Officials were out at the Kinchafoonee on Monday to test the waters after the area finally received heavy rainfall. (Source: WALB)
Lee County is mandated to do water testing twice a year in their creeks, but had to wait for rain to do it. (Source: WALB)
Lee County Code Enforcement Officer Jim Wright (Source: WALB)
Geologist Landon Woodall (Source: WALB)
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -
One year ago, Lee County's creeks were overflowing their banks, and there was considerable flooding. Now, the recent rain is helping the creeks recover from months of drought.
And the rain also helped county officials do their water monitoring.
Lee County is mandated to do water testing twice a year in their creeks, but had to wait for rain to do it.
So on Monday, officials were taking advantage of Sunday night's rain.
Lee County Code Enforcement Officer Jim Wright and Geologist Landon Woodall took measurements on the width, depth and speed of the Kinchafoonee Creek Monday morning.
It was much different than what it would have been one year ago.
"Well, one year ago, where I'm standing at right now, it would have been over my head," explained Wright.
But now the Creek is low, after more than 60 days without rain.
The EPD requires counties to test surface water twice a year after a significant rain, so officials have been waiting for a day like the one south Georgia has on Sunday.
"It judges the water quality. It gives us an idea of whether or not there is any contamination coming off any tributaries into the creek," said Woodall. "Or if there is any outfalls that may have contaminants."
Lee County officials said that it's important to keep check on the quality, because they have seen an increase in people using the creek for recreation.
"Whether it's canoeing, kayaking, fishing or whatever," said Wright. "So yes, it's very important to know our water is clean."
Samples were taken that were checked on the bank, and then will be sent to a lab for further testing.
The pH conductivity, and other parameters will be judged.
Experts said that the recent drought will probably help the Kinchafoonee be cleaner for testing.
"Actually, the water clarity can improve when you have a lack of rain. And a lot of these contaminants may not exist through run off," explained Woodall.
And that is good news for south Georgians, who live on the creeks or use them for recreation.
Experts said the water quality in the Kinchafoonee will not have a lot of effect on homeowner's wells along the creek, unless there is flooding.