Georgia's Withlacoochee River has received a grant to study and monitor contaminated water
The Georgia Power Foundation provided a grant to WWALS Watershed Coalition Inc. to clean up Georgia's Withlacoochee River.
The WWALS will buy more water quality testing kits and supplies with the funds, according to the Albany Herald. With the testing, it will be easier to determine whether fixes such as fencing cattle away from waterways are actually working to improve water quality. The goal is to indicate when the waterways are contaminated and help identify contamination sources.
“Please accept our most sincere thanks for your recognition and support of WWALS Watershed Coalition and our work for clean, fishable, swimmable, boatable water,” said WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman in a news release. “We look forward to a productive water quality testing program this year.”
According to Georgia Power Southwest Region Director Joe Brownlee, another goal is to educate the people of Georgia about that state’s natural resources. Brownlee adds that in coordination with the city of Valdosta, the test results will be published.
Officials involved in the water testing program said the funding will be beneficial in securing needed materials.
“The response of the Georgia Power grant and Mr. Brownlee’s comments are quite touching due to the recognition of how difficult it is for a volunteer organization to do biological water testing over a huge area,” said WWALS President Tom H. Johnson Jr. said. “The grant enables regular testing that can pinpoint multi source pollution, which requires a varied response. It’s quite gratifying that both individuals and large companies realize this is a complex situation.”
Several testers are already trained and waiting for testing kits, reported WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall. They can buy enough kits to train new testers with physical distancing even during the virus pandemic as well.
Persons involved in the cleanup said new materials are vital to continue testing.