Tag Archives: Weather

Clean Santa Fe River 2024-07-17

The Santa Fe River tested clean at the spot it didn’t last week, Wanamake (Butler) Ramp, a tenth of a mile up from the Suwannee River. Sugar Creek tested clean last Saturday.

We don’t have any more test results this week. However, since there has been little rain, chances are that nothing much washed into the rivers.

In the Suwannee River Basin Florida, High Springs reported a small inland sewage spill.

In Georgia, Ashburn yet again reported a major spill a week late, into Hat Creek into the Alapaha River.

The weather prediction all weekend is likely rain, but most likely in the afternoon.

So pick a river at a level you like, and happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend.

Or join us Sunday morning for Alapahoochee River Cleanup, 2024-07-21.

Or, weather permitting, Sunday evening for Banks Lake Full Buck Moon Paddle 2024-07-21.

[Clean Santa Fe River 2024-07-17, Sugar Creek 2024-07-13, Old Ashburn, High Springs, sewage spills, Rain predicted]
Clean Santa Fe River 2024-07-17, Sugar Creek 2024-07-13, Old Ashburn, High Springs, sewage spills, Rain predicted

Continue reading

Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers except a hot spot near the Suwannee River 2024-07-11

Update 2024-07-19: 2024-07-19: Twelve months of Ashburn sewage spills 2024-07-08.

The Alapaha, Withlacoochee, and Santa Fe Rivers tested clean, except the Santa Fe at Wanamake (Butler) Ramp, a tenth of a mile up from the Suwannee River.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida, but in Georgia, Ashburn had yet another spill.

Saturday is supposed to be sunny, and Sunday it might rain late in the day.

So pick a river at a level you like, and happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend.

Or join us Saturday morning for Sasser Landing Alapaha River Cleanup, 2024-07-13.

[Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-07-11, except a hot spot near the Suwannee]
Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-07-11, except a hot spot near the Suwannee

The Withlacoochee is in Action Stage at North Valdosta Road (US 41) and upstream, and soon will be at Pinetta. The Santa Fe River is still at rock bottom in several places. Continue reading

Bad Franks Creek, unknown rivers, after much rain 2024-07-03

2024-07-12: Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers except a hot spot near the Suwannee River 2024-07-11.

Twelve months of Ashburn sewage spills 2024-07-08. Franks Creek at GA 122 west of Hahira tested far too high for E. coli for Wednesday.

And that’s the smallest set of test results we’ve ever had. Due to the Fourth of July holiday, most of the WWALS testers are on holiday, and Valdosta also did not report any results for this week.

[Bad Franks Creek, Unknown Rivers 2024-07-03 After rain with more rain coming]
Bad Franks Creek, Unknown Rivers 2024-07-03 After rain with more rain coming

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

Since Saturday, there have been as much as 7 inches of rain on the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers and 3 or more on the Little River. More rain is predicted this weekend and all week, although mainly in the evening.

The Withlacoochee was in Action Stage Wednesday at Skipper Bridge, and is right now at North Valdosta Road. At US 84, it looks like maybe it has peaked 5 feet below Action Stage. It’s still rising at Pinetta and Lee, although far below Action Stage.

The Santa Fe River did not get much rain, and in many places such as near Fort White is at its low threshold, as is the Ichetucknee River.

If you want little chance of contamination washed in, and don’t mind really low water, try the Santa Fe or the Ichetucknee Rivers.

So pick your desired water level and tolerance for E. coli risk, and go in the morning. Happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend! Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers 2024-06-27

Update 2024-07-05: Bad Franks Creek, unknown rivers, after much rain 2024-07-03.

The Withlacoochee River tested clean for Wednesday and Thursday, and the Santa Fe River for Monday.

Retesting upstream and downstream from the previous One Mile Branch Valdosta Williams Street anomolous results found little to no E. coli.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

The rivers are almost all down to good boating and fishing levels; maybe too low in some areas.

There was rain on the Withlacoochee River in several places over several days, so some contamination may have washed in.

Other than that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

[Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers, but rain 2024-06-27]
Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers, but rain 2024-06-27

Cindy Vedas tested three upstream Withlacoochee sites Thursday.

For Franklinville Road at Tyler Bridge, she got Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers, problem on One Mile Branch 2024-06-19

Update 2024-06-29: Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers 2024-06-27.

With no rain for a further week, the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers tested clean for Wednesday and Thursday. There was an unusual test result for One Mile Branch at Williams Street in Valdosta for Monday.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

The rivers are almost all down to good boating and fishing levels.

There is some chance of rain Saturday and Sunday.

Other than that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

[Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe River 2024-06-20; Problem on One Mile Branch @ Williams Street 2024-06-17]
Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe River 2024-06-20; Problem on One Mile Branch @ Williams Street 2024-06-17

For this Thursday, June 20, Kim Tanner sampled Continue reading

Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe Rivers except @ US 129 2024-06-13

Update 2024-06-21: Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers, problem on One Mile Branch 2024-06-19.

With no rain for a week, four rivers tested clean, except the Santa Fe River at US 129 (Guy Lemmon) Ramp was above the one-time limit for E. coli.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

The rivers are mostly down to good boating and fishing levels.

There is some chance of rain Sunday.

Other than that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

Oh, and welcome back WWALS tester Cindy Vedas, and first-time tester Mark Coppage.

[Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers except at US 129 2024-06-13]
Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers except at US 129 2024-06-13

Cindy Vedas sampled Thursday at two upstream sites on the Withlacoochee River, and got zero E. coli at both.

