Tag Archives: Caution

Florida lifts Withlacoochee River advisory; more rain could mean more contamination 2020-06-11

Update 2020-06-16: All eight Withlacoochee River landings green 2020-06-14

Valdosta’s Wednesday Knights Ferry result is not pretty: 2,300 cfu/100 mL E. coli, far over the 1,000 alert limit. Previously, I said we wouldn’t turn Swim Guide green until we saw that result. Plus, much more rain fell Friday on Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia. Also, Valdosta got 1,500 on Okapilco Creek at US 84, even worse than the 833 I got there that same Wednesday (see yellow highlighted area).

So, Swim Guide stays red for the Withlacoochee River in Georgia. But Swim Guide goes green for Florida; see below. See also below for the Little and Alapaha Rivers.

WWALS will test tomorrow. You can help.

[More rain means...?]
More rain means…?
For context and links to the WWALS composite spreadsheet and all its sources, see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

After two consecutive days of good results from the state line downstream (see green highlighted area), the Florida Department of Health lifted yesterday, June 12, 2020, the Advisory they issued June 9, 2020. Continue reading

Florida, and Upstream water quality tests for Lowndes and Brooks Counties, GA 2020-06-10

Update 2020-06-13: Florida lifts Withlacoochee River advisory; more rain could mean more contamination 2020-06-11.

The Withlacoochee River from the state line to the Suwannee River looked much better Wednesday, according to FDEP results.

Upstream on the Withlacoochee and Little Rivers and two out of three creeks in Brooks County, not so good, according to samples I took Wednesday.

Valdosta’s Wednesday results fill in US 41 (North Valdosta Road), GA 133, and US 84 on the Withlacoochee River. We await Valdosta’s Knights Ferry and Nankin Boat Ramp results.

Meanwhile, you can help.

[Withlacoochee R. @ GA 122 to Suwannee R. @ US 90]
Withlacoochee R. @ GA 122 to Suwannee R. @ US 90
For context and links to the WWALS composite spreadsheet and all its sources, see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

Thanks to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) for testing from GA 31 as far downstream as US 90.

[Horn Bridge, GA 31, Withlacoochee River]
Horn Bridge, GA 31, Withlacoochee River

But where did the contamination go? Did it get diluted? Or did it just wash farther downstream? Continue reading

Contamination moving downstream in Florida 2020-06-09

Update 2020-06-12: Florida, and, Upstream water quality tests for Lowndes and Brooks Counties, GA 2020-06-10.

Tuesday data from Madison Health shows the contamination had moved downstream, with 1,585 cfu/100 mL E. coli at FL 6, just above Madison Blue Spring.

By now it’s probably downstream from there. Nobody knows, because nobody is testing down there. Floridians, maybe you’d like to point this out to your elected and appointed state officials. If Valdosta, GA, can test three times a week 40 miles to the state line, the state of Florida could do the rest all the way to the Gulf.

[At least as far as FL 6 downstream]
At least as far as FL 6 downstream
For context and links to the WWALS composite spreadsheet and all its sources, see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

I hope SRWMD is modeling flow and dilution and making a prediction for how far downstream the problem may travel on the Withlacoochee or even the Suwannee Rivers.

I collected samples from seven upstream locations yesterday (Wednesday), on the Withlacoochee and Little Rivers in Lowndes County and three creeks in Brooks County. Results on those should be ready late today. You can help.

[State Line Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River]
State Line Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River

Also yesterday I put out yellow Caution sign back up at State Line Boat Ramp. Continue reading

Additional: Filthy Withlacoochee River Monday after Sunday rain 2020-06-08

Update 2020-06-11: Contamination moving downstream in Florida 2020-06-09.

The E. coli numbers jump up from US 84 to Knights Ferry in additional data from Valdosta for Monday. In between is Okapilco Creek coming out of Brooks County, with many beef and dairy cow pastures upstream.

[Additional Valdosta data]
Additional Valdosta data
For context and links to the WWALS composite spreadsheet and all its sources, see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

Valdosta’s 1,600 cfu/100 mL at the state line is nowhere near Madison Health’s 24,196, but still higher than the 1,000 alert limit.

It’s a good guess that Madison and Hamilton County Health Departments are putting up signs in Florida after their Withlacoochee River Advisory of yesterday.

I hope some Florida state agency is testing downstream from FL 6, because by now the contamination may well have moved down that way.

I am heading out to collect samples for WWALS and to put our yellow diamond Caution signs back up at State Line and Nankin Boat Ramps. The Knights Ferry access road is washed out so that one will have to go up later. You can help.

Yesterday I set all eight Withlacoochee River Boat Ramps and Launches in Swim Guide to show red for failed water quality.

[Swim Guide red from US 84 to Madison Boat Ramp]
Swim Guide red from US 84 to Madison Boat Ramp

Thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for Continue reading

Filthy Withlacoochee River Monday after Sunday rain 2020-06-08

Update 2020-06-10: Additional: Filthy Withlacoochee River Monday after Sunday rain 2020-06-08

Yes, again there’s a Withlacoochee River Advisory from the Hamilton and Madison County, Florida, Health Departments. But it’s not what many people automatically assume.

WWALS is putting its yellow diamond Caution signs back up. All eight Withlacoochee River Boat Ramps and Launces in Swim Guide should shortly show red for failed water quality.

