Tag Archives: creeks

Tifton Sewage Spills 2021-02-16

Update 2021-02-26: And more Tifton spills, two days later; Tifton Spills, Little River, New River 2021-02-18.

Update 2021-02-21: Nothing obvious related to the Tifton spills in downstream testing; see Clean downstream Friday Withlacoochee River 2021-02-19.

The City of Tifton spilled three places, for a total of 35,500 gallons of raw sewage, Sunday and Tuesday, February 14 and 16, 2021. Why? “Wet weather.” It’s true that an inch of rain fell on Tifton Saturday, an inch and a half Sunday, and almost another inch Tuesday.

Any spill is too many. However, these were all so far upstream that probably will not show up in any of the downstream water quality testing currently going on. It would be good to get some testing on the Little River between Tifton and Reed Bingham State Park to see if Tifton Spills reach that park.

[Spills, Locations]
Spills, Locations

One spill location was repeated: Agrirama Lake, which drains into the Little River. Tifton previously spilled there in 2015, 2016, and 2018. See Continue reading

WWALS Training for water quality testing, Drexel Park, Onemile Branch, Valdosta, GA 2021-02-13

Most of the testing training last Saturday was online via videos and zoom, but there was a practice segment on Onemile Branch in Drexel Park in Valdosta. WWALS trainer Gretchen Quarterman plated a sample from that creek and found it surprisingly good, unlike what we usually get there.

All pictures by Gretchen Quarterman. Click on any small image to see a larger one.

At the creek

[Onemile Branch]
Onemile Branch

Bobby McKenzie was among those getting recertified, as is required by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) each year. Continue reading

Spook Bridge, Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line: all good, Withlacoochee River 2021-01-31

Update 2020-02-06: Clean Forty Miles, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-04.

All my Sunday tests, from Spook Bridge (just below US 84) to State Line, were good, well below the 410 cfu/100 mL one-time E. coli limit. Spook Bridge and State Line were below the 126 average limit. But there are two catches: rain and downstream. So I wouldn’t go boating, swimming, or fishing until I see more test results. The Madison and Hamilton Health bacterial advisory is still in effect, and will probably remain so until they see two sets of clean Florida tests.

[Chart, Plates, River, Swim Guide]
Chart, Plates, River, Swim Guide

The catch: the contamination Suzy Hall’s Sunday WWALS test still showed Saturday at State Line must have washed downstream. We have no new tests from Madison Health yet. They probably tested today (Tuesday), so maybe we’ll get those tomorrow. Continue reading

Very bad, health advisory, Withlacoochee River 2021-01-28

Update 2021-02-01: Bad State Line, Withlacoochee River 2021-01-30.

Best avoid the Withlacoochee River for a few days. It rained more Wednesday than last Friday, and this time something definitely washed into the river, confirmed Thursday by both WWALS testers Josh and Angela Duncan and by Madison Health, published by FDEP. Madison and Hamilton Health have published a health advisory for the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, plate, advisory, Swim Guide map]
Chart, plate, advisory, Swim Guide map

Given that more rain is expected Sunday, it might be prudent to stay off the river until sunny next week. Continue reading

Withlacoochee advisory lifted; more FDEP DNA marker and chemical tracer data 2021-01-12

Update 2021-01-21: Clean Withlacoochee 2020-01-14 and Suwannee River tests 2021-01-18.

It’s lifted: the bacterial advisory from Madison and Hamilton Health Departments, because of two successive good sets of results from Madison Health on the Withlacoochee River, the lastest for Tuesday. And Valdosta got good results upstream for Monday. All of which corroborates the Thursday Madison Health, Friday Valdosta, and Saturday WWALS results.

[Lifted, Chart, Markers, Map]
Lifted, Chart, Markers, Map

We also have more DNA marker data from FDEP, for Wednesday, January 6, 2021, which shows continued high ruminant DNA marker results on the Withlacoochee River, this time for Horn Bridge at the State Line, plus CR 150 at Sullivan Launch, and FL 6 just above Madison Blue Spring. Plus some clarifications of what I wrote in the previous blog post.

Before we get into all that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing on the Withlacoochee River! Continue reading

History of Cone Bridge and the Cone family –Dr. Ken Sulak 2020-12-31

A Cone family member asked about the history of Cone Bridge on the Suwannee River. Dr. Ken Sulak writes:

I have been working on writing up the Cone story—on and off over recent months. What I sent is a hodge-podge from various sources. Much yet to be compared and validated and compiled in organized fashion—as best as that can be. However, feel free to send along whatever you wish to your members. But, I would add a caveat that this is a preliminary and partial.

Here is his preliminary and partial Cone Bridge story so far, with a few notes by me:

[Andrew Cone Godwin, Blount's Ferry, Piers of Old Cone Bridge, Suwannee River]
Andrew Cone Godwin, Blount’s Ferry, Piers of Old Cone Bridge, Suwannee River

Part 1

Well, I very rarely go exploring in a group—almost always solo hiking or paddling, unless I go with one or another friends. However, I have been to the old Cone Bridge site several times. I have a great deal of information on the Cone family. Here is a bit of it:

The Cone clan came to Florida in the early 1840s. They and you are descended from royalty.

