Tag Archives: Quitman

When the water was really high at Spook Bridge 1928-08-19

The Withlacoochee River is higher this morning than yesterday, so conditions are fine for Paddle Georgia!

Those people on Spook Bridge during the 1928 flood were crazy:

[During flood of-1928 with Blue Springs sign]
During flood of-1928 with Blue Springs sign

Don Davis of the Lowndes County Historical Society, who sent these old pictures, wrote:

Constructed in 1921? the bridge in the 1928 flood photo is the old US84 (GA38) bridge that the group will paddle under as “Spook Bridge.”

According to the USGS Quitman (US 84) gauge, that flood crested on August 19, 1928, which actually wasn’t quite as high as in 2013, 1948, or 2009.

Historic Crests
(1) 118.17 ft on 04/05/2009
(2) 115.20 ft on 04/04/1948
(3) 114.98 ft on 03/01/2013
(4) 114.80 ft on 08/19/1928
(5) 114.29 ft on 02/13/1986

Gauges

Right now the USGS Quitman (US 84) gauge reads 86.15 feet NAVD 88, which is well above the 85.9 feet Joe Cook wanted for Paddle Georgia. And it has been rising since yesterday morning. The fellow who left his kayak at the bottom of Troupville Boat Ramp may be in for a surprise….

[Quitman]
Quitman

Upstream, the gauges are even higher, and that water is coming downstream.

Hahira at Continue reading

Winners, BIG Little River Paddle Race 2019-04-27

For Immediate Release

Tifton, Georgia, May 1, 2019 — “This was the first year a canoe finished first to win the $100 cash prize,” said Bret Wagenhorst, main organizer of the BIG Little River Paddle Race, last Saturday, April 27, at Reed Bingham State Park. “It was a two-person canoe of gentlemen from Gray, GA: Wayne Hale and Terry Donahue.”

[Tandem male canoe, green (BW)]
Tandem male canoe, green (BW)
Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, of Wayne Hale and Terry Donahue winning the BIG Little River Paddle Race. They won in the male tandem canoe category last year, and they won overall this year.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman said, “Thanks to the paddle race sponsors, Dr. Bret Wagenhorst, Georgia Beer Company, and Cook Medical Center.”

Dr. Wagenhorst added, “Thanks to all the paddlers from across Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, as far away as Mexico, who came out on a glorious south GA spring day to help raise money for the WWALS Watershed Coalition and the Friends of Reed Bingham State Park group by paddling a scenic and winding stretch of the Little River. Lots of fun in the sun for friends and families.”

[Below the bridge (BW)]
Below the bridge (BW)

First woman across the finish in a solo kayak was Continue reading

Delayed a day: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, 2019-02-03

It rained, and the river rose a bit, so we will paddle Sunday morning instead, unless it rains again or rises too much. Still on the Little River from Troupville Boat Ramp, then the Withlacoochee River to Spook Bridge. That’s right, Spook Bridge, thanks to The Langdale Company, which has arranged for us to take out just below the bridge.

River swirling by access, 30.7898000, -83.4516100
River swirling by access 30.7898100, -83.4517500

This is not public access. Langdale is making it available to WWALS for this February outing and for Paddle Georgia in June 2019. This takeout, while still up a steep riverbank, is much easier than climbing up those loose highway abutment rocks between the US 84 highway bridges. So I hope everyone will thank The Langdale Company.

See previous post for outing details. Continue reading

John S. Quarterman: Sewage spills in Georgia affecting Suwannee River basin, Gainesville Sun, 2019-01-31

Online today and in the paper Gainesville Sun this coming Sunday. To paddle the most-affected stretch of the Withlacoochee River, join us this Saturday morning.


A December upsurge of raw sewage spills from the city of Valdosta, Georgia, has a dozen downstream counties organized into a task force, demanding action from Florida state legislators. But what action?

I recommend first getting a grip on the extent of the problem, keeping that picture up to date and then funding fixes.

[Water]
Photo: John S. Quarterman of Sara Jay, Water Temperature, TGroupville Boat Ramp, Little River, 2019-01-06

Valdosta spilled not just twice, but two dozen times in December, totaling more than 6 million gallons of raw sewage. Spills also happened in Tifton, Quitman and Lowndes County, Georgia.

We know this because Continue reading

Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, 2019-02-0203

Update 2019-02-02: Delayed a day until Sunday morning.

