Tag Archives: Joanne Tremblay

Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe Rivers except @ US 129 2024-06-13

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

Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers plus High Springs sewage spill 2024-05-30

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

Update 2024-06-05: A Georgia City Has Spilled Millions of Gallons of Raw Sewage Into 2 Pristine Rivers –Amber Nolan, greenmatters 2024-06-03.

With no rain since Monday, the Withlacoochee River tested clean Wednesday, and the Santa Fe River Thursay, even though High Springs, Florida had a sewage spill Thursday; see below.

Three spills appeared in the Georgia EPD Sewage Spills Report for this Tuesday, May 22, 2024: a big one and a little one from Ashburn Saturday and Sunday a week ago, and a tiny one from Quitman Wednesday a week ago; see separate report. https://wwals.net/?p=64971

There’s a slight chance of rain Sunday, 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.

Or come see us 2-7 PM Saturday in Hahira, Georgia, with South Georgia Pride at Music and Art on Main.

[Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers; High Springs Sewage Spill 2024-05-30]
Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers; High Springs Sewage Spill 2024-05-30

The High Springs spill was reported in the Pollution Spills Report by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

The report says 35,000 gallons were spilled, but 32,000 gallons were recovered, so the remainder was only 3,000 gallons.

The location is rather vague, Southwest 25th Avenue, so I’m guessing it was at the wastewater treatment plant. 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

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

Clean rivers, but rain 2024-05-08

Update 2024-05-15: No spills reported after recent rains, Suwannee River Basin 2024-05-15.

The Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers tested clean this Wednesday, as well as all but two Valdosta creeks. see below.

People going to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park see below.

There was rain and strong winds upstream Thursday. That rain could wash some contamination into the Withlacoochee River and others.

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

Most of the rivers are back down to good paddling levels. The Withlacoochee River at Pinetta is predicted to rise to Action Stage. The Ichetucknee River at US 27 and the Santa Fe River at Three Rivers Estates are still in Action Stage. The Suwannee River from Rock Bluff to Manatee Springs is in Action Stage.

So for most stretches of most of the rivers, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend.

Maybe you’d like to come with WWALS tomorrow, Mayday to Statenville, Alapaha River, 2024-05-11.

[Clean Rivers Wednesday 2024-05-08, Rained Thursday 2024-05-09]
Clean Rivers Wednesday 2024-05-08, Rained Thursday 2024-05-09

To repeat from a previous post: For people going to festivals at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park: Continue reading

Clean rivers and some creeks, but rain 2024-05-02

Update 2024-05-10: Clean rivers, but rain 2024-05-08.

This week, the rivers that have been tested were clean: Withlacoochee and Santa Fe, as well as Franks Creek of the Little River and Cow Creek of the Santa Fe River. Three Valdosta creeks still tested bad Wednesday; see below.

People going to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park see below.

There was some rain Friday, but it was quite spotty: 2.73 inches at the Skipper Bridge Gauge on the Withlacoochee River above Valdosta, and 1.09 inches at the Irwinville Gauge on the Alapaha River. That rain could wash some contamination into the Withlacoochee River.

No new sewage spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in the past week, in Georgia or Florida, since the small inland High Springs spill of April 24, 2024.

Update 2024-05-08: Fixed the order of the rivers in the following paragraph.

Most of the rivers are back down to good paddling levels. The Santa Fe River at US 27 and the Ichetucknee River at Three Rivers Estates are still in Minor Flood. The Suwannee River from Branford to Manatee Springs is in Action Stage.

So for most stretches of most of the rivers, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend. Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers 2024-04-25

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

Update 2024-05-03: Valdosta test results: filthy Withlacoochee River after big spill, many creeks still filthy after smaller spills 2024-04-11.

This week, the rivers that have been tested were clean: Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe.

This is despite a Wednesday inland High Springs sewage spill of 1,500 gallons.

And clean even in the aftermath of all the spills of last week. There is more about sewage spills below, including that Valdosta did test the Friday and Saturday of the big spill, and the Withlacoochee River was filthy then.

But it’s clean now, and water levels are coming down in all the rivers. So if you don’t mind still a bit high and fast, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend.

[Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-04-25; Filthy Withlacoochee River & creeks 2024-04-12, 2024-04-13]
Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-04-25; Filthy Withlacoochee River & creeks 2024-04-12, 2024-04-13

Testing at State Line by Madison Health and FDEP on Wednesday last week corroborated the WWALS result for the previous day. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) also tested downstream at CR 150 (Sullivan Launch) and at FL 6, and all three sites again Thursday, getting clean results each time. That corroborated the WWALS result for Holly Point downstream on that Thursday.

Madison Health has not yet withdrawn its health advisory for the Withlacoochee River, but I imagine it probably will the next time they or FDEP test.

And it turns out Valdosta is posting on its website the results of the testing it is required to do by the Georgia Environmental Pro Division (GA-EPD) after each major spill. None of Quitman, Tifton, Rochelle, Ashburn, or Homerville are posting their results, so that’s a good thing Valdosta is doing.

Those Valdosta results for this Wednesday and last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday also corroborate the WWALS results at US 84 and GA 133.