About Staten Road, she wrote, Continue reading

Ashburn and Quitman sewage spills reported 2024-05-22

Update 2024-05-31: Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers plus High Springs sewage spill 2024-05-30.

Ashburn had a 250,000-gallon sewage spill into Hat Creek to the Alapaha River Sunday a week ago, and a 2,500-gallon spill into Ashburn Branch into the Little River the day before, both because of “Wet weather”.

Quitman had a 300-gallon sewage spill at Brooks County High School Wednesday a week ago into a ditch that drains to Okapilco Creek.

[Ashburn 250,000-gallon sewage spill into Hat Creek, Alapaha River 2024-05-19 and 2,500-gallon spill into Ashburn Branch, Little River, plus Quitman 300-gallon spill 2024-05-22]
Ashburn 250,000-gallon sewage spill into Hat Creek, Alapaha River 2024-05-19 and 2,500-gallon spill into Ashburn Branch, Little River, plus Quitman 300-gallon spill 2024-05-22

These spills appeared this Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report.

Why they took so long to report is a mystery.

Ashburn’s excuse of “Wet weather” is wearing thin. Yes, there were big rains those days, but Ashburn needs to fix its sewer system so rains don’t cause spills. Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22

Update 2024-05-31: Ashburn and Quitman sewage spills reported 2024-05-22.

With no rain for four days, the Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Ichetucknee Rivers tested clean this Wednesday. We have no Valdosta data, because it’s a holiday weekend.

The only sewage spill reported this week was an old small one from Tifton, far upstream.

There’s a chance of rain tomorrow, but probably not enough to cause much contamination.

Happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend if you can find a river that is not too high. Maybe try the Suwannee River upstream from the Alapaha River, or the Santa Fe River upstream from the Ichetucknee River. Most of the other river stretches are pretty high; see below.

Or come see us at the Florida Folk Festival, on the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida, this Saturday or Sunday.

[Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22 dirty Knights Creek 2024-05-20]
Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22 dirty Knights Creek 2024-05-20

No new sewage spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in the past week, in Georgia or Florida.

The old Tifton sewage spill that showed up in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report for May 21 was 6,000 gallons of raw sewage on May 13, 2024, at the Southside Lift Station on W. Golden Road, due to Power failure. Continue reading

Dirty Withlacoochee and Alapaha River and creeks 2024-05-15

Update 2024-05-24: Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22.

After the big rains Monday and Tuesday, the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers tested dirty this Wednesday, as did almost every creek location in Valdosta’s followup testing, including Sugar Creek at Gornto Road, just above Valdosta’s Sugar Creek WaterGoat trash trap, and the last test site before the Withlacoochee River.

If I were you, I’d avoid the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers this weekend. Maybe try the Suwannee River upstream from the Alapaha River, or the Santa Fe River upstream from the Ichetucknee River. Also, rain is predicted.

WWALS has cancelled the Suwannee River paddle for tomorrow, due to predicted thunderstorms. It will be rescheduled later.

[Dirty Alapaha and Withlacoochee Rivers and creeks 2024-05-15;
Dirty Alapaha and Withlacoochee Rivers and creeks 2024-05-15;

The river tested too high in E. coli at all three of Valdosta’s test sites, North Valdosta Road (NVR), GA 133, and US 84, and way too high at Russ Tatum’s WWALS test site at Holly Point, below Allen Ramp in Florida. NVR (US 48) is upstream from all of Valdosta’s creek test sites for this week. There are a couple more creeks upstream from there that come out of Valdosta, but we also know something comes down Cat Creek after big rains. We have a grant application in to fund more testing up there. Continue reading

No spills reported after recent rains, Suwannee River Basin 2024-05-15

Update 2024-05-17: Dirty Withlacoochee and Alapaha River and creeks 2024-05-15.

Update 2024-05-16: Quitman also reports no spills after the recent rains.

After two, three, and four inches of rain added up on Monday and Tuesday across south Georgia and parts of north Florida, the good news is no sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

[No spills reported, after rains 2024-05-15, Suwannee River Basin, Georgia and Florida]
No spills reported, after rains 2024-05-15, Suwannee River Basin, Georgia and Florida

Sometimes it takes days for spills to show up in the GA-EPD and FDEP online reports, so I called Valdosta, Lowndes County, and Quitman.

Valdosta Utilities says they had no spills or overflows.

Lowndes County Utilities says they had no spills.

Quitman City Hall says as far as they have heard they have had no spills, but they referred me to their utilities contractor, ESG Engineering. I called the ESG number City Hall gave me, and left a message with the person who answered, but I have not heard back from ESG yet about sewage spills.

Update 2024-05-16: Scott Fowler of ESG called back. He says Quitman had no sewage spills with the recent rains.

This does not mean the rivers are clean. We do not know, because nobody has sampled yet since the rains. Valdosta now only samples once a week on Wednesdays, so they presumably drew their samples today and will post their results Thursday or Friday. WWALS samples on Wednesday or Thursday, and our results (and Valdosta’s) will go in the WWALS Friday water quality report, as usual.

Often after big rains, contamination washes into the rivers from other sources, including agriculture, livestock, wildlife, septic tanks, and domestic pets.

However, with this much rain, there is a good chance any such contamination has already been diluted and washed downstream. But we do not know.

If you want to get trained to be a WWALS water quality tester, please fill out the form:
https://wwals.net/?p=47084

Meanwhile, as you can see on the NOAA river levels map, the upstream Suwannee River has hardly risen, so that’s good for the WWALS outing this Saturday, Turner Bridge Ramp to Cone Bridge Ramp Suwannee River Paddle 2024-05-18. Depending, of course, on the rain predicted for Saturday. Continue reading