[06.09.20-Withlacoochee-River-Advisory-Madison-Hamilton-0001]
06.09.20-Withlacoochee-River-Advisory-Madison-Hamilton-0001
PDF

Notice the high E. coli at US 41 (North Valdosta Road), twice the high alert limit of 1,000. That is north of almost all of Valdosta. The numbers are still above alert limit but somewhat lower at GA 133 and US 84.

The really high numbers start at GA 31, at State Line Boat Ramp. And 24,196 is extremely high. See What do these numbers mean?

So the main contamination seems to be coming into the Withlacoochee River downstream from US 84. That very likely means down Okapilco Creek from Brooks County, Georgia. Which fits with 4.75 inches of rain at Dixie, GA, in the west of Brooks County and 4.7 inches at the east edge of the county on the Withlacoochee River at US 84. Since that storm, as most do, moved from east to west west to east, we can guess similar amounts of rain fell right across Brooks County. What does that spell? Cows.

Not just from one location; probably from cow pastures all over Brooks County. And maybe upstream, since more than two inches of rain fell on Moultrie.

And of course the higher-than-alert results from US 84 north are not from Brooks County. There are horse farms and cows and hogs up there, too, as well as septic tanks, domsetic pets, and wildlife in the woods. And yes, runoff from city streets. But no sewage spills have been reported. Continue reading

Sunday and Monday creek and river water quality results 2020-06-01

Update 2020-06-09: Filthy Withlacoochee River Monday after Sunday rain 2020-06-08

Conn and Trudy Cole also tested for WWALS Sunday, except at Crooked Creek, which was almost dry under the Devane Road bridge, so it can’t be sending any contamination downstream. At US 84 they got 66 cfu/100 mL E. coli for Okapilco Creek and 33 for the Withlacoochee River. WWALS continues testing, and you can help.

[Dry Crooked Creek @ Devane Road]
Dry Crooked Creek @ Devane Road

On the Little River at GA 76 (Cook County Boat Ramp) they got 33, similar to the 0 (zero) I got there that same day.

[Rock Bridge]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Rock Bridge on the Little River @ GA 76, 2020-05-31.

Plus we have Valdosta data for Monday and last Wednesday and Friday, all showing pretty clean at US 84 on the Withlacoochee River and upstream. So it was a good weekend for boating, swimming, and fishing on the Withlacoochee and Little Rivers.

[Clean weekend]
Clean weekend
For context, including the entire WWALS composite water quality table of results from both Georgia and Florida, see wwals.net/issues/testing/.

Valdosta results upstream Friday, May 29, 2020, at GA 133 and US 41 on the Withlacoochee River were oddly higher than downstream, with 265 E. coli. That’s higher than the 126 long-term average limit, but still well below the 410 single-test limit. For Wednesday at Knights Ferry, Valdosta got a weirdly very high Fecal coliform result, 1,400, but a pretty normal 140 E. coli. See Continue reading

Clean Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2020-05-31

Update 2020-06-04: Sunday and Monday creek and river water quality results.

I’ve posted green for “Meets water quality standards” on Swim Guide all the way from Cook County Boat Ramp (GA 76) on the Little River for last weekend, and the same past State Line Boat Ramp into Florida for late last week. With little rain lately and none forecast, this clean trend should continue.

[Folsom Bridge (GA 122) in Swim Guide]
Folsom Bridge (GA 122) in Swim Guide

These water samples look clean. And this time that water was clean. Continue reading

Withlacoochee River still clean 2020-05-25

Update 2020-06-02: Clean Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2020-05-31.

Still more good water quality results from Madison Health and Valdosta for last Thursday and Friday, and from WWALS tester Suzy Hall Saturday and Monday, so all the Withlacoochee River “beaches” on Swim Guide remain green for “Meets water quality standards”.

Because there still hasn’t been hardly any rain, nothing much has washed into our waterways. Yes, now we’re really taking down our WWALS yellow diamond Caution signs.

WWALS will continue testing and consolidating results. You can help.

[Nankin Boat Ramp in Swim Guide]
Nankin Boat Ramp in Swim Guide

Suzy Hall for WWALS got 200 cfu/100 mL E. coli for Knights Ferry Boat Ramp on Saturday, May 23, 2020. While that’s higher than the long-term average limit of 126, it’s well lower than the one-time limit of 410.

Monday at Nankin, she got Continue reading

Bucket surfing the Withlacoochee River 2020-05-01

That bucket needs to be clean before I get a water quality testing sample out of it.

[Bucket]
Bucket

Here’s a YouTube video Continue reading

Earth Day online with Waterkeepers Florida 2020-04-22

Update 2020-04-23: Video of WKFL Toast to Earth Day and examples of #SuwanneeCleanup.

Join Suwannee Riverkeeper and all of Waterkeepers Florida tomorrow evening to toast clean water in the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day.

WWALS is also celebrating with a distributed cleanup. Go to any convenient river, creek, spring, or swamp, pick up trash, and post pictures or video with the hashtag #SuwanneeCleanup.

When: 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM, Earth Day, Wednesday, April 21, 2020

Where: Facebook livestream in the facebook event.
We will start a watch party.

Also on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/91684283854
Dial in: +1 929 205 6099 / Meeting ID: 916 8428 3854#

[WKFL Earth Day Toast]

Physical: State Line Boat Ramp, 6461 Madison Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31601
That’s where Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman will be speaking.
You can come help clean up, provided you keep six feet apart.
Post pictures or video of yourself, and use #SuwanneeCleanup. Continue reading