that was Wednesday at GA 133 and US 84, it did not reappear on Valdosta’s Friday results at the same locations, nor in the WWALS results upstream and down for Saturday on the Withlacoochee and Little Rivers.

[Maps, Chart]
Maps, Chart

Thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for publishing the updated Valdosta upstream Friday results on a Saturday afternoon. She says the City of Valdosta has not had any spills. And according to Valdosta Assistant City Manager Richard Hardy, the city goverment is well aware of the problem and is working on ways to find the culprits. I have left a message with Lowndes County Utilities. I am also talking to law enforcement. A letter will go to GA-EPD today.

[Better now]
Better now
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida water quality, see
https://wwals.net/issues/testing/

Thanks to WWALS testers Jacob and Michael Bachrach for testing at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps. Thanks to WWALS testers Angela and Josh Duncan for testing at US 41 and Troupville Boat Ramp. The point of that last one, on the Little River, is as a control: since Troupville Boat Ramp is about 2,000 feet upstream of the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River, it should be clean.

And it was. But so were all the other test locations. So whatever it was either moved so fast downstream it was below FL 6 when Madison Health tested Thursday, or it was small although toxic, and got diluted pretty quickly.

The chronic problem test station at the GA 133 Withlacoochee River bridge is highlighted Continue reading