Water Quality Testing

Context

WWALS Water Quality Testing Program

You can help WWALS test water quality by donating to our water quality testing program.

[Suzy with a Petrifilm]
Suzy Hall with a Petrifilm.
Each bacterial test costs $6 for Petrifilms alone.
WWALS is spending about $40 a day on Petrifilms after the record Valdosta spill.

Beyond sewage spills (which come from more than one place), something else is getting into our springs, rivers, and wells, nitrates from fertilizer, maybe livestock, wildlife, domestic pets, or septic tanks. We want to know when, where, and what, so maybe we can do something about it.

And when there is a spill, the testing required by the permits is very limited, so we want to follow up spills and find out how far they went and what they affected.

So WWALS has started a Water Quality Testing Program.

Sign up to help test

[Want the brown flakes to dissolve]
Want the brown flakes to dissolve: Sara Jay testing at Troupville Boat Ramp 2019-01-06.

Test Results

Early test results directly related to Valdosta sewage spills are on the Valdosta Spills web page.

But that’s not the only source of stream contamination. It turns out most of the contamination comes from manure runoff. Most of our recent WWALS blog posts about testing results are here.

Update 2021 Results for calendar year 2021. See also 2021–WWALS composite spreadsheet of GA-FL water quality, Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Suwannee Rivers.

Update 2020-02-11 New problems, February 2020 through December 2020. See also 2019-2020–WWALS composite spreadsheet of GA-FL water quality, Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Suwannee Rivers.

Earlier reports in this series are in the separate web page Valdosta Spills.

Older Test Results

We have collected quite a bit of background water quality test data from Georgia, from Tifton, Lowndes County, and Valdosta. For these older test results, the raw Valdosta data is on the WWALS website.

2018 Valdosta weekly testing data

WWALS used to file a Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request weekly with Valdosta, and usually getting back on Friday Valdosta’s river testing data from the preceding Wednesday. Here are the recent weeks of that data, in the format they sent and visible below.

Yes, we have suggested to Valdosta that they could put their spreadsheet online just as easily as we can.

And now Valdosta does that; see above.

[gdoc key=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1C1DwgE2AIY8SCJUwzqyy4eMQQagvHUM7f_gElUrYYoE/edit?usp=sharing” datatables_ordering=”false”]

Maps

Much of that quality data, along with spill reports, is in this this map in Water Reporter. Eventually we hope to put much of it into Georgia Adopt-A-Stream; there’s some further training to do first.