~Wastewater overflow from Valdosta, Georgia may impact Withlacoochee River~
The Florida Department of Health today issued an advisory to residents and visitors in two counties next to the Withlacoochee River in north Florida. The city of Valdosta has reported a spill, made up of a combination of stormwater and untreated sewage that has overflowed into Knights Creek, One-Mile Branch, Two-Mile Branch and Sugar Creek, which flow into the Withlacoochee River.
Until further information is known regarding possible contamination of the river, people in the area 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 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 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 wastewater overflow, Floridians are encouraged to contact their county health department. To find contact information for your county health department, please visit www.floridahealth.gov.