The Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued an advisory to residents in counties, including Madison County, surrounding the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers this past week after the City of Valdosta, Ga., reported a spill, made up of a combination of storm water and partially treated sewage that has overflowed into the Withlacoochee River. The Withlacoochee flows south and connects with the Suwannee River. According to the Suwannee River Water Management District, water samples came back negative and there appears to be no contaminants in the water. Water contaminated by wastewater 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 contaminated 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 wastewater overflow, Floridians are encouraged to contact their local county health department. To find contact information for your county health department, please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/ .