Tag Archives: WWALS

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

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

Federal Railroad Administration 281-page FOIA response on FECR LNG by Rail request 2024-06-07

Update 2024-07-01: LNG by Rail on FECR through Martin County, according to FRA –Cecile Scofield to Martin County, FL BOCC 2024-06-18.

For years we’ve been trying to FOIA information from FRA about FECR’s project to ship liquid natural gas (LNG) by rail through densely-populated areas. After four months, two FOIAs, and further correspondence, we finally got quite a bit.

It confirms in detail much of what Cecile Scofield has been saying for years. LNG liquefaction plants and the railroad are owned by the same company, and there are safety concerns about their plan to ship LNG by rail up and down Florida to export to the world and by land across the U.S.

Yet many important safety details were redacted.

[Fortress Investment Group (FIG) affiliates exporting LNG to the world: Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) and New Fortress Energy (NFE)]
Fortress Investment Group (FIG) affiliates exporting LNG to the world: Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) and New Fortress Energy (NFE)

FECR’s plan is to ship LNG up and down Florida, out through ports from Miami to Jacksonville, and to ship it all over the U.S. Continue reading

Brooks County Industrial Park: Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water, Sewer

Update 2024-07-04: Brooks County Industrial Park Maps 2009-03-03.

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

Here’s a map of the sewer system in the Brooks County Industrial Park, plus maps of the water and road systems. These maps were sent by the Brooks County Industrial Authority a couple of years ago in response to a WWALS open records request.

[Brooks County Industrial Park, Sewer System 2006-05-09, Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water]
Brooks County Industrial Park, Sewer System 2006-05-09, Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water

What this industrial park sewer system map does not show is: how does it connect to the rest of Quitman’s sewer system?

How Quitman’s sewer system works and where it is important, because Quitman has had quite a few reported sewage spills; see Quitman: Noncompliance, 9 effluent violations, 5 sewage spills, 11 monitoring violations, 1 reporting violation –GA-EPD Nov 2022 – Oct 2023. Quitman is upstream of the Withlacoochee River, and some of its former spills have quite likely travelled all the way down the Suwannee River to the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading

Quitman, GA, utility maps 2022-01-03

Update 2024-06-15: Brooks County Industrial Park: Site Plan, Grading, Drainage, Water, Sewer 2006-05-09.

These are some sewer and water system maps obtained from the City of Quitman in January 2022 in response to a WWALS open records request.

The March 1986 map by Smith and Gillespie Engineers, Inc. is the easiest to read. Unfortunately, most of the numbers of the lift stations seem to have changed since then.

[Lift Station Scan March 1986]
Lift Station Scan March 1986
PDF

The most informative map is dated March 28, 2019, by Tindall Enterprises, Inc. It has updated numbers for the lift stations that may be current. This matters for determining where reported sewage spills are, and what watersheds they drain into. Continue reading

Filthy Franks Creek, clean Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers, despite Ashburn spill 2024-06-05

Update 2024-06-14: Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe Rivers except @ US 129 2024-06-13.

With little rain, the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers tested clean for Wednesday. But Franks Creek west of Hahira was quite filthy. Why is a mystery, unless the Hahira sewer pipe crossing the creek was leaking.

[Clean Withlacoochee and Alapaha River, Filthy Franks Creek 2024-06-05]
Clean Withlacoochee and Alapaha River, Filthy Franks Creek 2024-06-05

One sewage spill was reported in the past week, a big one from Ashburn, far upstream from the Alapaha River.

The weather prediction for the weekend is sunny and hot.

The Alapaha is still high, but other than that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing!

Maybe join us tomorrow, Sullivan Launch to Madison Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, 2024-06-08.
https://wwals.net/?p=64848 Continue reading

Troupville Cemetery Number 2: the black cemetery 2024-06-06

Looks like we’ve finally found the second cemetery of old Troupville, the African-American cemetery.

[Troupville Cemetery #2, the black cemetery, Inside Valdosta State Prison, Southwest corner, Tower 5]
Troupville Cemetery #2, the black cemetery, Inside Valdosta State Prison, Southwest corner, Tower 5

John Horton, retired law enforcement, remembers watching when the state prison was built back in the 1980s.

He says he was told they wanted to build a gymnasium at the southwest corner, where Tower 5 is. But they dug up human bones instead.

So the old cemetery is visible on satellite maps as a quadrangle inside the main fence, with the interior drive path curving inwards to go around it. Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers plus High Springs sewage spill 2024-05-30

Update 2024-06-07: Filthy Franks Creek, clean Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers, despite Ashburn spill 2024-06-05.

Update 2024-06-05: A Georgia City Has Spilled Millions of Gallons of Raw Sewage Into 2 Pristine Rivers –Amber Nolan, greenmatters 2024-06-03.

With no rain since Monday, the Withlacoochee River tested clean Wednesday, and the Santa Fe River Thursay, even though High Springs, Florida had a sewage spill Thursday; see below.

