Tag Archives: Valdosta

Bad upstream Withlacoochee, Little Rivers, Ashburn Spill Alapaha River 2022-01-06

Update 2022-01-14: Bad US 84 Wednesday, good Withlacoochee River Thursday 2022-01-13.

Water quality is not looking good upstream on the Little or Withlacoochee Rivers. But not much sign of contamination downstream Thursday. I’d avoid those rivers upstream for a few days.

Downstream, chances are the E. coli will get diluted before it reaches the state line. But of course we can only go by the test results we have. I would paddle downstream this weekend, but you have to make your own decisions.

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

WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner got too-high results at Folsom Bridge on the Little River and Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, both on GA 122. There was much rain upstream Sunday at Sylvester and Moultrie, and probably Tifton, so what Elizabeth found may have washed down from far upstream.

Ashburn had a 40,000 gallon sewage spill Monday, which showed up today in the daily GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. The Ashburn spill went into Hat Creek, which runs into the Alapaha River. Elizabeth’s third GA 122 test site, Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, was OK. This is not unusual: Ashburn is so far upstream we’ve never detected effects of one of its spills downstream.

Valdosta got a bad result at GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River for Monday. That could have been something washing downstream, or it could be the notorious suspected dumper. All three of US 41, GA 133, and US 84 tested OK for Wednesday.

WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach got OK results at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps for Thursday.

And WWALS tester Gus Cleary got OK for Cleary Bluff, downstream of Allen Ramp, for Wednesday. Continue reading

Withdrawn but will return: subdivision in aquifer recharge zone near Little River, Lowndes County, GA @ LCC 2021-12-14

Update 2022-01-09: Cancelled: Lowndes County Commission Meetings 2022-01-10, so expect expect the contentious Miller Bridge Road subdivision that was withdrawn last time to be back with larger lot sizes at the January 24 and 25 Commission meetings.

The subdivision WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman spoke against at the November Planning Commission meeting was withdrawn before the December Lowndes County Commission meeting.

[Lowndes County Commission, Rezoning withdrawn temporarily, Aquifer recharge zone]
Lowndes County Commission, Rezoning withdrawn temporarily, Aquifer recharge zone

But the withdrawal letter said they would be back with a new plan by January 5th. The subject property near the Little River is still in an aquifer recharge zone, and far outside any appropriate Character Area in the Comprehensive Plan. Continue reading

Bad upstream, watch out below, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-23

Update 2021-12-31: Mostly good, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-30.

Not looking good. The recent rains washed E. coli into the Withlacoochee River, starting way upstream at Hagan Bridge on GA 122 on Thursday, down through US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on Wednesday. We did not see it at Cleary Bluff for Wednesday, downstream from Allen Ramp. Maybe it’s gotten diluted before it got that far. Or maybe it just hadn’t gotten that far by Wednesday.

I’d stay off the Withlacoochee River this weekend.

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

We almost never see high numbers at Hagan Bridge, but that’s what Elizabeth Brunner got for Thursday.

Valdosta results were bad for US 41 for last Friday, even before the rain, much worse there and for GA 133 for Monday after the rain, and bad for all three of US 41, GA 133, and US 84 for Wednesday. Apparently the contamination is traveling downstream.

There have been no sewage spills reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida. Most likely the E. coli came from cows or horses near the river or its creeks: there are quite a few of those even upstream of Hagan Bridge. Plus possibly wild hogs. Continue reading

Good up and down water quality, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-16

Update 2021-12-25: Bad upstream, watch out below, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-23

There’s been no rain to speak of, and all the tests show no river contamination.

So, happy swimming, fishing, and boating this weekend.

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

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for Folsom Bridge Landing @ GA 122 on the Little River. Continue reading

Video: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest (all of it) 2021-08-21

We livestreamed the Fourth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest over facebook live and zoom. This is the zoom video, for those who want to see how the whole thing went.

[Musicians, others, and winners]
Musicians, others, and winners

Yep, this is the whole thing, from soundcheck to teardown. In between, headliner Little Perks in Paradise plays, three judges perform as a band, then nine finalists perform for the judges, the judges pick winners, and the First Prize winner, Sweet William Billy Ennis, sings again.

Here’s the video: Continue reading

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

Update 2021-12-10: Weird upstream, clean downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-09.

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

We do not need endanger the aquifer recharge zone with a subdivision. –Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS @ GLPC 2021-11-29

Update 2022-01-02: Withdrawn but will return: subdivision in aquifer recharge zone near Little River, Lowndes County, GA @ LCC 2021-12-14

When the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) held a Public Hearing Monday for a rezoning for a subdivision in an aquifer recharge zone, WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman spoke against it. Three hundred other people opposed the rezoning. The Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend denying it.

But GLPC does not decide: the Lowndes County Commission will do that on December 14, 2021. And the County Commissioners can, if they choose, change the lot size or approve the rezoning as proposed.

This is what to watch for on that upcoming agenda: REZ-2021-28 Windy Hill S/D, 7532 Miller Bridge Rd., 0010 022, 34 ac., Community well & septic, EA to R1.

[Gretchen, speakers, aquifer recharge zone]
Gretchen, speakers, aquifer recharge zone

Here is the LAKE video of Gretchen speaking, at 19:56. Continue reading

Videos: One Valdosta-Lowndes, Troupville River Camp @ LCC 2021-11-08

Featuring as their number one BIG thing was “River Camp Project”, in a presentation about One Valdosta-Lowndes (OVL), which was far the longest item at 33 minutes at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session on November 8, 2021.

[One Valdosta-Lowndes, River Camp Project, Dr. Carvajal, Origins]
One Valdosta-Lowndes, River Camp Project, Dr. Carvajal, Origins

You may recognize that as Troupville River Camp, for which WWALS submitted an application to the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program (GOSP) in 2019. Back then there was no cash match available. Now both Valdosta and Lowndes County have funds to purchase Land Between the Rivers from Helen Tapp, at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River. Helen sent GA-AL Land Trust to walk the land a month ago, and probably soon a conservation easement will be worked out. Meanwhile, Troupville River Camp and Troupville Nature Park are prominently featured in the WWALS Vision for Water Quality and Access in Lowndes County Georgia 2020-12-02. That Vision was input to the Master Plan Update process for Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA), and the resulting VLPRA Master Plan incorporates the River Camp and other river access and facilities as priorities.

Add the possibility of Valdosta buying for parkland the 300+ acres of the Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank. And the potential for Sugar Creek downstream of Baytree as an urban recreational creek.

It’s good to see One Valdosta-Lowndes interested in river and creek access and recreation.

Below are videos by Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), which also has the rest of the meeting. 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