The City of Valdosta has reported a spill, made up of a combination of storm water and untreated raw sewage that has overflowed into One-Mile Branch, Two-Mile Branch, Sugar Creek and Cherry Creek which flow into the Withlacoochee River.
Until further information is known regarding possible contamination of the rivers, residents are urged to take precautions when in contact with the Withlacoochee River. This includes those individuals in the counties of Hamilton and Madison.
Water contaminated by waste-water overflow presents several health hazards to humans and may contain untreated human sewage with microbes that could cause gastro-intestinal and other diseases.
Anyone who comes in contact with the river water should wash thoroughly, especially before eating or drinking. Children and older adults, as well as people with weakened immune systems, are particularly vulnerable to disease so every precaution should be taken if in contact with the river water.
For more information about the potential health effects of waste-water overflow, Floridians are encouraged to contact their local county health department.