Tag Archives: Jacob Bachrach

Bad upstream Withlacoochee, Little Rivers, Ashburn Spill Alapaha River 2022-01-06

Update 2022-01-14: Bad US 84 Wednesday, good Withlacoochee River Thursday 2022-01-13.

Water quality is not looking good upstream on the Little or Withlacoochee Rivers. But not much sign of contamination downstream Thursday. I’d avoid those rivers upstream for a few days.

Downstream, chances are the E. coli will get diluted before it reaches the state line. But of course we can only go by the test results we have. I would paddle downstream this weekend, but you have to make your own decisions.

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

WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner got too-high results at Folsom Bridge on the Little River and Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, both on GA 122. There was much rain upstream Sunday at Sylvester and Moultrie, and probably Tifton, so what Elizabeth found may have washed down from far upstream.

Ashburn had a 40,000 gallon sewage spill Monday, which showed up today in the daily GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. The Ashburn spill went into Hat Creek, which runs into the Alapaha River. Elizabeth’s third GA 122 test site, Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, was OK. This is not unusual: Ashburn is so far upstream we’ve never detected effects of one of its spills downstream.

Valdosta got a bad result at GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River for Monday. That could have been something washing downstream, or it could be the notorious suspected dumper. All three of US 41, GA 133, and US 84 tested OK for Wednesday.

WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach got OK results at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps for Thursday.

And WWALS tester Gus Cleary got OK for Cleary Bluff, downstream of Allen Ramp, for Wednesday. Continue reading

Mostly good, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-30

Update 2022-01-07: Bad upstream Withlacoochee, Little Rivers, Ashburn Spill Alapaha River 2022-01-06.

Better than last week. Michael and Jacob Bachrach spotted one blob of E. coli at Nankin Boat Ramp, but not at Knights Ferry or State Line on the Withlacoochee River. Gus Cleary tested both Sunday and Wednesday at Cleary Bluff downstream from Allen Ramp, and his results are very good. Elizabeth Brunner saw slightly elevated numbers at GA 122 on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, but all within bounds.

More rain fell since all these tests, and more is expected, so there could be more contamination. Meanwhile, no new sewage spills have been reported.

So far, I’d risk it, if I was wanting to boat on the Withlacoochee River this weekend. Here’s the data, so you can make your own decisions.

Happy New Year, and thanks to the WWALS testers for testing on this holiday weekend.

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

Thursday’s rain was quite spotty. The only two gauges we follow that got more than half an inch were in Moultrie upstream on Okapilco Creek, and at Folsom Bridge on the Little River between Barney and Adel. Continue reading

Weird upstream, clean downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-09

Update 2021-12-18 Good up and down water quality, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-16.

Odd bad results upstream, at GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, and at Folsom Bridge (GA 122) on the Little River Clean downstream, though. Last time we saw high Valdosta results for GA 133, they never showed up downstream.

So I’d swim, fish, or boat on the Withlacoochee River this weekend, although not at GA 133, and I’d avoid Folsom Bridge on the Little River.

[Chart, Rivers, Map]
Chart, Rivers, Map

Valdosta’s Wednesday results for GA 133 are way too high, and Fecal coliform was also high for US 41.

Elizabeth Brunner’s Thursday results for Folsom Bridge on the Little River were above the 410 one-time E. coli limit, which is very unusual for that location. But her other two GA 122 sites, at Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River and at Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, were well within limits.

Downstream, Jacob and Michael Bachrach got good Thursday results at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps, and Gus Cleary the same for Wednesday at Cleary Bluff below Allen Ramp, all on the Withlacoochee River. Gus also tested last Friday, and got nothing out of the ordinary, after Valdosta last saw high results at GA 133 for Wednesday a week ago. Continue reading

Good Withlacoochee River water quality except GA 133 2021-12-02

Update 2021-12-10: Weird upstream, clean downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-09.

All clear again, except something got into the Withlacoochee River at GA 133 Wednesday, according to Valdosta water quality data. Whatever it was hadn’t reached Knights Ferry, Nankin, or State Line Boat Ramps by Thursday, according to WWALS data by Michael and Jacob Bachrach. No sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida. According to Gus Cleary’s three tests in seven days at Cleary Bluff, downstream of Allen Ramp, all is good even at the river bottom (the Saturday November 27th test). Whatever the GA 133 contamination is, experience indicates it will get diluted or at least it will go by swiftly. Looks like the old GA 133 mystery is back. Somebody is going to catch whoever it is sooner or later.

Meanwhile, happy swimming, fishing, and boating on the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, river, map]
Chart, river, map

Oh, yes: and please stop shooting up and taking our signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. Those things cost money and time to replace, and people do use them to plan paddling on the river.

You may have noticed there was no water quality post last week. That was because the skeleton crew over the Thanksgiving holiday got down to just Gus, who got clean results. Plus with no rain, there was no reason to expect contamination. Valdosta’s data, now available thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Becton, shows the Withlacoochee River was indeed clean last week. November 24th looks odd, because Valdosta’s downstream contractor tested that day, while their in-house tester tested on the 23rd. It’s all in the WWALS composite spreadsheet. Continue reading

Clean rivers still 2021-11-20

Update 2021-12-03: Good Withlacoochee River water quality except GA 133 2021-12-02.

