Tag Archives: Okapilco Creek

Clean rivers 2023-02-02

Happy paddling, fishing, and swimming (if you like cold) this weekend!

Yes, we are paddling tomorrow (Saturday) on the Withlacoochee River from Allen Ramp to Suwannee River State Park. If you like high water including a quarter mile paddle upstream, join us!

All the WWALS water quality tests were well within the one-time test limit.

The rains promised for yesterday mostly did not happen, so most likely not much contamination washed into the rivers.

The only sewage spill was small and at the top of the Alapaha River watersheds, and it did not appear to affect downstream water quality.

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

The city of Rochelle, Georgia, at least took less than a week to report its sewage spill. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2023-01-12

Update 2023-01-20: Mostly Clean Rivers 2023-01-19.

All three rivers tested clean in WWALS results for Thursday. And no new sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

However, it also rained later Thursday, more than half an inch at almost every gauge we follow.

So, by the test results, happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend. If you like cold.

But remember that rain of more than half an inch often washes contamination into the rivers, such as happened from Beatty Branch, Cat Creek, and Sugar Creek last Friday.

Personally, I’d pick the Alapaha or the Suwannee River for this weekend. Although with the predicted freeze, I’m not paddling this weekend.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2023-01-12]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2023-01-12

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are from Friday a week ago. Continue reading

Bad Upstream: Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2023-01-05

Update 2023-01-07: Bad Creeks and Withlacoochee River 2023-01-06.

Avoid the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers this weekend.

WWALS got too high and way too high E. coli on the Little River at Folsom Bridge (GA 122) and Troupville Boat Ramp.

And almost as much too high at Hagan Bridge (GA 122) on the Withlacoochee River.

The Alapaha River still seemed OK. For boating this weekend, I’d pick the Alapaha or the Suwannee, or the Ichetucknee or the Santa Fe.

Or come to our on-land cleanup tomorrow, on the Alapaha River at Statenville Boat Ramp in Georgia and Sasser Landing in Florida.

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

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

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for upstream before the Wednesday rain that washed this contamination into the rivers. The most recent downstream Valdosta results are for last week.

WWALS collected many more water samples today, including on Cat Creek, Beaverdam Creek, Beatty Branch, and Sugar Creek, which we will report tomorrow. Valdosta presumably also tested today, but we and the public won’t see any updated Valdosta results until probably Tuesday. Continue reading

Mostly clean rivers 2022-12-22

Update 2022-12-31: Clean rivers 2022-12-29.

All the recent WWALS test results are quite clean, for the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers. There was some rain Tuesday, but not enough on the drought-dry ground to wash much E. coli into the rivers, not even from Cat Creek, Sugar Creek, or Okapilco Creek.

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for Wednesday a week ago, but they are bad for US 41 and GA 133. There’s not enough water to be boating there anyway, and it’s too cold for fishing or swimming.

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

So if you do want to brave the freezing weather and paddle, I recommend below the Little River Confluence on the Withlacoochee River, or the Alapaha, Alapahoochee, Suwannee, Santa Fe, or Ichetucknee Rivers. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-12-01

Little rain, no new sewage spills reported, and good test results: happy swimming, fishing, and boating this weekend!

Maybe you’d like to join us on the WWALS Trashjam cleanup, Knights Ferry to Nankin, Withlacoochee River 2022-12-03.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide map]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide map 2022-12-01

We all took last week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, since there was no rain that week. Except thanks to Suzy Hall for testing Knights Ferry and Nankin last Saturday. She got very low E. coli.

Valdosta got high results at US 41 three times and most recently at GA 133 on Monday, which is the most recent date for which Valdosta has published results. While that contamination has probably washed downstream and gotten diluted by now, we have no more recent results for that location. There’s not enough water to boat there, anyway. Continue reading

Clean rivers 2022-11-17

Update 2022-12-09: Almost clean rivers 2022-12-08.

All test results good, no rain, no sewage spill reports: happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend!

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

I hate to be right, but when I warned last Friday that the rain the day before would probably wash contamination into the creeks and rivers, Valdosta’s testing that Friday caught the contamination. US 41, GA 133, and even US 84 showed far too much E. coli, with Fecal coliform at US 41 and GA 133 ten times the E. coli. Knights Ferry also showed E. coli higher than the one-time test limit.

By the time WWALS tested Sunday, most of that had already washed downstream or gotten diluted. We did still see high results at Franklinville and Langdale Park on the Withlacoochee River, and at several creek locations. Continue reading

Video: Summary of water quality testing at Lowndes County Commission 2022-10-11

Most of the Lowndes County Commissioners were not familiar with the water quality testing WWALS is doing, and now they are.

[Summary of WWALS water quality testing @ LCC 2022-10-11]
Summary of WWALS water quality testing @ LCC 2022-10-11

Here’s the video: Continue reading

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

Update 2022-12-24: PFAS contamination may be much more widespread than previously known 2022-10-12.

Hahira, GA, October 18, 2022 — A first-of-its kind study by Waterkeeper Alliance found 83% of the waters tested across the country, and 100% of tested waterways in Georgia and Florida, were contaminated by dangerous PFAS chemicals.

“The PFAS levels we found in the Withlacoochee River were lower than most sites in the U.S., but there should not have been any,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “WWALS is working on ways to do more tests to narrow down likely sources and to see how rain events affect the results.”

[Figure 11: bigger circles indicate more contamination]
Figure 11: bigger circles indicate more contamination

The good news: PFAS levels in four test sites on the Withlacoochee River were among the lowest in the study. Still, there are currently no universal, science-based limits on the various PFAS chemicals and their presence is cause for further investigation. For many PFAS chemicals, the EPA has not set a health advisory limit that would give the public a baseline to determine what amount of PFAS is unhealthy in drinking water. In most cases, the EPA is not doing adequate monitoring for these chemicals, which is why these findings are so relevant and important.

The bad news: Continue reading

Ashburn sewage problem and Moultrie 2022-09-16

Update 2022-09-23: One Mile Branch Fish Kill 2022-09-23.

Ashburn needs to get a grip on its sewage problem.

This summer, in five separate incidents, Ashburn spilled 1,229,000 gallons of raw sewage into Hat Creek, which runs into the Alapaha River.

Moultrie has a much tinier sewage problem, spilling 500 gallons into Okapilco Creek, which runs into the Withlacoochee River.

And no, we haven’t forgotten about Tifton’s spill or Valdosta’s five summer spills or the spills by Starke and High Springs, Florida. Those we have reported separately, and all of them together (plus the Moultrie spill) do not add up to Ashburn’s 400,000 gallon August 19th spill, much less Ashburn’s 800,000 gallon August 25th spill.

[Summer 2022 Ashburn and Moultrie sewage spills]
Summer 2022 Ashburn and Moultrie sewage spills

Ashburn’s excuses varied: Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-09-15

Update 2022-09-19: Ashburn sewage problem and Moultrie 2022-09-16.

Good news: all clean in all the WWALS water quality tests on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers for Thursday. Happy fishing, swimming, and boating!

Maybe see you tomorrow morning on the Roline to Hunter Creek Suwannee River paddle. The Suwannee River is usually clean upstream anyway.

[Chart, Rivers, Map]
Chart, Rivers, Map

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for her usual three GA 122 sites, on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, all results good. Thanks to WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach for testing their usual three downstream Withlacoochee River sites at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps.

There’s no update from Valdosta after its dire Monday results for GA 133 and US 84. But first Continue reading