Tag Archives: e. Coli

Bad Knights Ferry in Valdosta data down to state line, Monday and Wednesday 2020-07-08

This very high Valdosta Monday 1,600 E. coli data for Knights Ferry Boat Ramp and even higher 3,200 for Nankin Boat Ramp help explain the Florida high result downstream on Tuesday, which itself helped explain yesterday’s Florida bacterial alert for the Withlacoochee River.

[Valdosta Monday and Wednesday results]
Valdosta Monday and Wednesday results
For the complete WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida results and other context, see wwals.net/issues/testing/.

For how bad those numbers are, see What do these numbers mean?

Valdosta’s Wednesday Nankin result was better, and its Knights Ferry 570 result at least wasn’t as horrible, although that was still higher than the one-time sample 410 limit. Yet Okapilco Creek @ US 84 had actually gotten worse.

So we can hope the Florida downstream good results are a good indicator. But there could be more E. coli still coming down the Withlacoochee River.

WWALS testers are collecting samples today and tomorrow, so we shall see.

Meanwhile, we have to put Knights Ferry Boat Ramp back to red on Swim Guide, because that’s the most recent data we have for it. Nankin just barely squeaks by under 410, so it’s green like all the eight Withlacoochee River “beaches,” except Knights Ferry.

[Red Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, 2020-07-08]
Red Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, 2020-07-08

Thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for getting this Valdosta downstream data published. Maybe that can become standard practice, so people will have a better idea of river conditions before the weekend. This is in Valdosta’s own interest, since it usually shows Continue reading

Data behind and after Florida bacterial advisory for Withlacoochee River 2020-07-09

Update 2020-07-10: Bad Knights Ferry in Valdosta data down to state line, Monday and Wednesday 2020-07-08.

Update 2020-07-10 13:00: FDEP Thursday data has been posted, with results back within normal bounds.

Today FDEP posted FDOH data from Tuesday, which shows 471 cfu/100 mL E. coli at CR 150 (Sullivan Launch). Presumably this is what provoked yesterday’s bacterial advisory for the Withlacoochee River from Madison and Hamilton County Health Departments.

[Bad at CR 150, increasing upstream]
Bad at CR 150, increasing upstream
For the complete WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida results and other context, see wwals.net/issues/testing/.

Thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson, Valdosta also published Wednesday data, which shows higher E. coli readings than usual, higher than the 126 geometric average limit, although still below the 410 single-test limit. See What do these numbers mean?

Update 2020-07-10 13:00: Actually, with the FDEP Thursday data, Swim Guide is all green again for the Withlacoochee River in both Georgia and Florida. And the Little River, too, since we have no updated data yet. We’ll have at least one datapoint collected today or tomorrow on that.

[Green map in Swim Guide]
Green map in Swim Guide

I was mistaken about the WWALS samples for Crooked Creek: those are being collected today, along with some others today and tomorrow. I still won’t be surprised if they’re high in E. coli, although since the rains seem to have died down, I also won’t be surprised if the contamination has already flushed downstream and maybe even been diluted.

But we don’t know. Especially that part about downstream of FL 6: nobody is testing down there.

Floridians, you may want to ask your statehouse delegation and FDEP and other appointed officials to fund and implement regular, frequent, water quality testing all the way to the Gulf. If Valdoosta, GA, can do it on forty river miles to the state line, the great state of Florida can do it.

Oh, and it would help if Valdosta would post its results to the state line a bit more speedily.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Possible bacterial contamination, Withlacoochee River, Hamilton, Madison Co. FL 2020-07-09

Update 2020-07-10: Data behind and after Florida bacterial advisory for Withlacoochee River 2020-07-09.

It’s a Florida Health Department advisory of possible bacterial contamination, so I have set the four Florida Swim Guide “beaches” to red: Sullivan Launch, Florida Campsites, Madison Blue Spring, and Madison Ramp. However, since the advisory only says “Elevated indicators of fecal bacteria” without saying what those indicators are, and I can find no actual data, I have left the Georgia “beaches” green for now: US 84 Landing and Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps.

[Swim Guide: red Withlacoochee River in Florida]
Swim Guide: red Withlacoochee River in Florida

Here’s the advisory, received today at 4:38 PM.

Until further information is known regarding possible bacterial contamination of the river, people in the area are urged to take precautions when in contact with the Withlacoochee River. The Florida Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection are conducting water sampling.

