Tag Archives: Tifton

Tifton: Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council 2022-11-02

The Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council (SSRWPC) is gathering information on river conditions, such as water level too high or too low to paddle, and fish habitat information. So if you are an outfitter or other knowledgeable person, you may want to attend, in person or via telephone or teams. Dr. Wei Zeng has already done this for some other RWPCs, and now he is doing it for SSRWPC.

When: Wednesday, November 2, 2022, 9:45 A.M. to 2:30 P.M.

Where: Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Conference Room East, 1392 Whiddon Mill Road, Tifton, GA 31793

[Picture, Map, Public Notice]
Picture, Map, Public Notice

Georgia’s Regional Water Planning Councils They plan, projecting water use, water levels, groundwater, wastewater, population growth or decrease, etc. County Comprehensive Plans typically then include those plans by reference. Unlike Florida’s Water Management Districts, Georgia’s RWPCs have no staff, almost no funding, and no ability to tax nor issue permits. 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

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

Bad Knights Ferry heading downstream 2022-03-10

Update 2022-03-18: OK water quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-03-17.

Not a good weekend for boating, fishing, or swimming in the Withlacoochee River. Better stick to the Alapaha River, or the Suwannee upstream from the Withlacoochee River Confluence.

WWALS found very high E. coli at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp for Thursday, and high background Fecal coliform there and downstream at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps.

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

Knights Ferry is where E. coli from cattle manure usually is first detected in the Withlacoochee River after washing down Okapilco Creek out of Brooks County, Georgia. Notice almost an inch of rain on the east side of Brooks County at US 84 on the Withlacoochee River, and 1.4 inches on the west side at Dixie, GA. When there’s more than half an inch of rain on Brooks County, we usually see this problem. Continue reading

Tifton, Ashburn spills, bad downstream 2021-03-03

Update 2021-03-13: All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-11.

Tifton and Ashburn, Georgia spilled raw sewage, March 3, 2021, both from places that had spilled before. For once we may have actually seen some of that in downstream water quality results. But they could not have caused the extremely high test result at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp that same day, nor the bad results into Florida the next day: those were most likely the usual cattle manure.

[Ashburn, Tifton spills and water quality]
Ashburn, Tifton spills and water quality

The high Fecal coliform at US 41 and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River that same Wednesday could have been from the Tifton spill on the New River upstream, and the high E. coli at GA 133, all in Valdosta’s thrice-weekly testing. It’s about 64 river miles from 2406 N. Ridge Ave. to US 41, and about 70 miles to GA 133, but with the rivers high and fast, it’s conceivable a spill that started in the early morning (or the previous evening) could have moved downstream that fast.

Or with rains over an inch closer upstream on the Withlacoochee River, something else may have washed into the river. Or both.

The only way to be sure would be DNA tests. Valdosta is supposed to be doing those as part of the Consent Order. We are looking forward to seeing results. Continue reading

Very clean Thursday, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-25

Update 2021-03-05: More contamination after big rains, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-04.

The Bachrachs got something we haven’t seen for a long while on the Withlacoochee River: zero E. coli in their water samples at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps, for Thursday, February 25, 2021. Madison Health got almost as low numbers for the same day at State Line, Sullivan Launch, and FL 6. Madison Health got almost as low numbers for Tuesday, and new WWALS testers Gus Cleary got even lower at NE Withla Bluffs Way downstream from Allen Ramp.

[Clean chart, clean plates, State Line, Nankin, Swim Guide]
Clean chart, clean plates, State Line, Nankin, Swim Guide
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida water quality results, rainfall, and spills, see:
https://wwals.net/issues/testing/

Valdosta got clean upstream for last Monday and Friday a week ago, and Michael and Jacob Bachrach and Gus got clean downstream for that Friday.

So this has been a clean week, the cleanest we’ve seen in a long while. Apparently all that rainwater has finally diluted and washed downstream any previous contamination.

Happy boating, fishing, and swimming!

But beware: with the rivers in flood stage, if you’re not an expert, avoid them still. Even if you are an expert, wear your PFD and don’t go alone. Continue reading

Tifton Spills, Little River, New River 2021-02-18

Update 2021-02-26: Nothing obvious attributable to the Tifton spills in downstream water quality monitoring, and Very clean Thursday, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-25.

Tifton, we have a problem. Tifton, do you read?

Two days after Tifton’s three sewage spills Tuesday last week, Tifton spilled five times more the following Thursday, February 18, 2021. Two of the new locations were the same or across the street from ones two days before. North Ridge Street and Agrirama Lake have been chronic spill sites for years.

Tifton, can you clean up your act, please? Tifton, do you read?

[Tifton spills and locations 2021-02-18]
Tifton spills and locations 2021-02-18

Once again (magenta circle) from the Agrirama above the Little River, and four times in the New River Basin: Continue reading

Tifton Sewage Spills 2021-02-16

Update 2021-02-26: And more Tifton spills, two days later; Tifton Spills, Little River, New River 2021-02-18.

Update 2021-02-21: Nothing obvious related to the Tifton spills in downstream testing; see Clean downstream Friday Withlacoochee River 2021-02-19.

The City of Tifton spilled three places, for a total of 35,500 gallons of raw sewage, Sunday and Tuesday, February 14 and 16, 2021. Why? “Wet weather.” It’s true that an inch of rain fell on Tifton Saturday, an inch and a half Sunday, and almost another inch Tuesday.

Any spill is too many. However, these were all so far upstream that probably will not show up in any of the downstream water quality testing currently going on. It would be good to get some testing on the Little River between Tifton and Reed Bingham State Park to see if Tifton Spills reach that park.

[Spills, Locations]
Spills, Locations

One spill location was repeated: Agrirama Lake, which drains into the Little River. Tifton previously spilled there in 2015, 2016, and 2018. See Continue reading

Bad Withlacoochee, OK Alapaha 2021-01-07

Update 2021-01-11: Much better Withlacoochee River water quality 2021-01-09.

The latest Withlacoochee River results still show mostly bad water quality, surprisingly good at the State Line on Wednesday, but bad downstream. The Madison and Hamilton County Health advisory for the Withlacoochee River is still in place.

However, Sasser Landing on the Alapaha River tested OK for Wednesday.

[Bad Withlacoochee, good Alapaha]
Bad Withlacoochee, good Alapaha

The Madison Health Wednesday tests were not as horrible as for Tuesday, but they still got too high at Sullivan Launch (CR 150) and FL 6. Some of that could be from the Quitman or Tifton sewage spills, but probably most of it is from Continue reading

Bad up and down: Withlacoochee River 2021-01-05

Update 2021-01-08: Bad Withlacoochee, OK Alapaha 2021-01-07.

Now with Madison and Hamilton Health advisory.

Monday Valdosta upstream water quality results are bad, and Tuesday Madison Health downstream results are worse. If I were you I would not swim, fish, or boat the Withlacoochee River until better results come in. Plus we have reports that Running Spring on the Suwannee River is brown like it usually is after contamination comes down the Withlacoochee River.

[Bad water quality, bad map on Swim Guide, Withlacoochee River]
Bad water quality, bad map on Swim Guide, Withlacoochee River

Madison and Hamilton Health have issued a joint health advisory.

[Health Advisory, Withlacoochee River]
Health Advisory, Withlacoochee River
PDF

It’s not clear how much of this is due to Tifton’s three weekend sewage spills into the New River and how much is from cattle, pig, and horse manure runoff. Probably mostly the latter. We have ordered some new DNA test kits, but they’re not here yet.

The slightly good news about this sitution is that before the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report and all the new testing by Valdosta, Madison Health, WWALS, and others, this kind of thing may have been going on after every big rain for years, and nobody knew. Also, as Valdosta was quick to point out, at least their Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant did not spill. Maybe the new catch basin helped.

However, it seems like Valdosta could at least fix the potholes in the middle of Mildred Street, where the Saturday spill apparently was. Continue reading