Tag Archives: Lowndes County

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

Navigable stream additions to GA HB 1397 2024-02-27

Update 2024-02-28: Navigability in HB 1397 in GA House Natural Resources & Environment Quality Subcommittee 2024-02-26.

Sent this morning.

[Navigable stream additions to GA HB 1397 --WWALS 2024-02-27]
Navigable stream additions to GA HB 1397 –WWALS 2024-02-27

February 27, 2024

To: Cc:

Rep. James Burchett (176), james.burchett@house.ga.gov

Rep. John Lahood (175), john.lahood@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Dexter Sharper (177), dexter.sharper@house.ga.gov,

Rep. John Corbett (174), john.corbett@house.ga.gov ,

Rep. Chas Cannon (172), chas.cannon@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Penny Houston (170), penny.houston@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Darlene Taylor (173), darlene.taylor@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Clay Pirkle (169), clay.pirkle@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Leesa Hagan (156), leesa.hagan@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Bill Yearta (152), bill.yearta@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Noel Williams (148), noel.williams@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Patty Bentley (150), patty.bentley@house.ga.gov

Re: Navigable stream additions to HB 1397

Rep. Burchett,

You are invited to the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle on the Withlacoochee River just west of Valdosta, this Saturday, March 2, 2024. Continue reading

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west.

[Withlacoochee River labeled Suwanee R. in 1823 Irwin and 1834 Lowndes County maps; current WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail map]
Withlacoochee River labeled Suwanee R. in 1823 Irwin and 1834 Lowndes County maps; current WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail map

You do know the Ockolocoochee River as the Little River, of the Withlacoochee, of the Suwannee.

Here is news from 1889 that also includes the boat that didn’t survive from Troupville to Ellaville, which was apparently not a paddlewheel steamer. Continue reading

The Real Trash Problem is the Producers, and How to Stop It 2023-12-23

The Crying Indian was Italian, and that ad was paid for by the producers of single-use trash, to shift blame onto individuals. Here’s what can be done about that trash.

Sure people shouldn’t litter, but Anheuser-Busch and other beer makers, as well as Nestlé, Coca Cola, and Walmart, should stop making and selling disposable bottles and cans.

[Single-use trash, The fake Crying Indian, and what can be done about that]
Single-use trash, The fake Crying Indian, and what can be done about that

Fifty years ago those things had deposits on them, and people would collect them for the cash. That could be useful to a lot of people, and a lot more cleanups would happen. Sure, there was still trash back then, but not as much.

People still do in Hawaii and nine other states: California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Vermont, plus Guam. They don’t have nearly as big of a litter problem.

But Georgia or Florida do not have such container deposits. Maybe we should change that.

No, recycling will not solve this problem. There’s no market for plastic to recycle, and recycling has been pushed by big oil for years as an excuse to make more plastic throw-away containers. Laura Sullivan, NPR, 11 September 2020, How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled.

You’ve probably seen the famous ‘Crying Indian’ ad from 1971:

Crying Indian
A Keep America Beautiful advertisement by the Ad Council, which was launched in 1971. (Ad Council) – Original Credit: (HANDOUT)

Well, the “Indian” was Italian-American, and that ad was part of a campaign by the trash-producer front group Keep America Beautiful. Continue reading

Langdale Park open for walk-ins, Withlacoochee River, Lowndes County, GA 2023-09-28

Update 2023-10-11: Entrance cleared to Langdale Park Boat Ramp 2023-10-10.

Update 2023-09-29: Mostly Clean Rivers 2023-09-28.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Yesterday I thought it would be faster and easier to collect a water quality sample at Langdale Park, rather than drive through the high grass on the way below the U.S. 41 bridge, or to walk on busy US 41 to throw a bucket into the Withlacoochee River.

I briefly forgot Hurricane Idalia had been here. Not surprisingly, clearing deadfalls in a park has not been high priority.

[Deadfalls on Langdale Park entrance road and Withlacoochee River 2023-09-28]
Deadfalls on Langdale Park entrance road and Withlacoochee River 2023-09-28

I have reconstructed the right rear bumper of my Prius. But I recommend doing what the next pair of visitors did: stop before the first entrance road deadfall and walk in.

Langdale Park Boat Ramp is at 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, in Lowndes County.

And before you ask, the cleared area along the entrance road as you go in was never part of the park. It is privately owned and is being prepared for a subdivision. Continue reading

ANNUAL REPORT, Lowndes County Impaired Streams Monitoring 2022-04-07

This third annual report on Lowndes County Impaired Streams Monitoring, as required by GA-EPD, maybe the last. Unfortunately, this monitoring has not discovered any sources of impairment.

