Tag Archives: manure

Madison Health Alert, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-25

Yesterday evening at 7:12 PM we got a Health Alert for the Withlacoochee River from Madison Health. I informed them Friday evening of the WWALS test results for Thursday showing bad water quality at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps.

[Chart, Alert, Swim Guide]
Chart, Alert, Swim Guide

No new sewage spills have been reported in Georgia or Florida, although you can see an old one peeking in from the left on the chart: High Springs 500-gallon sewage spill, mostly cleaned up 2022-07-07. Meanwhile, there was heavy rain Sunday on both sides of Brooks County, Georgia: 2.19″ on the west at Dixie, and 1.57″ on the east on the Withlacoochee River at US 84. So it’s likely there was heavy rain across Brooks County, which quite likely washed more cattle manure into Okapilco Creek and then into the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading

Bad Quality Withlacoochee River 2022-07-21

Update 2022-07-29: Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-07-28.

Update 2022-07-26: Madison Health Alert, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-25.

Update 2022-07-23: High Springs 500-gallon sewage spill, mostly cleaned up 2022-07-07.

Avoid the Withlacoochee River this weekend for fishing, swimming, and boating.

Try the Little, Alapaha, or Alapahoochee Rivers, or the Suwannee River upstream from the Withlacoochee River Confluence.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide 2022-07-21]
Chart, River, Swim Guide 2022-07-21

WWALS tested a record 18 sites Thursday, thanks to Elizabeth Brunner, Michael and Jacob Bachrach, and Gus CLeary, with WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall reviewing all the plates.

We didn’t find much upstream, except too high on Beatty Branch at Cat Creek Road.

I did take DNA samples on Cat Creek at Cat Creek Road and on the Withlacoochee River at US 41, so maybe we’ll see what’s getting into the waterways upstream. Continue reading

Madison Health Advisory, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-02

Update 2022-07-03: Withlacoochee River OK water quality except GA 133 2022-07-02.

Madison County, Florida, Health Department yesterday afternoon issued a Withlacoochee River health alert.

I hear that Madison Blue Spring is closed to swimming because of this alert. WWALS tested yesterday to attempt to find out how bad the problem really is; results later today.

To completely avoid the problem, I suggest putting in at Gibson Park on the Suwannee River and paddling down to Suwannee River State Park. Or try the Santa Fe, Ichetucknee, Little, Alapaha or Alapahoochee Rivers. WWALS has a rugged Alapahoochee paddle coming up next Saturday.

[Madison Health and Valdosta warnings]
Madison Health and Valdosta warnings

Madison Health based the alert solely on Valdosta’s 127,750 gallon sewage spill of Thursday afternoon. But remember, there was already Continue reading

PFAS testing, Withlacoochee River, Georgia and Florida 2022-06-30

Update 2022-10-18: Forever chemicals contaminate Withlacoochee River in Georgia and Florida 2022-10-18.

Update 2022-07-03: Withlacoochee River OK water quality except GA 133 2022-07-02.

WWALS Science Committee Chair Dr. Tom Potter and I took PFAS samples at four locations on the Withlacoochee River Thursday.

We shipped the samples to Cyclopure, a company with which Waterkeeper Alliance got a deal for test kits for all U.S. Waterkeepers.

We picked Thursday because it was after big rains Wednesday, reported in some places nearby as up to four inches. So if any of those forever chemicals were washing off of fields fertilized with biosolids, or coming out of Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, or just left over from Moody Air Force Base’s spills it documented in 2016, maybe we will detect them.

[PFAS testing and locations]
PFAS testing and locations

Suwannee Riverkeeper got two kits: for Georgia and Florida. Each kit has two test sets, for upstream and downstream of likely contamination sources. Continue reading

Bad Water Quality, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-30

Update 2022-07-03: PFAS testing, Withlacoochee River, Georgia and Florida 2022-06-30.

Update 2022-07-03: Madison Health Advisory, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-02.

Please avoid the Withlacoochee River this weekend, at least downstream from Hagan Bridge (GA 122). Try the Little River or the Alapaha, or the Suwannee upstream of the Withlacoochee River Confluence.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide 2022-06-30]
Chart, River, Swim Guide 2022-06-30

There was already contamination washed into the river by rain up to 4 inches in spots, according to Valdosta’s Wednesday results at US 41 and GA 133: 1,000 cfu/100 mL and 2,000 cfu/100 mL, where 1,000 is the alert level.

