Tag Archives: quality

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

Lowndes County nixes planned Dollar General –VDT 2023-01-26

Thank you, Lowndes County Commission, and all the opposition speakers and writers, for this win written up in the local newspaper of record.

This win keeps some trash out of the Withlacoochee River, upstream from Valdosta and Florida, while stopping a foothold for further development too close to the river, avoiding clearcutting, impervious surface, and the flooding that would have caused.

Malia Thomas, Valdosta Daily Times, January 26, 2023, County nixes planned Dollar General,

VALDOSTA — Lowndes County residents felt heard as a contentious zoning request for a rural Dollar General was denied by the Lowndes County Commission.

[Hearing, Location, Withlacoochee River]
Hearing, Location, Withlacoochee River

Teramore Development, the retail real estate company behind the request, petitioned to rezone three acres of the 35-acre property from Estate Agricultural to Crossroads Commercial.

Continue reading

Bad Water Quality, Creeks and Rivers 2023-01-26

Update 2023-02-03: Clean rivers 2023-02-02,

Avoid the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers this weekend.

All three rivers tested worse for E. coli than the one-time test limit of 410 cfu/100 mL. The worst river result was at Nankin Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River, of 6,567. That contamination has probably washed past State Line Boat Ramp to Florida by now.

I’d also avoid fishing in Beaverdam Creek, Cat Creek, and especially Beatty Branch this weekend.

If you do want to fish, swim, or paddle this chilly weekend, I’d recommend the Suwannee or Ichetucknee Rivers.

But not the chainsaw cleanup tomorrow: we postponed that until February 19th.

[Chart, Creeks and Rivers, Swim Guide Map 2022-01-26]
Chart, Creeks and Rivers, Swim Guide Map 2022-01-26

All this contamination was washed into the creeks and rivers by big rains Wednesday.

No sewage spills have been reported in the last week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

So what is the contamination? Continue reading

Limit water withdrawals, strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta trash –WWALS to NCFRPC 2023-01-26

The meeting is 7PM tonight in Lake City, with remote participation options; see:
https://wwals.net/?p=60792


January 26, 2023

To: Scott Koons, E.D., North Central Florida Regional Planning Council

Re: Limit water withdrawals, strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta trash

Dear NCFRPC,

Thank you for the opportunity for public input.

I would like to bring to the attention of the Council three issues:

[Three topics for NCFRPC from WWALS 2023-01-26]
Three topics for NCFRPC from WWALS 2023-01-26

  1. Deadline January 31st for public comment on the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP), Continue reading

Agenda: North Central Florida Regional Planning Council 2023-01-26

Update 2023-01-26: Limit water withdrawals, strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta trash –WWALS to NCFRPC 2023-01-26.

Tonight I will ask them to take up Valdosta trash as an issue like they previously successfully took up Valdosta sewage.

I will ask them to oppose the proposed titanium strip mine and to support the Okefenokee Swamp, the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, and the Floridan Aquifer.

And I will ask them to ask SRWMD and SJRWMD to add a water budget and constraints on water withdrawals to the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP).

[When and Where NCFRPC 2023-01-26]
When and Where NCFRPC 2023-01-26

Now I am composing a letter to send them before the meeting. Continue reading

Mostly Clean Rivers 2023-01-19

Update 2023-01-27: Bad Water Quality, Creeks and Rivers 2023-01-26.

WWALS results for Thursday and (most of) the recent Valdosta results agree: clean rivers, and happy boating, fishing, and swimming this weekend.

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

No new sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

There’s been no rain to speak of, so nothing much has washed from creeks into the rivers, apparently not even Cat Creek.

Valdosta did get too-high E. coli for GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River for Wednesday. So avoid near there.

Other than that, Valdosta’s results for the past week corroborate WWALS’ results reported last week. Continue reading

Public Comment on land use plan for titanium strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp –GA-EPD 2023-01-19

GA-EPD is providing more public comment opportunity than it has been promising for the past year. It has opened a comment period on Twin Pines Minerals Mining Land Use Plan, after which it will do what it previously promised: issue a draft permit and open a comment period on that.

You can object now to that titanium dioxide strip mine for white paint far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, and sits above the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink in south Georgia and north Florida. You can email or paper mail your comments, or join one of two zoom webinars.

The comment deadline is 60 days after the notice of yesterday, so apparently Monday, March 20, 2023.

[Proposed Project Location, 2-MLUP-App-N-b-Modeling-the-Groundwater-Flow-System-on-Trail-Ridge-9-14-2021-Figs-Tables-and-Apps-0012]
Proposed Project Location, 2-MLUP-App-N-b-Modeling-the-Groundwater-Flow-System-on-Trail-Ridge-9-14-2021-Figs-Tables-and-Apps-0012

The Twin Pines Minerals Draft Mining Land Use Plan and Associated Documents for Public Comment are on the GA-EPD website, and also on the WWALS website.

Here is the public notice: Continue reading

Forever chemical residue can even be in your house lot 2022-11-27

That house you bought may come with forever chemicals, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which can harm human (and wildlife) health in many ways.

Florida permits shipping sewage sludge from south Florida to north Florida for agricultural fertilizer. It’s not clear how prevalent the same practice is in Georgia. But from fields it can wash into waterways, and subdivisions may be built on fields that had sludge applied.

[Human health, house PFAS sources]
Human health, house PFAS sources

Marina Schauffler, The Main Monitor, November 27, 2022, Forever exposure, forever anxiety: Coping with the inescapable toxicity of PFAS: Found in water, air, soil, food, consumer products and work settings, “forever chemicals” pose risks to both physical health and mental well-being.

At the end of Joy Road in Fairfield, a steep dead-end road climbs a hillside to a scattering of homes with distant mountain views and some of the higher concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) the state has found to date in groundwater. The neighbors here live under what one resident, Nathan Saunders, called the “cloud of an unknown future,” fearing how PFAS exposure may erode their health.

Continue reading

Valdosta litter reports: and then what? 2023-01-06

Absentee landlords are letting trash get into Valdosta streets and creeks. What is the City of Valdosta doing about it?

Somebody named Gary McMillan reported two Litter issues on December 6, 2022 and January 6, 2023 through Valdosta’s Click ‘n’ Fix app. Both locations are slighlty uphill from One Mile Branch, which flows into Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River, upstream from the proposed Troupville Nature Park.

[Trash near Baytree Drive and One Mile Branch map]
Trash near Baytree Drive and One Mile Branch map

City Marshalls in each case said they did something, which is good. But they closed out each ticket before reporting the actual outcome.

Both properties are owned by absentee landlords, who also own many other lots throughout Valdosta.

It’s time for the City of Valdosta to enforce its trash ordinances on property owners, especially absentee landlords.

Gary McMillan reported issue 13786041 on December 6, 2022:

Large amount of litter along Baytree Dr. and Jo Ree St. Some trash/litter is associated with a spilling bag of garbage. Much is not associated with the bag, but is typical of this neighborhood.
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