Tag Archives: Okapilco Creek

Not looking good, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-16

Update 2021-02-21: Clean downstream Friday Withlacoochee River 2021-02-19.

As usual, heavy rains washed contamination into the Withlacoochee River, first detected by Madison Health Tuesday at State Line and FL 6, although oddly Sullivan Launch @ CR 150 was within the one-time sample limit for E. coli.

[Chart, Gauges, Swim Guide map]
Chart, Gauges, Swim Guide map

The good news: with so much rain, the contamination will probably be diluted and washed downstream rapidly.

The bad news: more rain likely coming. And there’s more cattle manure that can wash down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River. Plus with the Withlacoochee River rising in Valdosta, and more rain falling on Valdosta and Quitman, will we see manhole sewage spills?

We hope to have WWALS results for today ready by tomorrow (Friday), and most likely FDEP will publish Madison Health results, as well. Possibly even Valdosta will publish their Wednesday results by Friday.

We also have a surprising spot check in Drexel Park, and Valdosta’s last week results, which fit with the Madison Health and WWALS results. Continue reading

Better, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-12

Update 2021-02-18: Not looking good, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-16.

WWALS samples Friday for Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps were all well below the 410 one-time E. coli limit. So State Line was way below what Madison Health got for Thursday. I’m happy to have guessed wrong. So far as the most recent data we have, the Withlacoochee River is good to boat, swim, and fish at least as far as the GA-FL line.

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

But remember, it rained again today upstream. And there’s probably more manure that can be washed down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading

Very bad, GA-FL line and downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-11

Update 2021-02-13: Better, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-12.

I’d avoid the Withlacoochee River for a few days if I were you. Apparently the Tuesday rains did wash more manure out of Brooks and Colquitt Counties down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River.

Valdosta’s Wednesday results upstream of Okapilco Creek were only slightly elevated, but Madison Health’s Thursday downstream results were very high. The WWALS Thursday samples had a technical glitch, so we don’t know about Knights Ferry or Nankin Boat Ramps, but they were probably pretty bad. We hope to have Friday results soon.

Meanwhile, I would not want to get that river water on me until the upstream rainwater dilutes and washes down the contamination, which will probably take a few days. Unless, of course, it rains harder and washes more in.

[Chart, Swim Guide map]
Chart, Swim Guide map

Yesterday afternoon FDEP posted Madison Health results for Thursday, February 11, 2021, and they were very bad: Continue reading

Advisory lifted, Withlacoochee River, but big rains Tuesday 2021-02-09

Update 2021-02-13: Very bad, GA-FL line and downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-11.

Madison and Hamilton Health on February 10th lifted their bacterial advisory of January 18th for the Withlacoochee River, due to good Florida water quality results for Tuesday. But there were big rains Tuesday, so conditions may have already changed, and not for the better.

[Chart, Lifted, Swim Guide]
Chart, Lifted, Swim Guide

This was after Madison Health got clean results Tuesday (yellow highlights), matching clean results last Thursday, at the GA-FL line, Sullivan Launch, and FL 6. 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

Training: Water Quality Testing, All, mostly online, 2021-02-13

Update 2021-02-18: Pictures.

Chemical and Bacteriological water testing training for Georgia Adopt-A-Stream standards by our local trainers.

If you’d like to get trained and do testing for WWALS, please fill out this form:
https://forms.gle/DzWvJuXqTQi12N6v7

Yes, training is difficult in this pandemic situation, but Georgia Adopt-A-Stream has worked out methods, mostly online. With last year’s generous grant from Georgia Power WWALS has purchased enough testing kits so that trainees can have one to use during the training.

[Kit]
Kit

In the form, remember to say where you can test. We need testers pretty much everywhere: 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

Bad Knights Ferry and Nankin, Christmas Day, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-25

Update 2020-12-29: Bad Nankin, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-28.

Merry Christmas, although this isn’t a preseent anybody would want. Michael and Jacob Bachrach tested Friday after Thursday’s rains, and got really bad results at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp and bad enough at Nankin on the Withlacoochee River. State Line Boat Ramp has probably gotten the contamination washed down there by now, and into Florida.

Meanwhile, last we heard from Valdosta, both US 41 and GA 133 had bad results for Monday after rain last Sunday.

We do have some good results from the Suwannee and Alapaha Rivers from before the Thursday rain. Since there is much less manure upstream on those rivers, chances are they stayed cleaner after the storm, but we have no more recent test results for those.

[Bad water quality, Withlacoochee River]
Bad water quality, Withlacoochee River

The Bachrachs did try to count the E. coli colonies on the Knights Ferry plates, and the result would have been more than 8,000 cfu/100 mL, way above the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream alert limit of 1,000. Yet when the plate background turns purple like that, AAS says to call it TNTC for Too Many to Count. I’d avoid that water. Continue reading

Bad Knights Ferry Thursday, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-17

Update 2020-12-23: Watch out: contamination washing downstream, Withlacoochee River 2020-12-21.

This is not the best weekend for boating, fishing, swimming on the Withlacoochee River, considering the very high E. coli results at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp for Thursday by WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach.

[Rain, Bad Knights Ferry, Swim Guide]
Rain, Bad Knights Ferry, Swim Guide

Apparently the rains Wednesday washed something into the river. Quite likely down Okapilco Creek from Brooks County, Georgia. Whatever it is, it’s likely to continue downstream. Continue reading