As noted last week, apparently the massive flow of the river from the rains diluted or washed the contamination downstream.

But Valdosta got very different results for Friday April 12, and Saturday April 13. Continue reading

Dirty creeks, but clean rivers 2024-04-17

Update 2024-04-26: Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers 2024-04-25.

After the week of sewage spills after the recent rains, WWALS found Sugar Creek dirty and Spring Branch filthy, but four rivers clean: Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe.

That’s right, while Spring Branch was filthy (7 times the alert limit for E. coli) right next to Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) that spilled 6.7 million gallons Friday through Sunday, the Withlacoochee River tested clean at five locations.

We can only guess that the massive flow of the river from the rains diluted or washed the contamination downstream.

You still might want to think twice before boating, fishing, or swimming in the rivers, since they are all in flood or at least Action Stage.

[After heavy thunderstorms and sewage spill week, dirty creeks, but clean rivers 2024-04-17]
After heavy thunderstorms and sewage spill week, dirty creeks, but clean rivers 2024-04-17

We have no new Valdosta results since last week, because Valdosta only tests once a week on Wednesday, and while they probably did sample yesterday, they have not posted their results.

Nevermind that Madison Health issued a health advisory for the Withlacoochee River because of Valdosta’s spills.

So that leaves WWALS and FDEP and SRWMD to test after Valdosta’s mess. Continue reading

Clean before the storm, but sewage spills during 2024-04-11

Update 2024-04-15: Valdosta spilled 6.7 million gallons including 1.34 million gallons raw sewage 2024-04-12

WWALS water quality tests were clean before the storm for the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, as well as Sugar Creek. Valdosta Wednesday results agreed.

But Valdosta had seven sewage spills for almost half a million gallons during the storm, plus one before, and Tifton and Quitman each had two spills: see Valdosta, Quitman, and Tifton sewage spills in big rains 2024-04-11.
https://wwals.net/?p=64616

Plus almost all the rivers are in flood or at least Action Stage.

I’d avoid the rivers this weekend, except maybe the Suwannee between White Springs an Ellaville, and the Santa Fe upstream from High Springs: those are not yet in Action Stage.

[Clean before the storm, but sewage spills during 2024-04-11: Franks and Sugar Creeks, Little, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers]
Clean before the storm, but sewage spills during 2024-04-11: Franks and Sugar Creeks, Little, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers

Debbie Smith tested Franks Creek at GA 122 west of Hahira on Sunday, April 7, and got Continue reading

Clean rivers 2024-03-13

Update 2024-03-22: Ashburn and Rochelle sewage spills 2024-03-09.

We got good results for Wednesday for the Santa Fe and Withlacoochee Rivers and for Thursday for the Alapaha River.

Valdosta’s recent upstream Withlacoochee River results through Wednesday are good.

[Chart, Clean Rivers, Map 2024-03-13]
Chart, Clean Rivers, Map 2024-03-13

There are no Valdosta Monday results, because, according to Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes, “we are collecting once a week.”

He did not say why. Perhaps it is not coincidental that it is now three years (minus one month) since the March, 2020, GA-EPD Consent Order on Valdosta that required downstream testing as a way to reduce the amount of the fine.

As previously noted, Valdosta’s last downstream tests were September 1, 2023.

There’s a chance of rain today, and more chance Sunday.

The rivers are at pretty good paddling levels, and it’s not cold. So watch the weather, bring rain gear, and happy paddling, fishing, and maybe swimming this weekend.

[Chart: Clean Rivers 2024-03-13]
Chart: Clean Rivers 2024-03-13
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of water quality results, rainfall, and sewage spills, see:
https://wwals.net/issues/testing

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

However, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) tells us via email that Rochelle, GA, had another spill on March 9 through 13, 2024. We don’t know how much. We do know all of Rochelle is upstream from the Alapaha River.

GA-EPD did clarify why the earlier, February 12, 10,000 gallon spill took more than three weeks to appear in the Sewage Spills Report: “The spill was reported to us via email on Feb. 15th. It was entered into GAPDES on the 27th due to staffing vacancies and the Program manager being on vacation. However, it was entered into CTS on Feb. 16th . See attached link: https://cts.gaepd.org/Public/ComplaintDetails/107821

As to why the earlier Rochelle spill disappeared from the Sewage Spills Report, the answer was, “Only lasted from 09:45 until 16:00 on the 12th

I asked, “I don’t understand the answer about why it is not in later Sewage Spills Reports. Normally an item stays in there for 30 days until it rolls off. Spills for Tifton and Ashburn are still in there today, even though they occured in February. Why is this Rochelle spill different?”

Answer, “I do believe that spills to the ground don’t normally make it on the daily spill report. If it was originally updated to a spill to the ground, it may have fallen off for the report.”

That’s an exception I was not previously aware of.

I still wonder whether those very bad downstream Knights Creek results for Wednesday week after significant rain the day before indicated an unreported sewage spill upstream from the Alapahoochee and Alapaha Rivers?

In case you’re not aware, GA-EPD is woefully underfunded. Whenever I get a chance, I suggest to Georgia state legislators that EPD should be funded more.

WWALS tester Kimberly Godden Tanner said everything Continue reading