Tag Archives: rain

Clean Withlacoochee River water quality test results then One Mile Branch fish kill 2022-09-22

Update 2022-09-25: High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23.

Thursday WWALS test results are very good. The most recent Valdosta test results from Valdosta are for Monday, and they are also good.

But Friday WWALS found a fish kill in One Mile Branch starting at Valdosta State University. That is upstream from Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River. Later today we should have some E. coli test results from One Mile Branch.

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

Ashburn had yet another sewage spill a week ago into Hat Creek upstream on the Alapaha River, and High Springs had a spill Thursday a week ago near the Santa Fe River. Both were so small they probably had no detectable effect on river water quality.

So I would swim, boat, and fish in the Withlacoochee River downstream from the Little River Confluence. But I would avoid the Withlacoochee River from there up to Sugar Creek. 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

Bad GA 133 and US 84, Withlacoochee River 2022-09-12

Update 2022-09-16: Clean Rivers 2022-09-15.

Bad news in Valdosta’s upstream Withlacoochee River water quality results.

Too high E. coli at both GA 133 (St. Augustine Road) and US 84.

Best to avoid the Withlacoochee River for now in those stretches.

[Chart, Swim Guide]
Chart, Swim Guide

We also see high Fecal coliform for Monday at US 41 (North Valdosta Road), but OK E. coli. That is usual for after a big upstream rain, and you can see 0.61 inches on the Skipper Bridge gauge for the previous day.

But at GA 133 and US 84, Continue reading

Clean river water quality tests, but heavy rains 2022-09-08

Update 2022-09-13: Bad GA 133 and US 84, Withlacoochee River 2022-09-12.

By all the recent water quality test results we have, all is clear for boating, swimming, and fishing on the Withlacoochee and other rivers this weekend.

The Tifton 2,000 gallon spill Sunday is very unlikely to affect anywhere anyone is testing on the rivers.

But by all our experience with heavy rains such as fell far upstream Thursday and are falling today, contamination is likely to wash into the Withlacoochee River: most likely cattle or hog manure.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-09-08]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-09-08

The WWALS upstream Thursday samples by Elizabeth Brunner on GA 122 were all clean at Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River.

The WWALS downstream Thursday samples on the Withlacoochee River by Jacob and Michael Bachrach at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps were also clean.

And the Valdosta upstream results for Wednesday were also pretty clean, at US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on the Withlacoochee River. The most recent downstream results Valdosta has publlshed are for Monday a week ago. WWALS already tested downstream twice since then. Continue reading

Good river water quality 2022-09-01

Update 2022-09-09: Tifton sewage spill, Little River 2022-09-04.

All WWALS water quality results for Thursday came in below the one-time test limit of 410 cfu/100 mL. There has been rain, but not as much as it usually takes to wash significant contamination into the rivers. More rain is predicted for the next week, but no more than what we’ve seen this week.

Ashburn got around to reporting two sewage spills this week, but those are both old and on Hat Creek, far upstream from the top of the Alapaha River Water Trail, so probably they did not have much effect on that river.

Starke reported a sewage spill from two manholes, but it was small and not near a waterbody, so it probably had no effect on the Santa Fe River.

So by what we know today, happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend. Conditions could change rapidly, of course.

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

Thanks to Continue reading

Video: One Mile Branch Backflow 2022-08-09

Bobby McKenzie videoed in the rain: One Mile Branch backflowing upstream from Lakeland Avenue, with runoff under and beside the street carrying trash on past Fire Station No. 2 and under E Park Ave.

[One Mile Branch and Fire Station No. 2]
One Mile Branch and Fire Station No. 2

All that rain no doubt scoured trash from all the yards and parking lots around into the creek. One Mile Branch continues down to Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

Here’s the video. Continue reading

Good river water quality 2022-08-25

Update 2022-09-02: Good river water quality 2022-09-01.

WWALS got good water quality results downstream on the Withlacoochee River for Thursday, and good upstream results for the Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers. Valdosta’s Wednesday and Monday results concur. So happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-08-25]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-08-25

No new sewage spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida. We did get an update on the Quitman spill of week before last; see below.

Of course, there was some heavy rainfall upstream in spots, and that could wash something into the river. But by the test results we have now, have a good time on the water. Continue reading

2021 ANNUAL REPORT, Lowndes County Impaired Streams Monitoring 2021-04-07

After two years, Lowndes County has still not found sources of the fecal contamination in its streams. Maybe the testing methodology needs to be revised.

Fortunately, WWALS is covering part of what the county does not: WWALS is testing for E. coli after big rains on Cat Creek and Beatty Branch and multiple Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha River locations, and we are doing some DNA spot tests.

Fecal Coliform
Lowndes County has not identified any point sources within the drainage areas that can be attributed to the widespread exceedances. Based on the limited data collected to date, it is the opinion of Lowndes County that the cause of the exceedances is from natural conditions.

[Map and graphs]
Map and graphs

There are no DNA marker or chemical tracer results in the report. A few DNA tests would have given some indication of what species were producing the fecal contamination.

Also, the report includes no Continue reading

Good Withlacoochee River water quality 2022-08-18

Update 2022-08-26: Good river water quality 2022-08-25.

All clear for fishing, swimming, and boating on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers this weekend, according to the latest water quality results we have.

[Chart, Rivers, Plates]
Chart, Rivers, Plates

There hasn’t been enough rain to wash any significant contamination into the creeks and rivers, no, not even Okapilco Creek.

The only sewage spill in the past week we know of is the Valdosta one last Sunday near Sugar Creek on Meadowbrook Drive at Gornto Road. That one, like the other four Valdosta spills this summer, was probably too small and fixed too quickly to have any detectable effect on the Withlacoochee River. We still don’t know Continue reading