Tag Archives: Okapilco Creek

Training: Water Quality Testing, 2022-09-10

You can learn how to help test water quality in the Suwannee River Basin.

WWALS testing trainer Gretchen Quarterman will do the classroom portion of the course by zoom, followed by hands-on practical training at a waterway with physical distancing. This is both Chemical and Bacterial training by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) methods.

Yes, we can and do use this in Florida as well as Georgia.

[Map and table, Georgia AAS]
Map and table, Georgia AAS

We currently have testers on the Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers.

We need more of those, and also for the Alapahoochee and Suwannee Rivers, as well as Cat Creek, Beatty Branch, Sugar Creek, and especially Okapilco Creek and Crooked Creek, plus others.

For more, see: https://wwals.net/testing/

Sign up: https://forms.gle/37DawiGAJYoyqtPKA Continue reading

Rivers probably OK water quality 2022-08-04

Chances are the rivers are OK today for this weekend.

The test results we have for Thursday from WWALS and for Wednesday from Valdosta are all good. No new sewage spills have been reported in Georgia or Florida in the Suwannee River Basin.

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

However, there was more than an inch of rain on the west side of Brooks County, Georgia, yesterday. We don’t know whether that washed any cattle manure down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River. That rain fell in the afternoon, after testing times, and our downstream WWALS testers are off this week anyway. More rain is predicted every day for a week. Continue reading

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

Videos: Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James radio 2022-07-19

Songwriters, don’t forget to send in your song to the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest by tomorrow, July 20, 2022! Really final deadline this time.

[Movie: Intro: Suwannee Riverkeeper and WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.]
Movie: Intro: Suwannee Riverkeeper and WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.

Valdosta Mayor Scott James and Suwannee Riverkeeper talked about that and many other topics on his radio show this morning.

Here’s a Continue reading

Still clean: Withlacoochee River 2022-07-05

Update 2022-07-09: Five Rivers Clean 2022-07-07.

All six of the WWALS samples for yesterday were clean, over 55 Withlacoochee River miles in Georgia and Florida. Plus it turns out FDEP tested three spots last Thursday.

Happy swimming, boating, and fishing.

As mentioned in the previous post, there was significant rain just upstream of Valdosta yesterday, so conditions could change rapidly. But since we’ve already seen first flush after a long dry spell, I’d guess we won’t see anything that’s much of a problem, probably not even much cattle manure down Okapilco Creek out of Brooks County, GA.

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

Thanks to Continue reading

Withlacoochee River water quality good again 2022-07-03

Update 2022-07-06: Still clean: Withlacoochee River 2022-07-05.

Turns out Valdosta did test during the holiday weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They finally posted their Friday results on their website yesterday. Saturday and Sunday we know because Madison Health sent them to WWALS. There is nothing about them on Valdosta’s own website, facebook, or twitter. A report of Valdosta’s Thursday sewage spill finally did show up in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report, but it is lacking key information.

These Valdosta results mostly match what WWALS found through the weekend.

So by the most recent WWALS and Valdosta results, the Withlacoochee River is clean again. The three different contamination sources from Thursday seem to have all gotten diluted. The other two were probably agricultural, including the usual cattle manure down Okapilco Creek from Brooks County, Georgia.

Happy boating, swimming, and fishing.

There was some heavy rain last night just north of Valdosta, so conditions could change rapidly. However, we’ve already had the first flush after the recent dry spell, so I’d guess the rain won’t have much effect on river water quality. Continue reading

Withlacoochee River OK water quality except GA 133 2022-07-02

Update 2022-07-06: Withlacoochee River water quality good again 2022-07-03.

By WWALS samples Friday and Saturday, the Withlacoochee River appears clean from State Line Boat Ramp downstream, with tests also at Florida Campsites and Cleary’s Bluff between Allen Ramp and the Confluence.

Upstream at GA 133, it’s still bad. Possibly some of Valdosta’s Thursday sewage spill is still seeping into the river, or we’re just seeing residual contamination from that or from whatever got into the river from upstream of US 41 before that spill.

Around the corner at Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River, that’s OK.

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

There was quite a bit of rain in Colquitt County on Okapilco Creek, so more cattle manure may wash down from there.

Where all that previous contamination went is 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 2022-07-03: 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