Tag Archives: quality

Good Withlacoochee River water quality except GA 133 2021-12-02

All clear again, except something got into the Withlacoochee River at GA 133 Wednesday, according to Valdosta water quality data. Whatever it was hadn’t reached Knights Ferry, Nankin, or State Line Boat Ramps by Thursday, according to WWALS data by Michael and Jacob Bachrach. No sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida. According to Gus Cleary’s three tests in seven days at Cleary Bluff, downstream of Allen Ramp, all is good even at the river bottom (the Saturday November 27th test). Whatever the GA 133 contamination is, experience indicates it will get diluted or at least it will go by swiftly. Looks like the old GA 133 mystery is back. Somebody is going to catch whoever it is sooner or later.

Meanwhile, happy swimming, fishing, and boating on the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, river, map]
Chart, river, map

Oh, yes: and please stop shooting up and taking our signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. Those things cost money and time to replace, and people do use them to plan paddling on the river.

You may have noticed there was no water quality post last week. That was because the skeleton crew over the Thanksgiving holiday got down to just Gus, who got clean results. Plus with no rain, there was no reason to expect contamination. Valdosta’s data, now available thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Becton, shows the Withlacoochee River was indeed clean last week. November 24th looks odd, because Valdosta’s downstream contractor tested that day, while their in-house tester tested on the 23rd. It’s all in the WWALS composite spreadsheet. Continue reading

Clean rivers still 2021-11-20

Update 2021-12-03: Good Withlacoochee River water quality except GA 133 2021-12-02.

The Withlacoochee still tested clean for Saturday. No rain is expected for the next ten days except possibly a bit on Friday. So the rivers will probably stay clean.

Have fun fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend and week.

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

Jacob and Michael Bachrach tested at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps Saturday, and got clean results at all three.

This confirms our clean report from Wednesday and Thursday WWALS test results.

Also, it’s great that people love our water trail signs, but please stop shooting at them, painting on them, and stealing them. They’re there to help people enjoy the rivers and keep them clean. Continue reading

Clean rivers again 2021-11-18

Update 2021-11-21: Clean rivers still 2021-11-20.

Another clean week! Have fun fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend. Well, swimming if it warms up.

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

The most E. coli WWALS testers found was 200 cfu/100 mL for Thursday at Folsom Bridge Landing @ GA 122 on the Little River. That’s well below the 400 cfu/100 mL one-time sample limit. Thanks to Elizabeth Brunner for that location and for zeroes at Hagan Bridge Landing on the Withlacoochee River and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, both also on GA 122.

Valerie Folsom also got zero for Wednesday at Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River.

Gus Cleary got a very low 33 for Wednesday at Cleary Bluff, downstream from Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee River.

Thanks to the WWALS testers and to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for herding the cats.

Valdosta’s Monday upstream results were also clean. Continue reading

Valdosta working to protect Okefenokee Swamp –WFXL TV 2021-11-15

Kyra Purvis, WFXL, November 15, 2021, The city of Valdosta is working together to protect Okefenokee Swamp,

The city of Valdosta is working together to protect the Okefenokee Swamp from a proposed strip mine being placed near the area.

[Reporter, Mayor, Suwannee Riverkeeper, mine in Suwannee River Basin map]
Reporter, Mayor, Suwannee Riverkeeper, mine in Suwannee River Basin map

The Okefenokee Swamp is a 438,000 acre wetland that straddles the Georgia-Florida line and is a place [where] many local residents go for nature-filled fun.

Continue reading

Clean rivers 2021-11-13

Update 2021-11-20: Clean rivers again 2021-11-18.

As far as we know from the water quality results we have, happy swimming, fishing, and boating this weekend!

WWALS ran a skeleton crew this week, because there’s been no rain, and we did not expect any contamination. Didn’t find any, either. Valdosta’s results through Monday also were clean.

[Chart + Folsom + Lakeland; Hagan, charts, Cleary Bluff; Map: Swim Guide]
Chart + Folsom + Lakeland; Hagan, charts, Cleary Bluff; Map: Swim Guide

Are there any database programmers in the house? We have far too many manual steps collecting the numerous sources of water quality data and rainfall into the WWALS composite spreadsheet, and also over to Swim Guide and Georgia Adopt-A-Stream. We hear Valdosta suffers from the same delay in getting data into their online table. If anybody wants to help collect these sources from various formats, record them in a database, and pull them back out into various other formats, please contact us.

Or maybe you’d like to get trained to join our testing crew?

This week, Gus Cleary tested both Sunday and Wednesday at Cleary Bluff, downstream from Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee River, and got good results each time. (Gus would like zero every time, but that’s not likely.)