Indeed, little seems to be known.

[Possible Bacterial Contamination of Withlacoochee River]
Possible Bacterial Contamination of Withlacoochee River
PDF

I can only guess Madison and Hamilton Health Departments are concerned by all that rain upstream for the past week. That does usually wash E. coli into the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading

Clean weekend water quality, Withlacoochee River 2020-06-28

2020-07-04: Clean Little and Withlacoochee Rivers to GA-FL line 2020-07-03

More good news: the Little River at Troupville Boat Ramp tested good Saturday, and the Withlacoochee River tested good last week and Sunday.

[Troupville and State Line Boat Ramps (left)]
Photo: Suzy Hall, Troupville and State Line Boat Ramps

Thanks to Suzy Hall for the weekend testing. You can help by donating to the WWALS water quality testing program.

[Troupville Boat Ramp with foam]
Photo: Suzy Hall, Troupville Boat Ramp with foam 2020-06-27

Suzy Hall took samples both in the foam and in the main flow of the Little River at Troupville Boat Ramp Saturday, June 27, 2020. She got 33 cfu/100 mL in the flow and 66 in the foam, both well below the 126 long-term average limit for E. coli.

[State Line Boat Ramp (left)]
Photo: Suzy Hall, State Line Boat Ramp 2020-06-28

Results were even better at State Line Boat Ramp Sunday: Continue reading

Good water quality, Withlacoochee and Alapaha, but recent rains may change that 2020-06-22

The most recent water quality data we have looks good, for both the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers, in Georgia and Florida.

But it’s from Monday, June 22, 2020, and there was significant rain on Okapilco Creek Tuesday and Wednesday in Brooks County, and more upstream at Skipper Bridge in Lowndes County, Georgia, on the Withlacoochee River. So conditions may change.

[Looks good, but...]
Looks good, but…
For context and links to the WWALS composite spreadsheet and all its sources, see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

Here are the recent rain records. Continue reading

All eight Withlacoochee River landings green 2020-06-14

Update 2020-06-25: Good water quality, Withlacoochee and Alapaha, but recent rains may change that 2020-06-22.

Good news from Suzy Hall’s Sunday sampling for WWALS at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps, and Valdosta’s Friday results for US 41, GA 133, and US 84: all green, below the average sample limit of 126 cfu/100 mL E. coli! So I’ve set the rest of the eight Withlacoochee River Swim Guide “beaches” to green, after the Florida beaches already went green Saturday.

[Swim Guide Withlacoochee green]
Swim Guide Withlacoochee green
For context and links to the WWALS composite spreadsheet and all its sources, see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

Maybe we should take the WWALS yellow diamond Caution signs back down at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps.

[Nankin Boat Ramp signs]
Nankin Boat Ramp signs

Here is a picture of Suzy’s water samples. Continue reading

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

Good to go: Naylor Boat Ramp upstream Alapaha River paddle 2020-06-13

It’s a go on water quality and quantity for tomorrow morning at Naylor Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River. For outing details, see the original post.

[Naylor Boat Ramp (portrait)]
Photo: Bobby McKenzie, Naylor Boat Ramp (portrait), 2020-06-10.

Sure, the afternoon thunderstorms could happen earlier, but so far the weather ereports indicate they’ll start after we’ve paddled upstream and back. For further updates, see the facebook event or the meetup.

WWALS water quality tester Tasha Ekman LaFace reports her sample from Thursday resulted in 33 cfu/100 mL E. coli, which is quite clean, so no worries about bacteria. The kinds of contamination we’ve been seeing on the Withlacoochee River are apparently not happening on the Alapaha River, which has much less animal agriculture next to it. For context, see wwals.net/issues/testing/.

She also says there is plenty of trash to pick up before we paddle, so bring a bag, some gloves, and a trash picker if you’ve got it.

WWALS Outings Committee Chair and the leader of this expedition, Bobby McKenzie, reports:

I started paddling it today after work but it was raining, which I didn’t mind. I didn’t continue due to the lightning. But I’m pretty confident that there is enough water to paddle a mile based on the previous levels I’ve seen there using visual indicators.

The gauge at Statenville shows 82.5 currently and the lowest paddling level indicated on the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail for Naylor Boat Ramp is 78.1.

Statenville gauge, Alapaha River

See you at Naylor Boat Ramp tomorrow morning. For outing details, see the original post.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

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