Tag Archives: Little River

Bad Franks Creek, unknown rivers, after much rain 2024-07-03

Franks Creek at GA 122 west of Hahira tested far too high for E. coli for Wednesday.

And that’s the smallest set of test results we’ve ever had. Due to the Fourth of July holiday, most of the WWALS testers are on holiday, and Valdosta also did not report any results for this week.

[Bad Franks Creek, Unknown Rivers 2024-07-03 After rain with more rain coming]
Bad Franks Creek, Unknown Rivers 2024-07-03 After rain with more rain coming

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

Since Saturday, there have been as much as 7 inches of rain on the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers and 3 or more on the Little River. More rain is predicted this weekend and all week, although mainly in the evening.

The Withlacoochee was in Action Stage Wednesday at Skipper Bridge, and is right now at North Valdosta Road. At US 84, it looks like maybe it has peaked 5 feet below Action Stage. It’s still rising at Pinetta and Lee, although far below Action Stage.

The Santa Fe River did not get much rain, and in many places such as near Fort White is at its low threshold, as is the Ichetucknee River.

If you want little chance of contamination washed in, and don’t mind really low water, try the Santa Fe or the Ichetucknee Rivers.

So pick your desired water level and tolerance for E. coli risk, and go in the morning. Happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend! Continue reading

Pictures: Juneteenth at Reed Bingham State Park 2024-06-22

Thanks to everyone who boated and had fun, and to everyone who helped, at Reed Bingham State Park Lake.

[Boating at Juneteenth, Reed Bingham SP 2024-06-22, WWALS & Macedonia Community Foundation]
Boating at Juneteenth, Reed Bingham SP 2024-06-22, WWALS & Macedonia Community Foundation

People who had never been in a boat before now have, some more than once.

Thanks to Fannie Gibbs of Macedonia Community Foundation for having the idea and bringing the food to this Juneteenth celebration.

Here are some video highlights:
https://youtu.be/bzEroP3rOrQ?si=Flvz68IPmRB6aWVw Continue reading

Troupville Cemetery Number 2: the black cemetery 2024-06-06

Looks like we’ve finally found the second cemetery of old Troupville, the African-American cemetery.

[Troupville Cemetery #2, the black cemetery, Inside Valdosta State Prison, Southwest corner, Tower 5]
Troupville Cemetery #2, the black cemetery, Inside Valdosta State Prison, Southwest corner, Tower 5

John Horton, retired law enforcement, remembers watching when the state prison was built back in the 1980s.

He says he was told they wanted to build a gymnasium at the southwest corner, where Tower 5 is. But they dug up human bones instead.

So the old cemetery is visible on satellite maps as a quadrangle inside the main fence, with the interior drive path curving inwards to go around it. Continue reading

Ashburn and Quitman sewage spills reported 2024-05-22

Update 2024-05-31: Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers plus High Springs sewage spill 2024-05-30.

Ashburn had a 250,000-gallon sewage spill into Hat Creek to the Alapaha River Sunday a week ago, and a 2,500-gallon spill into Ashburn Branch into the Little River the day before, both because of “Wet weather”.

Quitman had a 300-gallon sewage spill at Brooks County High School Wednesday a week ago into a ditch that drains to Okapilco Creek.

[Ashburn 250,000-gallon sewage spill into Hat Creek, Alapaha River 2024-05-19 and 2,500-gallon spill into Ashburn Branch, Little River, plus Quitman 300-gallon spill 2024-05-22]
Ashburn 250,000-gallon sewage spill into Hat Creek, Alapaha River 2024-05-19 and 2,500-gallon spill into Ashburn Branch, Little River, plus Quitman 300-gallon spill 2024-05-22

These spills appeared this Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report.

Why they took so long to report is a mystery.

Ashburn’s excuse of “Wet weather” is wearing thin. Yes, there were big rains those days, but Ashburn needs to fix its sewer system so rains don’t cause spills. Continue reading

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

Update 2024-05-17: Dirty Withlacoochee and Alapaha River and creeks 2024-05-15.

Update 2024-05-16: Quitman also reports no spills after the recent rains.

After two, three, and four inches of rain added up on Monday and Tuesday across south Georgia and parts of north Florida, the good news is no sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

[No spills reported, after rains 2024-05-15, Suwannee River Basin, Georgia and Florida]
No spills reported, after rains 2024-05-15, Suwannee River Basin, Georgia and Florida

Sometimes it takes days for spills to show up in the GA-EPD and FDEP online reports, so I called Valdosta, Lowndes County, and Quitman.

Valdosta Utilities says they had no spills or overflows.

Lowndes County Utilities says they had no spills.

Quitman City Hall says as far as they have heard they have had no spills, but they referred me to their utilities contractor, ESG Engineering. I called the ESG number City Hall gave me, and left a message with the person who answered, but I have not heard back from ESG yet about sewage spills.

Update 2024-05-16: Scott Fowler of ESG called back. He says Quitman had no sewage spills with the recent rains.

This does not mean the rivers are clean. We do not know, because nobody has sampled yet since the rains. Valdosta now only samples once a week on Wednesdays, so they presumably drew their samples today and will post their results Thursday or Friday. WWALS samples on Wednesday or Thursday, and our results (and Valdosta’s) will go in the WWALS Friday water quality report, as usual.