Upstream, Elizabeth Brunner got clean results for Thursday on GA 122 at Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River. Continue reading

Valdosta passes resolution opposing strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp 2021-11-11

Yesterday the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin passed a resolution opposing the proposed Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) strip mine or any others within ten miles of the Okefenokee Swamp. The resolution further asks the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reverse its abdication of oversight, asks GA-EPD for a moratorium on all mining permits until effects are settled of the recent court overruling of 2020 Clean Water Act changes, as well as to reject the TPM permits, or at least to review those applications as thoroughly as the Army Corps would, and asks the Georgia legislature to prevent such strip mines near the Swamp or any blackwater rivers in the Suwannee River Basin.

You can also ask the state to stop this mine: https://wwals.net/?p=55092

[Mayor and Riverkeeper]
Mayor and Riverkeeper

Continue reading

Report chemical constituents for forensic PFAS source identification –WWALS to U.S. EPA 2021-09-27

We requested much more labeling of chemical constituents of PFAS “forever chemicals”, to enable tracking PFAS contamination to its sources, when U.S. EPA held a public comment period about a PFAS rule.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution brought this problem to our attention back in 2018, due to PFAS contamination from all three Air Force bases in Georgia, plus it turns out the Florida Fire College in Ocala. There are probably many more sources, including biosolids dried out from human wastes and used as fertilizer.

[Map, Letter]
Map, Letter

WWALS letter to EPA

See also the PDF.

The WWALS letter references a St. Johns Riverkeeper letter, co-signed by Waterkeepers Florida (including Suwannee Riverkeeper). PDF. Continue reading

Good Thursday, but big Friday rains probably will cause contamination, Withlacoochee River 2021-11-04

Update 2021-11-13: Clean rivers 2021-11-13.

All pretty clean for Thursday and Wednesday samples on the Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers, but there were big rains Friday, so expect the same kind of contamination today and tomorrow that happened a week ago after similar rains. I’d wait a few days before boating, swimming, or fishing in the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, Folsom, Hagan; Lakeland, Cleary Bluff; Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line; Swim Guide]
Chart, Folsom, Hagan; Lakeland, Cleary Bluff; Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line; Swim Guide

None of the WWALS results for Thursday were zero, but they’re all well below the 410 cfu/100 mL one-time limit.

We have Valdosta downstream results through last Friday. Once again Valdosta results corroborate WWALS results. It’s interesting that last Thursday’s rain contamination had reached Nankin but not State Line by last Friday morning. The Valdosta Okapilco Creek results indicates much of that contamination is probably the usual cattle manure runoff coming out of Brooks County. It’s still lower than the results from last year under similar conditions, so whatever the cattle farmers are doing seems to be working, with room for more improvement. Continue reading

Big rains and big contamination 2021-10-28

Update 2021-11-06: Good Thursday, but big Friday rains probably will cause contamination, Withlacoochee River 2021-11-04.

Our upstream tester got rained out at GA 122 Thursday, but downstream at Knights Ferry on the Withlacoochee River WWALS got way too high E. coli. That contamination is now running downstream.

[Chart + Alapaha River; Withlacoochee River; KF plates, Clearys Bluff; Swim Guide Map]
Chart + Alapaha River; Withlacoochee River; KF plates, Clearys Bluff; Swim Guide Map

Where did it come from? Chances are the usual cattle manure runoff out of Brooks County, Georgia, down Okapilco Creek. Probably plus wild hogs.

This is unfortunately what we’ve come to expect after big rains. And every gauge we follow got more than an inch of rain Thursday.

So I do not recommend river fishing, swimming, or boating this weekend. Continue reading

Pictures: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, Mayor’s Paddle 2021-03-27

Third scheduled time was the charm for the Second Annual Mayor’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River, Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge. In addition to the nice writeup in the Valdosta Daily Times, here are some pictures. Only two or three people capsized, nobody was mad, and everybody had a good time.

[Troupville Boat Ramp, WWTP Outfall, Spring Branch, Lunch banners, Spook Bridge Landing, VSU CORE, Ride]
Troupville Boat Ramp, WWTP Outfall, Spring Branch, Lunch banners, Spook Bridge Landing, VSU CORE, Ride

The 2022 version will be the Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle, coming up Saturday, January 29, 2021 2022. Stay tuned. Update 2021-10-28: Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, 2022-01-29.

Thanks to The Langdale Company for access at the lunch spot and at Spook Bridge. Thanks to the Boys and Girls Club for shuttling. Thanks to Steve Miller for his ATV for shuttling people up from the river at Spook Bridge to the road. Thanks to Bobby McKenzie for leading the outing.

We found some landmarks, such as where the Valdosta, Moultrie, and Western (VMW) Railroad used to cross the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading