2020 ANNUAL REPORT, Lowndes County Impaired Streams Monitoring 2020-04-07

Some good news: “Low level mercury levels are well below acute standards at all sampling points.”

Some bad news: “fecal coliform sampling results indicated all sampling points exceeded water quality standards for the June and September sampling events.”

[Cover, Franks Creek and Mud Creek]
Cover, Franks Creek and Mud Creek

That’s in the 2020 ANNUAL REPORT from Lovell Enginnering Associates to Lowndes County for its Impaired Streams Monitoring project that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) required the county to do.

Thanks to Lowndes County Engineer Mike Fletcher for sending this report in response to a WWALS open records request. I don’t know why Lowndes County did not publish this report themselves. Maybe they did, and I just haven’t found it online yet.

Working through this data, so far it seems that Franks Creek, which comes down west of Hahira to the Little River, shows spikes in Fecal coliform after rains. Those spikes usually occur downstream of Hahira’s wastewater treatment facility.

[SUMMARY-2020]
SUMMARY-2020

This new data is only taken every quarter, with only three Fecal coliform tests in one month in each quarter. That is not frequent enough to form any definite conclusions. But it is indicative enough that more sampling would be prudent. We could use people sign up to get trained to do water quality testing in the Hahira area. Also in Berrien County and Brooks County, Georgia, and Suwannee County, Florida, and….

[Map: Vickers Branch, Hahira LAS]
Map: Vickers Branch, Hahira LAS
in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

We will add the specific datapoints to the WWALS composite spreadsheet of water quality data and see what other implications it may have for water quality monitoring and need for remediation.

Given that we’ve learned recently that Ray City had many spills that did not appear in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report, maybe it’s time to inquire of GA-EPD about Hahira, as well.

For context, see: Lowndes County, GA, Stream Monitoring and Stormwater Permit 2020-04-28.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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