Tag Archives: Jacob Bachrach

Bad Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, good Alapaha River 2021-09-09

Update 2021-09-17: Good water quality results, then hard rain, Withlacoochee River 2021-09-16.

Like last week, but worse: the Alapaha River would be a better choice for boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend than either the Little or Withlacoochee Rivers.

[Chart, Awful Plates, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Awful Plates, Rivers, Swim Guide

Yes, Madison Health today lifted its Health Advisory for the Withlacoochee, because they got good results for Tuesday and Thursday. But WWALS has more recent upstream data, and it’s not pretty. Continue reading

Filthy upstream Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, clean downstream 2021-09-02

Update 2021-09-10: Bad Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, good Alapaha River 2021-09-09.

In a very unusual configuration, the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers at GA 122 showed too much E. coli in Thursday samples, while everywhere downstream tested clean, also clean on the Alapaha River.

Whatever got into the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers upstream is no doubt washing downstream. Probably it will pass by in a day or two.

The Alapaha River would be a better choice for swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend.

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

The Folsom Bridge Gauge on the Little River at GA 122 showed very heavy rain Wednesday, 2.74 inches. Probably the same storm also rained on or above GA 122 on the Withlacoochee River at Hagan Bridge. Something washed into both rivers. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2021-08-26

Update 2021-09-02: Bad at GA-FL Line: Health Alert, Withlacoochee River 2021-08-31.

In a lull between rains, the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers showed clean for all our WWALS Wednesday and Thursday test sites.

You could also become a WWALS water quality tester. There’s a testing training coming up September 11, 2021.

[Chart, Little, Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Green Swim Guide]
Chart, Little, Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Green Swim Guide

This is even though Valdosta found results for Wednesday at US 41 too high. We don’t know where that contamination came from. That’s upstream from Sugar Creek, so not from there.

Valdosta also got way too high for Monday at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp. Curiously, Valdosta’s Monday result for Okapilco Creek was within range, so if that contamination came out of Okapilco Creek, it had already washed downstream into the Withlacoochee River. Notice Nankin Boat Ramp not as high but still too high on E. coli for that Monday, as the contamination was reaching it. Continue reading

Odd results, but mostly clean rivers 2021-08-19

Update 2021-08-26: Clean Rivers 2021-08-26.

The notorious GA 133 Withlacoochee River test site showed up higher than the one-time test limit for Thursday, and Wednesday so did Cleary Bluff down below Allen Ramp. Otherwise, the Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers all tested clean everywhere we tested Thursday.

I’d guess that GA 133 contamination, whatever it is, has probably been diluted by the greater amount of Little River water. An no, it almost certainly did not come from Valdosta, and also not from the dairy farms.

There’s been no significant rain in the past few days, so most likely nothing new has washed into the rivers. So, as far as we can tell, happy boating, swimming, and fishing.

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

We have no new results from Valdosta or Madison Health since we posted yesterday about Madison Health lifting their advisory. Continue reading

Red US 41, clean downstream 2021-08-12

Update 2021-09-19: Advisory lifted, Withlacoochee River 2021-08-18.

Bad water quality for Thursday at US 41 on the Withlacoochee River, presumably because of the almost 3 and a half inches of rain just upstream at Skipper Bridge. However, still below the 1,000 cfu/100 mL alert limit, and all downstream results were below the 410 one-time test limit. So apparently no bad E. coli washed out of Valdosta’s Sugar Creek. That’s good news for tomorrow morning’s Pop-up Sugar Creek Cleanup.

Plus, since Troupville Boat Ramp at the bottom of the Little River tested zero, that water should dilute anything coming down the Withlacoochee. So chances are the good results for Thursday farther downstream will hold.

Happy fishing, boating, and swimming!

Of course rains from Tropical Storm Fred could change things rapidly, but that’s what we know now.

[Chart, upstream plates, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide 2021-08-12]
Chart, upstream plates, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide 2021-08-12

Despite significant rain Wednesday on both sides of Brooks County (Dixie on the west and Withlacoochee River @ US 84 on the east), apparently nothing bad came down Okapilco Creek, and Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps all tested good for Thursday. Continue reading

Clean up and down: Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2021-08-05

Update 2021-08-13: Red US 41, clean downstream 2021-08-12.