Water levels look good, so unless it rains, looks like Saturday morning we will paddle Little River from Troupville Boat Ramp, then the Withlacoochee River to Spook Bridge. We will probably encounter deadfalls and shoals, so bring a rope and be prepared.

That’s right, Spook Bridge, thanks to The Langdale Company, which has arranged for us to take out just below the bridge.

[Access and river, 14:47:36, 30.78981, -83.45175]
Access and river, 14:47:36, 30.7898100, -83.4517500

This is not public access. Langdale is making it available to WWALS for this February outing and for Paddle Georgia in June 2019. This takeout, while still up a steep riverbank, is much easier than climbing up those loose highway abutment rocks between the US 84 highway bridges. So I hope everyone will thank The Langdale Company.

See previous post for outing details. Continue reading

Sewage spills in the Suwannee River Basin 2015-2018

Update 2019-01-25: Added an HTML table of all spills in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia since the beginning of 2015.

WWALS Science Committee Chair Tom Potter made this committee report to the WWALS Quarterly Board Meeting of January 2019:

The Science Committee has focused on monitoring sewage spills from Municipalities in the region. The primary data is the online database provide by the GA EPD. The agency regularly compiles spill volume, date, and, location across the state and posts the information on-line.

2015-2018 Valdosta sewage spills, Spills

WWALS played a central role in convincing EPD to provide this data in a timely manner and has regularly posted spill data on the WWALS website, wwals.net/issues/vww/ga-spills/. This a substantial improvement over prior reporting systems and is contributing to timely reporting of conditions that may adversely impact water quality and recreational uses of streams and rivers.

The following graph summarizes reported spill data in Quitman, Tifton and Valdosta and Continue reading

Quitman spill amount 2019-01-14 for 2019-01-03

Finally we see in the GA-EPD data from yesterday a total for Quitman’s spill of the third of January:

120,000 gallons of raw sewage, Diff

120,000 gallons of raw sewage. That’s far more than my previous guess.

Maybe you’d like to join the new WWALS water quality testing program. Or maybe you’d like to join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Let’s add up Quitman’s recent spills: Continue reading

Quitman LAS spills again 2019-01-03

Quitman spilled raw sewage again yesterday, January 3, 2019, from its Land Application Site (LAS) east of town, south of US 84, next to Okapilco Creek. GA-EPD in its Sewage Spills Report of today finally got the river basin right (Suwannee), but seems to have forgotten which creek that LAS is near.

Quitman Land Application Site, Map
Quitman LAS on the WWALS google map for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

No amount is reported yet, but Quitman usually spills between 20,000 and 80,000 gallons of raw sewage. We shall see.

Spills reported to GA-EPD through 2019-01-03

That Quitman spill is the only new one in the Suwannee River Basin for the past 30 days.

GA-EPD spreadsheet 2019-01-03, Report
WWALS diff of 2019-01-03 and 2019-01-04 GA-EPD Sewage Spill Reports.

A bunch of other reports are rolling off the end, as indicated by Continue reading

No new Suwannee River Basin Spills in Georgia 2018-12-31

No new spills reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia! We do have some clarifications on old spills, some even with raw sewage totals.

Since the Sewage Spills Report GA-EPD posts each day replaces the previous one, WWALS has started picking up those reports daily and parsing out differences.

Diff 2018-12-20 and 2018-12-21, Tables

This has revealed a total for a Quitman report, some Smithbriar Drive spelling corrections, a total for one Valdosta spill location, and where it goes (spoiler: into the Alapaha River Basin).

We don’t see any new spills in the past two weeks in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia.

We also don’t see Continue reading

Tifton * 2, Quitman, Valdosta * 6 2018-12-22

Not just Valdosta: Tifton spilled two places, and Quitman one, in the most recent rains. Those cities were not in the data available online from GA-EPD yesterday, but they are in the online data today.

But Valdosta spilled the most sewage and from the most locations: six places, not just the one Valdosta told the public. Plus we finally have a total for the previous WWTP spill, and all the others from the beginning of December, and those totals are not pretty.

Valdosta Warning Sign, Sign
Photo: Julie Bowland, of Valdosta sewage spill sign at Troupville Boat Ramp, 21 December 2018.

That Valdosta sewage spill sign is stuck loosely into a hole WWALS dug to plant our Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) signs, which someone has yet again pulled up and thrown into the river, but I digress….

Context wide, Context Maps

Tifton

First let’s look at the city people in Florida ignore: Tifton, Georgia, the second largest city in the Suwannee River Basin (that’s right: in both Georgia and Florida). Tifton had Continue reading