Then Valdosta had a major sewage spill. Continue reading

WWALS Thursday tests clean, but Valdosta bad Wednesday results for US 41 and GA 122, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-16

Update 2022-06-24: Bad Knights Ferry, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-23.

All WWALS Thursday samples tested clean. But Valdosta got very bad Wednesday results for US 41 and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River. Maybe that has gotten diluted by now. But I’d avoid US 41, Langdale Park Boat Ramp, and downstream on the Withlacoochee from Troupville Boat Ramp for this weekend.

Elsewhere, happy boating, swimming, and fishing, so far as we can tell.

For example, come up to Reed Bingham State Park tomorrow (Saturday) for Juneteenth, where WWALS will be getting children (and adults) into boats, some for their first time.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-06-16]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-06-16

What happened at US 41 and GA 133? Continue reading

Five Rivers Clean 2022-06-09

2022-06-17: WWALS Thursday tests clean, but Valdosta bad Wednesday results for US 41 and GA 122, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-16.

All tested clean: Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers, for Thursday. Sure, those were only a few test sites on each river. But there’s been little rain, none predicted, and no sewage spills reported. So happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend.

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

Thanks to Continue reading

Surprisingly Clean Withlacoochee River 2022-04-01

Update 2022-04-06: Location of Quitman sewage spill 2022-03-20.

Surprisingly after significant rain, all tested locations were pretty clean, including Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps on the Withlacoochee River. So as far as we know, this weekend is good for boating, fishing, and swimming. Me, I’d prefer the Alapaha over the Withlacoochee this weekend.

Oh, last Tuesday Quitman got around to reporting a sewage spill that happened nine days later. It’s long gone now.

[Chart, river, Swim Guide]
Chart, river, Swim Guide

Tests Wednesday downstream by WWALS and upstream by Valdosta were pretty clean. Samples Thursday upstream by WWALS were pretty clean. And samples Friday at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps were also pretty clean. All were below the 126 cfu/100 mL E. coli average sample limit.

We also saw four Wednesday samples by the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC), at Reedy Creek and Cow Creek on GA 129 (both enter the Alapaha River downstream from US 84 and Naylor Boat Ramp), and J. Frank Culpepper Road and GA 135 on the Alapahoochee River (which enters the Alapaha River downstream from Statenville Boat Ramp and slightly upstream of Sasser Landing @ CR 150 in Hamilton County, Florida. All those were well below 126, as well. Continue reading

Bad Knights Ferry heading downstream 2022-03-10

Update 2022-03-18: OK water quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-03-17.

Not a good weekend for boating, fishing, or swimming in the Withlacoochee River. Better stick to the Alapaha River, or the Suwannee upstream from the Withlacoochee River Confluence.

WWALS found very high E. coli at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp for Thursday, and high background Fecal coliform there and downstream at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps.

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

Knights Ferry is where E. coli from cattle manure usually is first detected in the Withlacoochee River after washing down Okapilco Creek out of Brooks County, Georgia. Notice almost an inch of rain on the east side of Brooks County at US 84 on the Withlacoochee River, and 1.4 inches on the west side at Dixie, GA. When there’s more than half an inch of rain on Brooks County, we usually see this problem. Continue reading

Bad Neighbor Bill, GA HB 1150, would let hog CAFOs into Georgia

Like its predecessor two years ago, this GA HB 1150 would allow only a year for anyone to sue if an industrial hog farm or other such problem opened next door. Despite not being able to name any frivolous farm nuisance suits, the bill’s backers claim preventing those is their purpose. Whatever their purpose, the practical effect of this bill would be to let North Carolina-style hog CAFOs into Georgia, polluting our air and water.

Please contact your Georgia statehouse delegation and ask them to stop HB 1150. Here is a way you can find out who that is: https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

Christopher Quinn, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 2, 2022, Georgia farm legislative bill takes aim at property rights disputes,

The proposed legislation declares that any farm in operation for a year or more cannot be found by a court to be a nuisance. That added level of protection strips neighbors of their legal power to force a farm to correct a problem, such as creating overpowering odors from manure sludge ponds, opponents say.

Continue reading