Tag Archives: Gretchen Quarterman

Training: Water Quality Testing, 2022-09-10

You can learn how to help test water quality in the Suwannee River Basin.

WWALS testing trainer Gretchen Quarterman will do the classroom portion of the course by zoom, followed by hands-on practical training at a waterway with physical distancing. This is both Chemical and Bacterial training by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) methods.

Yes, we can and do use this in Florida as well as Georgia.

[Map and table, Georgia AAS]
Map and table, Georgia AAS

We currently have testers on the Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers.

We need more of those, and also for the Alapahoochee and Suwannee Rivers, as well as Cat Creek, Beatty Branch, Sugar Creek, and especially Okapilco Creek and Crooked Creek, plus others.

For more, see: https://wwals.net/testing/

Sign up: https://forms.gle/37DawiGAJYoyqtPKA Continue reading

Rivers Alive Trash Pick Up, Alapaha River, Berrien Beach Boat Ramp, 2022-09-24

Get a Rivers Alive t-shirt for picking up river trash. Come to Berrien Beach Boat Ramp with gloves and trash pickers if you have them. No boat required, but those of us who bring one will also float across to Berrien Beach itself and clean up there, or you can drive across the bridge and get there by land.

When: 9 AM – noon, Saturday, September 24, 2022

Put In: Berrien Beach Boat Ramp, 12496 Highway 168, Nashville, GA 31639, N side of GA 168, right bank, west side of Alapaha River, in Berrien County, Georgia.

GPS: 31.159076, -83.045554

[Volunteers at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp, Rivers Alive t-shirt 2020-09-12]
Volunteers at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp, Rivers Alive t-shirt 2020-09-12

Bring: No boat required, but you can bring one if you like, with the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: this WWALS outing is a cleanup. Continue reading

Pictures: Sullivan Launch to Madison Blue Spring Withlacoochee River 2015-10-24

A fine day, balmy, breezy, sunny, with springs and rapids and fine company, from Sullivan Launch to Madison Blue Spring on the Withlacoochee River, in the October WWALS Outing, October 24, 2015.

[Onwards from Hardee Spring 30.5444069, -83.2500076]
Onwards from Hardee Spring https://www.google.com/maps/@30.5444069,-83.2500076,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

This is part of the Continue reading

Still clean: Withlacoochee River 2022-07-05

Update 2022-07-09: Five Rivers Clean 2022-07-07.

All six of the WWALS samples for yesterday were clean, over 55 Withlacoochee River miles in Georgia and Florida. Plus it turns out FDEP tested three spots last Thursday.

Happy swimming, boating, and fishing.

As mentioned in the previous post, there was significant rain just upstream of Valdosta yesterday, so conditions could change rapidly. But since we’ve already seen first flush after a long dry spell, I’d guess we won’t see anything that’s much of a problem, probably not even much cattle manure down Okapilco Creek out of Brooks County, GA.

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

Thanks to Continue reading

Bad Water Quality, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-30

Update 2022-07-03: PFAS testing, Withlacoochee River, Georgia and Florida 2022-06-30.

Update 2022-07-03: Madison Health Advisory, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-02.

Please avoid the Withlacoochee River this weekend, at least downstream from Hagan Bridge (GA 122). Try the Little River or the Alapaha, or the Suwannee upstream of the Withlacoochee River Confluence.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide 2022-06-30]
Chart, River, Swim Guide 2022-06-30

There was already contamination washed into the river by rain up to 4 inches in spots, according to Valdosta’s Wednesday results at US 41 and GA 133: 1,000 cfu/100 mL and 2,000 cfu/100 mL, where 1,000 is the alert level.

Then Valdosta had a major sewage spill. Continue reading

Bad Knights Ferry, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-23

Update 2022-07-01: Bad Water Quality, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-30.

Update 2022-06-25: Plus Ichetucknee and Santa Fe Rivers also clean, thanks to Pam Thomas and the TREPO crew.

Not good at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River: 1,333 cfu/100 mL E. coli, above the alert level of 1,000. That was a Thursday sample, so watch out downstream. This is puzzling, since there has been no rain to speak of. Also, no sewage spills have been reported in Georgia or Florida in the Suwannee River Basin. Yet chances are something came down Okapilco Creek from Brooks County, Georgia. Sure, it could have been wild hogs directly on the river, but that’s less likely. Maybe there was more rain in Brooks County than the stations we use reported. Or maybe there was a sewage spill that has not yet been reported.

Everywhere else tested by WWALS Thursday was good: Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers.

The most recent Valdosta downstream results were for Monday, and was clean. The most recent Valdosta upstream were for Friday (apparently Valdosta city staff took Monday off for the new Juneteenth holiday), and were also clean, after the high GA 133 results last week.

So I’d avoid the Withlacoochee River from Knights Ferry Boat Ramp on down this weekend. Elsewhere looks good for boating, swimming, and fishing.

Thundershowers are expected this weekend, so conditions could change rapidly.

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

Thanks to Continue reading

WWALS Thursday tests clean, but Valdosta bad Wednesday results for US 41 and GA 122, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-16

Update 2022-06-24: Bad Knights Ferry, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-23.

All WWALS Thursday samples tested clean. But Valdosta got very bad Wednesday results for US 41 and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River. Maybe that has gotten diluted by now. But I’d avoid US 41, Langdale Park Boat Ramp, and downstream on the Withlacoochee from Troupville Boat Ramp for this weekend.

Elsewhere, happy boating, swimming, and fishing, so far as we can tell.

For example, come up to Reed Bingham State Park tomorrow (Saturday) for Juneteenth, where WWALS will be getting children (and adults) into boats, some for their first time.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-06-16]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-06-16

What happened at US 41 and GA 133? Continue reading

Five Rivers Clean 2022-06-09

2022-06-17: WWALS Thursday tests clean, but Valdosta bad Wednesday results for US 41 and GA 122, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-16.

All tested clean: Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers, for Thursday. Sure, those were only a few test sites on each river. But there’s been little rain, none predicted, and no sewage spills reported. So happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend.

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

Thanks to Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-06-02

Update 2022-06-11: Five Rivers Clean 2022-06-09.

Seventh week: all rivers clean! Happy swimming, fishing, and boating in the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers.

For example, tomorrow morning, Florida Campsites to Allen Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-04.

Of course, there can be undetected local water quality problems (see below). But all the WWALS sites tested Thursday got clean results. While there is a prediction of rain today and tomorrow, if it’s like what we’ve been seeing, it will be light and won’t wash much contamination into the river. No sewage spills have been reported in Georgia or Florida in the past week. So have a good weekend.

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for Wednesday upstream and Wednesday of last week downstream. Those were all clean, too.

But earlier contamination was detected in Valdosta results. Continue reading

Clean All Rivers 2022-05-26

Update 2022-06-03: Clean Rivers 2022-06-02.

All tested sites Thursday were clean on five rivers: Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers. No sewage spills have been reported in Georgia or Florida in the Suwannee River Basin for the last week. It hasn’t rained much, and no rain is predicted for the weekend.

So happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

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

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for Monday upstream and Wednesday of last week downstream. Those were all clean, too. Continue reading