Tag Archives: testing

Hamilton, Madison Counties Health Lift Advisory for the Withlacoochee River 2020-03-26

Received 6:57 PM 26 March 2020. For the data on which this decision was based, see Cleaner downstream with no rain 2020-03-24.

[03.26.20-Withlacoochee-River-Lifted-Hamilton-Madison-0001]
03.26.20-Withlacoochee-River-Lifted-Hamilton-Madison-0001
PDF

March 26, 2020

HEALTH OFFICIALS IN HAMILTON,
MADISON COUNTY LIFT ADVISORY FOR
THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER

Contact: Continue reading

Cleaner downstream with no rain 2020-03-24

Update 2020-03-26: Hamilton, Madison Counties Health Lift Advisory for the Withlacoochee River 2020-03-26.

Suzy Hall’s Sunday testing at State Line Boat Ramp started the good news this week.

So WWALS can continue testing, WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman just bought another case of Petrifilm, to the tune of $753.25. That’s a big buy for a tiny nonprofit such as WWALS. You can help.

[Suzy Hall retrieving test bucket at State Line Ramp 2020-03-22]
Suzy Hall retrieving test bucket at State Line Ramp 2020-03-22

The Withlacoochee River is clean this week, and even Okapilco Creek is cleaner than it sometimes is.

[Clean Sunday through Tuesday]
Clean Sunday through Tuesday
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida data, see wwals.net/issues/testing/.

At State Line Boat Ramp, Suzy Hall for WWALS, the City of Valdosta, and Madison Health all got Continue reading

Filthy Crooked Creek, clean Okapilco Creek upstream 2020-03-20

Update 2020-03-26: Cleaner downstream with no rain 2020-03-24.

Two days after rain, Crooked Creek was still filthy Friday. Some of that probably got into the Withlacoochee River. WWALS continues testing. You can help.

[Too high]
Too high
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of all known data sources see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

This is in Brooks County, Georgia.

[Crooked Creek @ Monument Church Road]
Crooked Creek @ Monument Church Road

Crooked Creek at Monument Church Road was bad enough, 1,366 cfu/100 mL E. coli, which is above the Georgia Adopt-A Stream alert level of 1,000. See also what do these numbers mean?

[Crooked Cr @ MCR]
Crooked Cr @ MCR

The stench was mostly coming from Continue reading

Again: alert water quality at Knights Ferry, Withlacoochee River 2020-03-18

2020-03-23: Filthy Crooked Creek, clean Okapilco Creek upstream 2020-03-20.

Yet again, over alert level of E. coli at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River, after elevated levels on Okapilco Creek. WWALS will be testing today. You can help.

[Okapilco Creek and Knights Ferry]
Okapilco Creek and Knights Ferry

Most of the week most of the numbers were green, for less than the 126 cfu/100 mL E. coli that Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, EPA, and FDEP recommend for longterm averages. This was in both Valdosta and Florida Department of Health (really Madison Health) testing. See also what do these numbers mean?

[Good week until Wednesday and Friday]
Good week until Wednesday and Friday
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of all known data sources see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

Until numbers started going up on Okapilco Creek Monday, March 16, 2020. The USGS gauge at US 84 on the Withlacoochee River recorded a smidgeon of rain that day. Given the prevailing weather patterns that day, with rain coming in from the west, apparently some rain fell on Brooks County before it got to the river.

I was over at Crooked Creek on Monument Church Road in Brooks County to test on Tuesday, March 17, when rain fell in a gully-washer.

[Closeup Bucket in Crooked Creek]
Closeup Bucket in Crooked Creek

That’s the fastest I’ve seen Crooked Creek, and it Continue reading

Earth Day Cleanup Postponed due to pandemic: WWALS, Georgia Power, Valdosta, and Brooks County, GA, Madison County, FL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PDF)

Earth Day Cleanup Postponed due to pandemic: WWALS, Georgia Power, Valdosta, and Brooks County, GA, Madison County, FL

Hahira, Georgia, March 4, 2020 — We are postponing the Earth Day Cleanup and Paddle previously scheduled for April 18, 2020, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River. http://wwals.net/?p=51816 The organizers, WWALS, Georgia Power, Valdosta, and Brooks County, Georgia, remain committed to holding this event in the future, as does , and Madison County, Florida. Meanwhile, WWALS plans a virtual outing by livestreaming a few people at the site on the original day, six feet apart, of course.

[WWALS and Lowndes County]
WWALS and Lowndes County signs at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp.

“At Georgia Power our focus during this challenging time is to ensure uninterrupted power so you can keep your daily life running,” said Joe Brownlee, Southwest Region Director for Georgia Power. “We are currently taking preventive measures to keep our teams healthy as spring storm season approaches. Hopefully we’ll be past this soon and can again join in fun times on the river.”

[GA Power H Rgb]
GA Power H Rgb

“The City of Valdosta remains committed to this cleanup event and its partnership with Georgia Power and our area Suwannee Riverkeeper and will work with all to find an agreeable date down the road,” said Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson.