All clear for tomorrow’s paddle from Nankin to State Line Boat Ramp, with continuation to Sullivan Launch, on the Withlacoochee River. As always, conditions could change, but all the WWALS water quality tests for Thursday are good at 11 sites on three rivers, including at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps.

[Chart, Little, Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Little, Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Swim Guide

Madison Health did get a too-high E. coli result for Tuesday at State Line. Although that was higher than the 410 cfu/100 mL one-time test limit, it was still below the 1,000 alert limit. The WWALS test at the same location and upstream for Thursday, and the WWALS test downstream at Cleary Bluff for Wednesday, all were much cleaner.

Valdosta’s Friday and Monday test results were also clean upstream and downstream all the way to the GA-FL line.

So I would guess that one Madison Health result was due to the rains in Brooks County Monday; more than half an inch on the US 84 Withlacoochee gauge. Probably they washed something down Okapilco Creek. There are no reports of sewage spills in the past week.

We did have a similar rain in the same place yesterday, but if that washed anything into the river, it should be gone downstream by tomorrow. So just don’t drink the river water and you should be OK. Continue reading

Good upstream and downstream, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2021-07-29

Update 2021-08-06: Clean up and down: Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2021-08-05.

All the E. coli test results we have for the Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers are good, all the way down below Allen Ramp almost to the Suwannee River. We don’t test for Fecal coliform, so we don’t know what happened with that sky-high Fecal coliform result Madison Health got for Tuesday. However, from the WWALS test results we have for Wednesday and Thursday, all these rivers seem clean, with two sites tested on each of the Little and Alapaha Rivers, and six on the Withlacoochee.

[Chart, Franks Creek, Alapaha River, Little River, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide]
Chart, Franks Creek, Alapaha River, Little River, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide

We have no new results from Valdosta or Madison Health since yesterday’s post. Apparently Valdosta does have some new results, but they’re having some sort of website problem. Madison Health seems to only test Tuesdays, and only at the state line anymore. That’s too bad, because they both test Fecal coliform, and we do not.

This is yet another example of how the state of Florida needs to step up, fund, and implement regular testing of all the rivers from the state line to the Gulf. Then we might know how far which contamination blob got. We’d also have a better chance tracking it back to its source. Floridians, please ask your statehouse delegation to make it so. Continue reading

Clean eleven sites: Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers 2021-06-17

Update 2021-06-23: Health Advisory, Withlacoochee River, bad at GA-FL line after rains 2021-06-22.

All clear up and down the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, for Thursday, June 17, 2021. Happy swimming, boating, and fishing!

Rains are predicted for this weekend, so of course conditions could change rapidly, but that’s what we know now.

[Chart, Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha Rivers, Swim Guide

Thanks to WWALS testers, we have results from eleven locations on three rivers.

  • Valerie Folsom (Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 in Atkinson County, GA),
  • Elizabeth Brunner (GA 122: Little River @ Folsom Bridge Landing, Withlacoochee River @ Hagan Bridge Landing, Alapaha River @ Lakeland Boat Ramp
  • Bobby McKenzie (Little River @ Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River @ US 41 and GA 133)
  • Michael and Jacob Bachrach (Withlacoochee River @ Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps)
  • Gus Cleary (Withlacoochee River @ Cleary Bluff, below Allen Ramp, almost to the Suwannee River)

And of course thanks to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for organizing and to WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman for training and supplying the testers. Continue reading

No rain, clean Withlacoochee River 2021-05-27

Update 2021-06-04: Clean Rivers 2021-06-03.

No rain has produced a quite low but clean Withlacoochee River. It’s fortunate WWALS testers sampled Wednesday and Thursday, so it looks like the Withlacoochee River remains about as clean as we’ve ever seen it. Happy boating, fishing, and swimming!

[Bridges, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide]
Bridges, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide

The last results we have from Valdosta are for upstream on Wednesday. They got slightly higher results at US 41 than did WWALS tester Bobby McKenzie, yet lower at GA 133. 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