[Collage, 2022 Annual Report: Lowndes County Impaired Streams Monitoring]
Collage, 2022 Annual Report: Lowndes County Impaired Streams Monitoring

Their conclusion for Fecal Coliform, E. coli, and Mercury is, “Lowndes County has not identified any point sources within the drainage areas that can be attributed to the widespread exceedances. Based on the limited data collected to date, it is the opinion of Lowndes County that the cause of the exceedances is from natural conditions.”

They do have speculations on Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in Cat Creek, Continue reading

Hurricane Idalia landing in Florida, more Georgia counties on Hurricane Watch 2023-08-30

Cedar Key is getting high winds from Hurricane Idalia, and Steinhatchee’s weather camera is offline, while the National Weather Service has added more Georgia counties to its Hurricane Watch; all Florida Suwannee River Basin Counties were already in Hurricane Watch.

If you’re in Florida, hunker down. If you’re in Georgia, you may have time for some last-minute preparations. Either way, most schools and businesses are closed today in the Hurricane Watch counties, so there’s not much need to go out in the rain and wind.

Also, don’t buy water in plastic bottles. Fill pots, jugs, buckets, and bathtubs with tap or well water.

Watch your local county or city Emergency Management Agency. Have your power utility outage number handy.

Dear central and south Florida urban sophisticates: we know you’re used to this. In the rural Suwannee River Basin a Category 3 hurricane is unusual, especially one making landfall where it is, and likely to stay a hurricane so far inland.

Also, many of us remember Hurricane Michael, which only five years ago devastated the Florida Big Bend and trashed Albany, Georgia, on a path only a bit farther west than Hurricane Idalia. So this is not a joke to those of us who live here.

Better safe than sorry.

[Hurricane Watch in more Georgia Counties, High winds at Cedar Key, Hurricane Idalia, 2023-08-30 06:00]
Hurricane Watch in more Georgia Counties, High winds at Cedar Key, Hurricane Idalia, 2023-08-30 06:00

Since our last post, NWS JAX has added to the Hurricane Watch Suwannee River Basin Georgia counties Thomas, Cook, Berrien, Atkinson, and Coffee, along with more counties northeastward, Jeff Davis, Bacon, Pierce, Brantley, Apppling, Appling, Wayne, Tatnall, Long, Evans, and along the coast McIntosh, Liberty, Bryan, and Chatham Counties. All the Florida Suwannee River Basin Counties were already on Hurricane Watch.

All the nearby Georgia and Florida counties are on Tropical Storm Warning, as far west as Albany in Dougherty County. Continue reading

Georgia declares State of Emergency for Hurricane Idalia 2023-08-29

Update 2023-08-30: Hurricane Idalia landing in Florida, more Georgia counties on Hurricane Watch 2023-08-30.

The Georgia governor has declared a State of Emergency about Hurricane Idalia for the entire state.

[Georgia State of Emergency, Hurricane Watch Counties 2023-08-29 14:27]
Georgia State of Emergency, Hurricane Watch Counties 2023-08-29 14:27

Like the earlier Florida State of Emergency, this Georgia one mobilizes numerous state agencies and enables cooperation with relevant federal agencies.

The Executive Order does not name any counties, but the press release names almost all the Suwannee River Basin Counties on the GA-FL line (Brooks, Lowndes, Echols, Clinch, Ware, and Charlton), plus Lanier, but not Thomas. Continue reading

Hurricane Idalia heading for Suwannee River Basin 2023-08-29

Update 2023-08-29: Georgia declares State of Emergency for Hurricane Idalia 2023-08-29.

Hurricane Idalia is now Category 1 and is headed a bit farther west, taking it straight up the Suwannee River Basin.

[Hurricane Idalia probable path cone and collapsed road]
Hurricane Idalia probable path cone and collapsed road

Cat 1 means sustained winds of at least 74 mph, up to 95 mph. Inland it will probably rapidly degrade to a Tropical Storm. That still means 39-73 mph winds.

Before landfall, Hurricane Idalia may strengthen to cat 2 (96-110 mph with extensive damage) or cat 3 (111-129 mph with devastating damage).

I’m going out and securing anything that might turn into a projectile, even though I’m about a hundred miles from the Gulf Coast.

For those who are tired of being warned: this is a hurricane. It’s much better to be prepared than sorry.

I drove up from Gainesville yesterday, and there were already rain gusts strong enough to buffet my car and to cause everyone on I-75 to slow to 45 MPH. When the wind gets up to 50 MPH, you don’t want to be driving, even if you don’t run into flooding or bridges out. At 74 MPH, you want to be inside something solid. Continue reading