The Withlacoochee still tested clean for Saturday. No rain is expected for the next ten days except possibly a bit on Friday. So the rivers will probably stay clean.

Have fun fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend and week.

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

Jacob and Michael Bachrach tested at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps Saturday, and got clean results at all three.

This confirms our clean report from Wednesday and Thursday WWALS test results.

Also, it’s great that people love our water trail signs, but please stop shooting at them, painting on them, and stealing them. They’re there to help people enjoy the rivers and keep them clean. Continue reading

Good Thursday, but big Friday rains probably will cause contamination, Withlacoochee River 2021-11-04

Update 2021-11-13: Clean rivers 2021-11-13.

All pretty clean for Thursday and Wednesday samples on the Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers, but there were big rains Friday, so expect the same kind of contamination today and tomorrow that happened a week ago after similar rains. I’d wait a few days before boating, swimming, or fishing in the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, Folsom, Hagan; Lakeland, Cleary Bluff; Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line; Swim Guide]
Chart, Folsom, Hagan; Lakeland, Cleary Bluff; Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line; Swim Guide

None of the WWALS results for Thursday were zero, but they’re all well below the 410 cfu/100 mL one-time limit.

We have Valdosta downstream results through last Friday. Once again Valdosta results corroborate WWALS results. It’s interesting that last Thursday’s rain contamination had reached Nankin but not State Line by last Friday morning. The Valdosta Okapilco Creek results indicates much of that contamination is probably the usual cattle manure runoff coming out of Brooks County. It’s still lower than the results from last year under similar conditions, so whatever the cattle farmers are doing seems to be working, with room for more improvement. Continue reading

Big rains and big contamination 2021-10-28

Update 2021-11-06: Good Thursday, but big Friday rains probably will cause contamination, Withlacoochee River 2021-11-04.

Our upstream tester got rained out at GA 122 Thursday, but downstream at Knights Ferry on the Withlacoochee River WWALS got way too high E. coli. That contamination is now running downstream.

[Chart + Alapaha River; Withlacoochee River; KF plates, Clearys Bluff; Swim Guide Map]
Chart + Alapaha River; Withlacoochee River; KF plates, Clearys Bluff; Swim Guide Map

Where did it come from? Chances are the usual cattle manure runoff out of Brooks County, Georgia, down Okapilco Creek. Probably plus wild hogs.

This is unfortunately what we’ve come to expect after big rains. And every gauge we follow got more than an inch of rain Thursday.

So I do not recommend river fishing, swimming, or boating this weekend. Continue reading

Good Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, bad Alapaha River 2021-10-14

Update 2021-10-22: All clean: Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2021-10-21.

Something we’ve never seen: the only too-high result is on the Alapaha River for Thursday. We’ve never seen a reading at Lakeland Boat Ramp that high.

The Little and Withlacoochee Rivers tested good for Thursday, which is what we expected since there has been no rain for days.

So in the reverse of what we often say, avoid the Alapaha River and swim, fish, and paddle on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers this weekend, according to the best data we have.

Still looking good for the WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and back, coming up in one week at State Line Boat Ramp.

[Chart + Little + Alapaha River, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide]
Chart + Little + Alapaha River, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide

You can also see in the charts that Valdosta’s upstream results for last Friday showed extremely high Fecal coliform for US 41 (upstream from Valdosta), GA 133, and US 84, and way-too-high E. coli for GA 133. That somewhat helps explain why our plates for that Thursday (October 7th) for Knights Ferry Boat Ramp showed high background Fecal coliform colonies.

No, we don’t know what it is. There have been no sewage spills reported this past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia. Most likely it is some sort of manure runoff, this time coming from far upstream on the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading

Clean rivers again 2021-10-07

2021-10-15: Good Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, bad Alapaha River 2021-10-14.

Another clean week on the Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers, according to all the water quality test results we have. So happy swimming, boating, and fishing!

There was some rain today, which could wash some contamination into the rivers. But it wasn’t nearly as much rain as before previous contamination events.

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

And the water levels are coming down to where they should be just right for WWALS Boomerang paddle race, coming up in two weeks at State Line Boat Ramp. Continue reading

All Clean, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2021-09-30

Update 2021-10-08: Clean rivers again 2021-10-07.

All clear for swimming, boating, and fishing on the Withlacoochee River, and also the Little and Alapaha Rivers, by all the water quality results we have available.

Of course, conditions could change, but no rain is predicted until Monday. So there’s nothing to wash any cattle manure down Okapilco Creek, or any trash down Sugar Creek (more on that in a later post). And no sewage spills have been reported.

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

Valdosta results up through Wednesday concur with WWALS Wednesday and Thursday results: all well below the 410 one-time E. coli test result limit. Continue reading