Tag Archives: Tifton

Moultrie rain washed E. coli down Okapilco Creek; good now 2020-08-13

Update 2020-08-18: Good upstream water quality, Little, Withlacoochee, Okapilco, worst Crooked Creek @ 2020-08-16

The Withlacoochee River looks good for boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend, according to the latest water quality testing results, despite a contamination incident earlier this week.

[Chart and Map]
Chart and Map

More than an inch of rain at Moultrie Monday washed E. coli down Okapilco River (as they call it in Colquitt County) and Wednesday Valdosta got very bad 2,800 cfu/100 mL E. coli on Okapilco Creek @ US 84 in Brooks County, and bad 400 on the Withlacoochee River @ Knights Ferry Boat Ramp in Lowndes County. See What do these numbers mean?

Yet downstream at Nankin Boat Ramp and State Line was good Wednesday according to Valdosta, and also good Tuesday and Thursday at State Line, CR 150, and FL 6 according to Madison Health, in data updated online by FDEP early afternoon Friday. WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach also got very good results Thursday at Knights Ferry and State Line.

[2020-08-10-14--betterdown]
2020-08-10-14–betterdown
For context and the complete WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida bacterial test results and rainfall, see: http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

So I’ve marked all Withlacoochee River “beaches” green on Swim Guide.

However, once again there was heavy rain at Moultrie, this time on Friday, so don’t be surprised if E. coli shows up on Monday or even Saturday on Okapilco Creek @ US 84 or Withlacoochee River @ Knights Ferry.

Meanwhile, heavy rains at Tifton way upstream on the Little River should be Continue reading

Clean weekend 2020-05-17

Update 2020-05-22: Good Withlacoochee River water quality 2020-05-20.

Update 2020-05-21: Three Little River Landings in Swim Guide 2020-05-21.

As clean as we’ve ever seen, this last weekend, on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers.

This is from WWALS water quality testing. You can help.

Also note it is raining now in Georgia, and Tifton already got an inch of rain. So something will be coming down the rivers in the next few days. We shall see what.

[Russell Allen McBride recognizing Frank Gay, 10:08:19]
Russell Allen McBride recognizing Frank Gay, at Cook County Boat Ramp, Little River @ GA 76, 2020-05-16

We also have data from Madison Health for last Thursday, May 14, 2020, with 10 cfu/100 mL E. coli at the state line, and zero (0) at CR 150 (Sullivan Launch) and at FL 6 (just above Madison Blue Spring). Continue reading

More testing needed to track river pollution –Suwannee Riverkeeper in Gainesville Sun 2020-03-16

Gainesville Sun, 12:01 AM, Monday, March 16, 2020, John S. Quarterman: More testing needed to track river pollution (see also PDF),

Fecal bacterial contamination from Georgia probably reached the Gulf of Mexico about March 3, 2020, according to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).

[Tifton to the Gulf]
Tifton to the Gulf
In the WWALS map of all public landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

The good news: we know about that, because of much more water quality monitoring being done since I wrote a column about the issue last year for The Sun.

This recent testing was provoked by a spill of 7.5 million gallons of raw sewage into Sugar Creek near Valdosta, Ga., in December. With no rain, the sewage sat there for a week, and then moved down the Withlacoochee River in about three weekly globs, at least once reaching the Suwannee.

This Valentine’s Day, Valdosta exceeded our request, testing not one but Continue reading

Not good: Withlacoochee River & Okapilco Creek 2020-02-11

Update 2020-02-18: Withlacoochee still not clean Thursday but not alarming in Florida results 2020-02-13.

Update 2020-02-14: Fixed typo; apparently FDOH tests were collected Monday, February 10, 2020.

Lowndes County’s upstream results for Tuesday, February 11, 2020, are as bad at US 84 as FDOH’s result at CR 150 (Sullivan Launch) the previous day.

Yes, Okapilco Creek downstream of US 84 is especially bad. But Okapilco Creek has more E. coli than anyone would like upstream at GA 76, too. And no, Valdosta is still not off the hook.

We still need to find out where all this contamination is coming from. You can help.

[Not Good Results 2020-02-11]
Not Good Results 2020-02-11
Thanks to Lowndes County Chairman Bill SLaughter for these Tuesday results, which are on the WWALS website, along with the full WWALS composite result table going back to December 10, 2019.

These results are much different from Lowndes County’s tests of Wednesday, February 5. There’s been no rain to speak of since last Thursday, February 6, five days before these recent Tuesday tests, so what’s going on?

[Quitman Gauge (US 84)]
Quitman Gauge (US 84)

Rain upstream is washing something downstream.

[Rain the week before]
Rain the week before

Much of that rain fell upstream and is still coming downstream. More than an inch fell that Thursday at the Continue reading

WWALS Advisory Committee 2019-05-11

On May 11, we met to organize the WWALS Advisory Committee. Agriculture, Forestry, and Water were big topics. Thanks to Joe West, Assistant Dean of the Campus at the University of Georgia, Tifton, for many good suggestions of Committee members, and the use of his office for the meeting.

Hard at thought, Advisory Committee
Photo: John S. Quarterman, of Advisory Committee Chair Dave Hetzel, WWALS Board Delegate Bret Wagenhorst, Committee Member UGA Tifton Asst. Dean Joe West, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman (hat).

We will meet there again on Thursday, June 13, 2019. If you would like to be a WWALS Advisor, helping us out with advocacy, events, legislation, and yes, undraising, let us know. See our Vision, Mission, Goals, Issues, Outings and Events, and Fundraising. Don’t worry: nobody has to try to do all that. Advisors can specialize.

Here Joe West looks out of his office window at the Centennial Garden, which was dedicated one week before, at his suggestion. 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

Tifton: Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council 2019-04-24

Received Friday, this Meeting Notice:

Counties, Region

Announcement Date: March 1, 2019
TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS AND PARTIES:

The Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council
will hold a council meeting at the following date, time and location:

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Registration: 10:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.

Meeting: 10:30 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.

41 AND Main
343 Main St. S,
Tifton, GA 31794

For additional information 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

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

Rochelle details, and Tifton spills at Agrirama Lift Station 2019-01-15

Tifton, and any other cities: if you keep spilling from the same place whenever there’s a big rain, maybe it’s not the rain that’s excessive. Maybe your sewage infrastructure is inadequate and you should fix it.

Map: Agrirama Lake, Spills
One day a week ago GA-EPD included latitude and longitude in the spreadsheet, with this for Tifton’s Agrirama Lake Lift Station: 31.464770, -83.530532, shown here on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

In yesterday’s GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report we have a little more detail on the 300-gallon Rochelle, GA spill: Continue reading