[City of Valdosta]
City of Valdosta

“We are looking forward to a later date for this cleanup and paddle, so we can assist with promoting the event on our Brooks County FB page, and to recruit some participation to represent us,” said Jessica J. McKinney, Brooks County, Georgia, Administrator.

[Brooks County]
Brooks County

“Madison County has postponed our river cleanup until a later date,” said Madison County, Florida, Chairman Donnie Waldrep, Sr., referring to a cleanup planned for that same day in Madison County on the Withlacoochee River. He added, “I’d love to see this be an annual event.”

Madison County, Florida, Board of County Commissioners

“Joe and Scott and I already discussed on the radio last week that we probably could not do the paddle part of this event, due to the shuttle requiring crowding people into a few vehicles. http://wwals.net/?p=51877 While a cleanup might be possible by simply keeping everybody spread out, we’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Before that, we had Continue reading

A good week in Withlacoochee River water quality 2020-03-16

Update 2020-03-20: Again: alert water quality at Knights Ferry, Withlacoochee River 2020-03-18.

These results are getting much closer to what we all like to see, yet there is something worrisome.

[Clean before rain]
Clean before rain

Most of the river results for most of a week have been below the recommended longterm average of 126 cfu/100 mL of E. coli, and all have been below the problem level of 410. None of them even approached the 1,000 alert level, much less the too-frequently-seen TNTC. See also what do these numbers mean?

Yet this is worrisome. Yesterday as 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

Much better water quality: Withlacoochee River, Okapilco Creek 2020-03-11

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

No rain for a week (since March 5th) meant not much E. coli washed into creeks and rivers.

WWALS is testing upstream this weekend. You can help.

[Composite table]
WWALS Composite table
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of data from Georgia and Florida sources, see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

Apparently the high numbers WWALS saw on Crooked Creek Saturday a week ago (March 7th) washed on down through Okapilco Creek and Brooks County to the Withlacoochee River by Monday. Apparently that contamination got diluted pretty quickly by all that rainwater coming down from as far north as Tifton.

The most recent numbers we have are Valdosta’s for Wednesday, March 11, 2020, with Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps only slightly above the longterm desired limit of 126 cfu/100 mL E. coli, and below that upstream.

Madison Health tested Tuesday, and got actually slightly lower (135.4) at State Line, and below 126 at CR 150 (Sullivan Launch) and FL 6 (upstream from Madison Blue Spring).

Nobody tested downstream from there in the past week. Nobody knows whether any of the most recent contamination reached the Suwannee River.

[Quitman and Valdosta to Suwannee River]
Quitman and Valdosta to Suwannee River
In the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

The USGS gauges upstream from US 84 peaked days ago, and the US 84 (Quitman) gauge is coming down now, soon to be Continue reading

Bad Withlacoochee Friday, Worse Crooked Creek Saturday 2020-03-07

Update 2020-03-13: Video: Earth Day Cleanup and Paddle –Suwannee Riverkeeper & Georgia Power on Scott James Radio 2020-03-12.

Valdosta’s Friday Withlacoochee River Knights Ferry results were bad enough, but the WWALS Crooked Creek Sunday results were even worse. Crooked Creek is upstream of Okapilco Creek and Knights Ferry.

[Withlacoochee, Okapilco, Crooked Creek 2020-03-07]
Withlacoochee, Okapilco, Crooked Creek 2020-03-07
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of data from Georgia and Florida sources, see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

We have no new results from Florida since the Madison Health TNTC Thursday results.

A useful thing about the Valdosta results is you can see that the E. coli readings are very high starting at Knights Ferry, but not upstream. So this is not coming from Valdosta. WWALS continues testing and nwrrowing the sources of this contamination. You can help.

Continue reading

Too Numerous To Count: E. coli, Madison County, Withlacoochee River 2020-03-05

Update 2020-03-09: Bad Withlacoochee Friday, Worse Crooked Creek Saturday 2020-03-07.

Update 2020-03-08: Plus Valdosta Wednesday data, which shows contamination rising in Okapilco Creek in Brooks County, Georgia. Valdosta promises their Friday data Monday. WWALS is testing this weekend.

Madison Health tested Thursday, and found TNTC, so we know all that rain in Georgia washed something nasty into Florida. That’s Too Numerous To Count, which is a technical term for so many colonies of E. coli bacteria on the test medium that you can’t count it. See also what do these numbers mean? What is it? We have some clues.

[Plus Valdosta Wednesday data]
Plus Valdosta Wednesday data
* indicates too wet to test.
For the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of all known data sources and context, see http://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

That contamination is moving downriver. We don’t know how far yet, because the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) so far as we know has not tested. Maybe Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) has. We’ll know in a few days.

And maybe by Monday Valdosta will post their Wednesday and Friday results from this week. Update 2020-03-08: Valdosta Wednesday data is in the updated table above.

WWALS is testing upstream this weekend. You can help.

Continue reading