Item of Concern for the Santa Fe River


7664100194 87543844c7 m In: Item of Concern for the Santa Fe River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Below is an article by WWALS about the continued contamination of the Suwannee River upstream from the mouth of the Santa Fe.  This has been an on-g0ing problem for years, and in the past has been caused by the Valdosta sewage leaks.  That problem is currently not fixed, but being worked on.  However, as noted below, this latest contamination seems to be caused by septic tanks, livestock operations and/or landfills.  This is a continuing-status situation and it is occurring upstream in an “Outstanding Florida Waterway.”

The concern is that those managing our waterways need to make sure that they are not allowed to be polluted, not just to the degree that they pose health problems, but to any degree.  The Santa Fe River lies in the Suwannee basin and is susceptible to the same influences.  It is already allowed to carry an unacceptable concentration of nitrates and now we must be wary of fecal coliform threats. (coliform bacteria photo Dennis Kunkel)Scroll

On November 23, 2015 at 09:12AM, jsq at WWALS Watershed Coalition published the following article:

Downstream from Valdosta and Tifton on the Withlacoochee River, and downstream from Fitzgerald on the Willacoochee River: room for improvement in fecal coliform,

Figure 2. Impaired Stream Segments in Suwannee River Basin

said the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in a draft report issued Friday.
The comment deadline is January 20th, 2016.
On a quick read, the various wastewater treatment plants do not seem to be the main source of the contamination.
Other likely culprits include leaking septic tanks, concentrated livestock operations, and landfills and land application sites, both closed and operating.
Also notice the proposed Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline would cross most if not all of these TMDL locations in Lowndes County.
Would drilling under the Withlacoochee River and open cuts in these areas help the TMDL problem?

Here’s the
November 20, 2015
, which includes:

Notice is hereby given that the State of Georgia has developed
proposed Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for fecal coliform for a
number of segments of rivers and streams in the Satilla and Suwannee
River Basins.

Section 303(d)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C.
1313(d)(1)(C), and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
implementing regulation, 40 C.F.R. 130.7(c)(1), require the
establishment of TMDLs for waters identified in accordance with
Section 303(d)(2)(A) of the CWA. Each TMDL is to be established at a
level necessary to implement applicable water quality standards with
seasonal variations and a margin of safety. TMDLs are proposed for
the following waters:

Satilla River Basin

Alabaha River, Hurricane Creek to Tan Trough Creek

East River, Academy Creek to Brunswick River

Otter Creek, Long Branch to Griffin Branch

Suwannee River Basin

Jumping Gully Creek, Bevel Creek to State Line

Tributary to Withlacoochee River #2, Headwaters to Withlacoochee River

Willacoochee River, Turkey Branch upstream SR90/US Hwy 319 N of Ocilla to
SR 90, SE of Ocilla

Withlacoochee River, Little River to Okapilco Creek

Withlacoochee River, New River to Bay Branch

The Satilla River is of course

Satilla Riverkeeper territory

The Suwannee River Basin in Georgia is

WWALS territory

The Notice links to
the detailed descriptions
Then the Notice continues:

Written comments are welcomed. To insure their consideration,
written comments should be received on or before 4:00 p.m., January
20, 2016. Written comments should be addressed to: Mr. Jac Capp,
Branch Chief, Watershed Protection Branch, 2 Martin Luther King Jr.
Drive, Suite 1152, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. Comments may be emailed
to [email protected] If you choose to e-mail your
comments, please be sure to include the words “TMDL
Comments” somewhere in the subject line to help ensure that
your comments will be forwarded to the correct staff.

For technical information contact Mr. Josh Welte, TMDL Modeling and
Development Unit, Watershed Planning and Monitoring Program, (404)

After a review of comments, a final decision on each of the proposed
TMDLs will
be made and the proposed TMDL will be submitted to the USEPA for approval.

Please bring the foregoing to the attention of persons whom you
believe will be
interested in this matter.

The Suwannee Draft Fecal Coliform TMDL (November 2015) is

on the state’s website
, and also
on the WWALS website.

Here’s the key table. Those are some large recommended reductions, from 70% for the Willacoochee River to 80% for Jumping Gully Creek!

Fecal Coliform Loads and Required Fecal Coliform Load Reductions
Stream Segment Current TMDL Components Percent

30 days)


30 days)


30 days)


30 days)


30 days)


30 days)

Jumping Gully Creek4.64E+12–2.91E+098.12E+119.06E+109.06E+1180 Tributary to Withlacoochee River #21.05E+12––2.48E+112.76E+102.76E+1174 Willacoochee River2.62E+141.15E+12–6.93E+137.83E+127.83E+1370 Withlacoochee River, Little River to
Okapilco Creek1.04E+131.34E+129.43E+091.06E+122.68E+112.68E+1274
Withlacoochee River, New River to
Bay Branch1.24E+141.68E+116.51E+102.90E+133.25E+123.25E+1374

Figure 2. Impaired Stream Segments in Suwannee River Basin

For where those segments are, see Figure 2:

Figure 2. Impaired Stream Segments in Suwannee River Basin

Figure 1. USGS HUCs for Suwannee River Basin

For any readers not familiar with those cities or streams, see the location map in Figure 1:

Figure 1. USGS HUCs for Suwannee River Basin

You may recognize those Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) as
the ones that define total WWALS territory in the

application to Waterkeeper to include the upper Suwannee River HUC

that Waterkeeper® Alliance accepted 15 July 2015.
Note there are no TMDL recommendations in the upper Suwannee River HUC,
and none in the Little River HUC nor on the Alapaha River proper.
All the TMDL recommendations are downstream from cities or industry.

5d20fbcced51a9f7858d5f98ac565949.jpg?zoom=1 In: Item of Concern for the Santa Fe River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida


You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Read this article at WWALS Watershed Coalition at
Posted via IFTTT

1 Comment

  1. Suwannee River Management is the one who post the alerts about Valdosta sewage leaks. Valdosta has been saying their working on for years. It should be fixed by now. You’d think a higher power would get onto Valdosta about the contamination of the river. I use to swim in the Suwannee but not now.

Back to top
Skip to content