Three spills appeared in the Georgia EPD Sewage Spills Report for this Tuesday, May 22, 2024: a big one and a little one from Ashburn Saturday and Sunday a week ago, and a tiny one from Quitman Wednesday a week ago; see separate report. https://wwals.net/?p=64971

There’s a slight chance of rain Sunday, 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.

Or come see us 2-7 PM Saturday in Hahira, Georgia, with South Georgia Pride at Music and Art on Main.

[Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers; High Springs Sewage Spill 2024-05-30]
Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers; High Springs Sewage Spill 2024-05-30

The High Springs spill was reported in the Pollution Spills Report by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

The report says 35,000 gallons were spilled, but 32,000 gallons were recovered, so the remainder was only 3,000 gallons.

The location is rather vague, Southwest 25th Avenue, so I’m guessing it was at the wastewater treatment plant. Continue reading

Suwannee and Santa Fe River Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) meetings 2024-05-24

Update 2024-05-24: What progress has been made towards springs nitrogen loading reduction by the Suwannee River BMAP? 2024-05-24.

SRWMD is holding two meetings about springs protection on Friday, May 24, 2024, at 10AM for the Suwannee River Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), and at 1:30 PM for its Santa Fe River BMAP.

[SRWMD BMAP meetings, Online May 24, 2024, Suwannee River Basin 10 AM, Santa Fe River Basin 1:30 PM]
SRWMD BMAP meetings, Online May 24, 2024, Suwannee River Basin 10 AM, Santa Fe River Basin 1:30 PM

Everybody knows the main problem and the cause: nitrates from fertilizer leaching through the soil and causing algae blooms in springs such as Madison Blue Spring and Gilchrist Blue Spring, because of too much fertilizer and irrigation using Floridan Aquifer withdrawals.

Nothing much has changed since this article was published in 2018: State geologist Greenhalgh says BMPs don’t work to solve BMAPs. The BMAPs use the same Best Management Practices (BMPs) that were already in use for the previous decades, during which the problem got worse. There is little reason to believe those BMPs alone will improve the situation.

To affect these BMAPs, it’s going to take more than just people showing up or even experts providing opinions. Grasstops are needed: people who can influence the decision makers, both inside SRWMD and FDEP, and elected statewide officials.

But a good first step is for people to show up or send letters of comment. Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe Rivers 2024-04-25

Update 2024-05-04: Clean rivers and some creeks, but rain 2024-05-02.

Update 2024-05-03: Valdosta test results: filthy Withlacoochee River after big spill, many creeks still filthy after smaller spills 2024-04-11.

This week, the rivers that have been tested were clean: Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Santa Fe.

This is despite a Wednesday inland High Springs sewage spill of 1,500 gallons.

And clean even in the aftermath of all the spills of last week. There is more about sewage spills below, including that Valdosta did test the Friday and Saturday of the big spill, and the Withlacoochee River was filthy then.

But it’s clean now, and water levels are coming down in all the rivers. So if you don’t mind still a bit high and fast, happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend.

[Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-04-25; Filthy Withlacoochee River & creeks 2024-04-12, 2024-04-13]
Clean Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-04-25; Filthy Withlacoochee River & creeks 2024-04-12, 2024-04-13

Testing at State Line by Madison Health and FDEP on Wednesday last week corroborated the WWALS result for the previous day. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) also tested downstream at CR 150 (Sullivan Launch) and at FL 6, and all three sites again Thursday, getting clean results each time. That corroborated the WWALS result for Holly Point downstream on that Thursday.

Madison Health has not yet withdrawn its health advisory for the Withlacoochee River, but I imagine it probably will the next time they or FDEP test.

And it turns out Valdosta is posting on its website the results of the testing it is required to do by the Georgia Environmental Pro Division (GA-EPD) after each major spill. None of Quitman, Tifton, Rochelle, Ashburn, or Homerville are posting their results, so that’s a good thing Valdosta is doing.

Those Valdosta results for this Wednesday and last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday also corroborate the WWALS results at US 84 and GA 133.

As noted last week, apparently the massive flow of the river from the rains diluted or washed the contamination downstream.

But Valdosta got very different results for Friday April 12, and Saturday April 13. Continue reading

WWALS @ A Day in the Woods, Gaskins Forest Education Center, Alapaha, GA 2024-04-20

Come see prescribed fire, basket making, longleaf pine trees, snakes, lizards, frogs, and eat food cooked on the spot.

When: Gather 12 PM, launch 1 PM, end 5 PM, Saturday, April 20, 2024

Put In: Gaskins Forest Education Center, 3359 Moore Sawmill Rd., Alapaha, Georgia 31622

GPS: 31.345454, -83.178356

[WWALS Booth at A Day in the Woods 2024-04-20, Gaskins Forest Education Center, Alapaha, Georgia]
WWALS Booth at A Day in the Woods 2024-04-20, Gaskins Forest Education Center, Alapaha, Georgia

Continue reading