The Cones were descended from Conn of the Hundred Battles, the first high king of Ireland in the second century AD. Conn was a powerful king who ruled over northern Ireland and Scotland. Variations in the family name over time are as follows:

Conn = Mac Con = MacHone = MacCone = McCone = Cone family lineage to Virginia in the early 1600s, eventually to Florida in early 1840s, 6 generations later: Conn of the Hundred Battles. Second Century AD, First High King of Ireland

Then I have not gotten into the lineage in Ireland/Scotland until Sir Archibald MacHone, Strathclyde, Scotland 1542-1583. He was the earliest direct progenitor of the Florida Cone lineage. An in that lineage Jared MacCone, Midlothian, Scotland 1675-1659.

And Neil MacCone, Scotland b1625, who immigrated to Isle of Wight, Va, d1679 — [IMMIGRANT TO BRITISH COLONIAL AMERICA] Gen 1.

The first Cone to come to Florida was William Henry Cone Jr. 1777-1857, who moved from Georgia to Blount’s Ferry, Florida, on the Suwannee River, about a mile south of the GA/FL border. He was also known as William Cone III and also Capt. William ‘Billy’ Cone. He got the Captain salutation from service in the war of 1812. He was active in the GA and FL militia during the Seminole Wars and built a blockade at Blount’s Ferry. He took over operation of the ferry in 1843 and 1844, and was postmaster there in 1845.

His descendant, William Haddock Cone 1825-1886 & his nephew Daniel Newnan Cone Jr. 1841-1919, built the original Cone Bridge—which was undoubtedly a timber wagon bridge. It was built in 1881, 17 years before the invention of Lally columns—steel cylinders filled with concrete and used to support steel bridges. Steel truss bridges began to be built in the late 1890s. Continue reading

Sewage Spills: Quitman, Valdosta, Tifton 2021-01-03

Update 2021-01-06: Bad up and down: Withlacoochee River 2021-01-05.

Tifton spilled raw sewage three times over the weekend, all into the New River, upstream of the Withlacoochee River. As already reported, Valdosta spilled into Knights Creek, which goes into Mud Swamp Creek, the Alapahoochee River, and the Alapaha River just above Sasser Landing. We have no water quality data downstream of any of those spills.

Plus Quitman finally reported a spill from more than a week ago, but downstream water quality on the Withlacoochee River the next day was actually better than the day before.

However, the big rains in between drove plenty of contamination, probably mostly cow, pig, and horse manure, into the Withlacoochee, with even Madison Health showing too-high E. coli at State Line for December 29, 2020.

The even bigger rains this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday probably have done the same.

So I’d recommend avoiding not just the Withlacoochee River, but also the Alapaha River for a few days, until better test results come in.

[Spills and little data]
Spills and little data

The one recent datapoint we have is WWALS tester Tasha Ekman LaFace’s record-high for that location 1,333 cfu/100 mL E. coli at Naylor Park Beach on the Alapaha River, just upstream from US 84. But that can’t be from the Valdosta sewage spill, since Naylor Beach is way upstream of the Alapahoochee River Confluence with the Alapaha River. However, Naylor Beach is not a long way downstream from Lakeland, so it will be interesting if we hear about any spills from there. Continue reading

Valdosta data: Quitman sewage spill, Okapilco Creek, Withlacoochee River

Update 2020-12-19: Bad Knights Ferry Thursday, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-17.

Valdosta’s downstream test results show the Withlacoochee River still clean on the day of the Quitman sewage spill, Wednesday, December 9, and on that Friday and Monday, just as Madison Health and WWALS results showed for the Friday.

[Clean downstream, and likely spill sites]
Clean downstream, and likely spill sites

Valdosta did show quite high E. coli on Okapilco Creek at US 84 for the Friday, higher than WWALS saw on the Saturday.

If the spill location really was the South Highland Road Lift Station, maybe it took a few days for the contamination to ooze Okapilco Creek. Continue reading

Big sewage spill, Quitman, GA, also bad downstream previous week, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-09

Update 2020-12-16: Valdosta data: Quitman sewage spill, Okapilco Creek, Withlacoochee River

Quitman had a 125,000-gallon raw sewage spell Wednesday, December 9, 2020, appearing five days leter in yesterday’s GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. That’s larger than the 87,000-gallon Quitman spill of 2020-04-24, when Valdosta’s downstream results that same day showed 6,000 cfu/100 mL E. coli on Okapilco Creek, KF 15,000, Nankin 5,200, State Line 1,000; remember the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream alert limit is 1,000. We have reason to believe that April spill travelled all the way to the Gulf.

In the data we have at the moment, astonishingly this recent Wednesday spill does not seem to have affected the Withlacoochee River, much less the Suwannee River. However, we are still awaiting Wednesday and Friday data from Valdosta.

[Quitman, lift station, Okapilco Creek, Withlacoochee River]
Quitman, lift station, Okapilco Creek, Withlacoochee River

Here’s the report, as highlighted by WWALS automated software: Continue reading

Still clean Withlacoochee River 2020-12-12

Update 2020-12-19: Bad Knights Ferry Thursday, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-17.

Update 2020-12-15: Big sewage spill, Quitman, GA, also bad downstream previous week, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-09.

As near as we can tell, the Withlacoochee River was still clean this weekend. With very little rain, it will probably stay that way for awhile.

[Chart, Plates, Map]
Chart, Plates, Map

FDEP today posted results for Thursday from Madison Health that corroborated Continue reading