Often after big rains, contamination washes into the rivers from other sources, including agriculture, livestock, wildlife, septic tanks, and domestic pets.

However, with this much rain, there is a good chance any such contamination has already been diluted and washed downstream. But we do not know.

If you want to get trained to be a WWALS water quality tester, please fill out the form:
https://wwals.net/?p=47084

Meanwhile, as you can see on the NOAA river levels map, the upstream Suwannee River has hardly risen, so that’s good for the WWALS outing this Saturday, Turner Bridge Ramp to Cone Bridge Ramp Suwannee River Paddle 2024-05-18. Depending, of course, on the rain predicted for Saturday. 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

Video: Chainsaw Cleanups –Phil Hubbard, WWALS Webinar 2024-04-11

Phil Hubbard, longtime WWALS paddle outings leader, on March 11, 2024, told us why he started a series of chainsaw cleanups two years ago.

He and his son paddled down the Withlacoochee River and encountered more than 20 deadfalls they had to portage. That was Father’s Day, June 19, 2016. He didn’t even know Langdale Park existed before then. They got to Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River after dark. He joined WWALS to find a way to deal with the deadfalls.

[Video: Chainsaw Outings, --Phil Hubbard, WWALS Webinar, 2024-04-11]
Video: Chainsaw Outings, –Phil Hubbard, WWALS Webinar, 2024-04-11

We have done 21 chainsaw cleanups on the Withlacoochee River, including during the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle this year. Phil thinks with a few more at low water, it will be good. The stretch from Langdale Park down past Sugar Creek, around the Little River Confluence and up to Troupville Boat Ramp will be a nice paddle that anybody can do.

Here is the zoom video of this WWALS Webinar about Chainsaw Cleanups by Phil Hubbard:
https://youtu.be/DhjtzsBncOw?si=0zgQX6L04vllB7jV

WWALS also did two chainsaw cleanups on the Suwannee River and one on the Little River. Here are all the ones we can remember: Continue reading

Homerville, Rochelle, and Tifton sewage spills 2024-04-11

Update 2024-04-18: Updates on Homerville, Quitman, Tifton, and Valdosta in GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report 2024-04-11.

Update 2024-04-17: Madison County, Florida, Health advisory for Withlacoochee River about Valdosta sewage spill 2024-04-17.

Some more cities spilled during the big thunderstorms last week: Homerville and Rochelle, according to today’s GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report.

[Homerville, Rochelle, and Tifton, sewage spills 2024-04-11, More Valdosta will appear, No Quitman update yet]
Homerville, Rochelle, and Tifton, sewage spills 2024-04-11, More Valdosta will appear, No Quitman update yet

There are still no spills reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida’s Pollution Spills Report.

Back in Georgia, Doerun is not in the Suwannee River Basin, but got picked up by the WWALS highlighting algorithm, which goes by counties as well as rivers.

Reynolds Creek runs from Rochelle into the Alapaha River. We’ve seen many spills there before.

Valdosta’s small April 9 sewage spill is in here. But not yet its seven April 11 spills nor its 6.7 million gallon spill. GA-EPD is aware of all of those, and presumably they will appear soon.

Tifton got an update with gallons spilled in this Monday’s GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. 809 E Golden road is on Gum Creek, which runs into the New River, not the Little River. Maybe they meant 809 Golden Road W, which does run into the Little River. I have alerted GA-EPD.

No update yet on Quitman’s April 10th spills.

I had to look up Gallows Branch. Apparently it’s by E. Forest Ave., running into Woodyard Creek, which runs into Surveyors Creek, into the Okefenokee Swamp.

[Homerveille WTP, Gallows Branch, and Woodyard Creek in SRWT]
Homerveille WTP, Gallows Branch, and Woodyard Creek in the WWALS map of the Suwannee River Water Trail (SRWT)

And the Homerville Wastewater Treatment Plant is on E. Forest Ave.

[Homerville WTP --Google Streetview]
Homerville WTP in Google Streetview

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

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

Trying the 25hp outboard from Troupville Boat Ramp, Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2024-04-07

Shawn O’Connor and I tried out the 25hp Mercury outboard motor, paid for by a generous grant by Wild Green Future (WGF).

Works great! Electric start: push the button and it starts. Doesn’t even have a manual choke. Electric trim, i.e., tilt. Very useful for adjusting trim for going fast, as well as raising up in low water.

We also chainsawed some limbs that were obstructing passage downstream on the Withlacoochee River and upstream on the Little River. Shawn used my EGO 16″ electric chainsaw, but in case of larger limbs we had with us the 24″ Husqvarna chainsaw paid for by WGF. Also just in case, the 86lb thrust trolling motor and lithium batteries paid for by WGF. Thanks, WGF!

And thanks to Flint Riverkeeper for the jon boat.

Come hear more about chainsaw cleanups at noon today in the WWALS Webinar by Phil Hubbard.

[Trying 25hp outboard, Troupville Boat Ramp, Little and Withlacoochee Rivers, Chainsaw Outing 2024-04-07]
Trying 25hp outboard, Troupville Boat Ramp, Little and Withlacoochee Rivers, Chainsaw Outing 2024-04-07

Fast: Shawn’s GPS speedometer clocked it at 23 mph going upriver, against a 3-5 mph current. Not clear when we need to go that fast, but we can if we have to. Continue reading