Florala State Park Swimming Area

Florala, Alabama

Photo by: Dylan Neild

Samples collected on May 15, 2017 had E. coli numbers below 17/100 mL. It was also significant that no water fowl were observed in or near the swimming areas and there were no signs in the water such as feathers. It is not known whether this results from control measures or whether the waterfowl were just elsewhere on the lake because fewer people have been in the area.

SAMPLES COLLECTED ON MAY 16, June 26 and July 17, 2016 and OBSERVATIONS SHOWED VERY LOW E. coli AND NOTABLY, NO WATERFOWL WERE OBSERVED AND NO OBVIOUS SIGNS OF WATERFOWL (FEATHERS OR DROPPINGS WERE OBSERVED on May 16 and on June 26 and July 17 waterfowl numbers were much lower than in 2015 but there were waterfowl present. CHOCTAWHATCHEE RIVERKEEPER WILL TEST THESE BEACHES AT LEAST ONCE BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY.

UNLESS WATERFOWL RETURN OR ADDITIONAL TESTING AND OBSERVATIONS SHOW UNEXPECTED SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION THE BEACHES AT LAKE JACKSON IN FLORALA SHOULD HAVE SAFE BACTERIA LEVELS.

END 2015 - START 2016 ABOVE.

SAMPLES COLLECTED ON SEPTEMBER 2ND 2015 WERE ALL BELOW THE STANDARD FOR DESIGNATED BEACHES. HOWEVER PEOPLE WERE OBSERVED FEEDING WATERFOWL AND WATER FOWL WERE SWIMMING BACK AND FORTH ALONG THE BEACH AREAS SEEKING FOOD FROM PEOPLE. FOR THAT REASON THE SPECIAL YELLOW (CAUTION) STATUS REMAINS IN PLACE!

SAMPLES COLLECTED ON AUGUST 27TH FOUND E. COLI SLIGHTLY (150 E. coli per 100 mL) BELOW THE USE EPA BEACH ACTION LEVEL (190 E. coli per 100 mL) AND BELOW THE SINGLE SAMPLE STANDARD FOR A DESIGNATED SWIMMING AREA (235 E. coli per 100 mL) AT ONE OF THE THREE BEACH LOCATIONS. THERE WERE STILL WATERFOWL IN THE VICINITY OF THAT BEACH AND THEIR BEHAVIOR INDICATED THAT THEY ARE STILL BEING FED. E. COLI LEVELS SHOULD BE EXPECTED TO SPIKE WHEN THERE IS A RAINFALL/RUNOFF EVENT AT THE SITE. SAMPLING WILL BE PERFORMED AGAIN BEFORE THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

FOR THIS REASON THE SPECIAL YELLOW DESIGNATION INDICATING CAUTION SHOULD BE TAKEN AFTER RAINFALL/RUNOFF EVENTS WILL REMAIN POSTED FOR THESE BEACHES.

THE BEACHES AT LAKE JACKSON STATE PARK USUALLY SHOULD BE LISTED AS GREEN/OPEN. HOWEVER, RECENT SAMPLING IMMEDIATELY AFTER A RAINSTORM ON JUNE 30TH INDICATED CONTAMINATION AT ONE OF THE BEACHES.

ON JUNE 30TH THE E. COLI LEVEL EAST OF THE PIER NEXT TO THE MAIN SWIMMING AREA WAS 1200/100 ML. In 2014 E. COLI LEVELS AT THE BEACHES EXCEEDED OR CAME VERY CLOSE TO THE SINGLE SAMPLE CRITERIA FOR A DESIGNATED BEACH MULTIPLE TIMES IN 2013 - 2014:

MAIN BEACH WEST OF PIER: 06/27/2013 - 267, 06/21/2014 - 217, 07/26/2014 - 250,
BEACH AREA EAST OF PIER: 06/21/2014 - 2467, 07/26/2014 - 367, 08/28/2014 - 250,
SMALLER BEACH FURTHER TO EAST: 07/26/2014 - 717, 08/10/2014 - 233, 08/28/2014 - 167

THESE BEACH AREAS HAVE A HISTORY OF BACTERIOLOGICAL CONTAMINATION AS INDICATED BY ELEVATED E. COLI. THE SOURCE IS ALMOST CERTAINLY WATERFOWL AND UNTIL FEEDING OF WATERFOWL IS CONTROLLED AND WATERFOWL NUMBERS ARE REDUCED, THERE IS A GOOD PROBABILITY THAT THERE WILL BE BACTERIOLOGICAL CONTAMINATION FOLLOWING RAINFALL RUNOFF EVENTS.

THE BEACHES ARE MARKED YELLOW TOO CATCH FOLKS ATTENTION AND INDICATE THAT THERE CAN BE ELEVATED BACTERIA LEVELS FOR 24 TO 48 HOURS AFTER A RAINFALL/RUNOFF EVENT.

*****NO ELEVATED BACTERIA LEVELS HAVE BEEN FOUND IN 2015 AT THE MAIN BEACH
AREA (THE AREA TO THE WEST OF THE PIER).*****

ELEVATED BACTERIA LEVELS WERE FOUND TO THE EAST OF THE PIER WHERE RUNOFF FROM PARKING LOTS AND OTHER UPHILL AREAS IS DISCHARGED TO THE LAKE. SLIGHTLY ELEVATED BACTERIA LEVELS WERE OBSERVED IN SAMPLES TAKEN FROM THE SMALLER BEACH ABOUT 1/2 MILE TO THE EAST OF THE MAIN BEACH.

This is a beach with moderate to heavy use. Historical data for the site is available at the Alabama Water Watch website http://www.alabamawaterwatch.org/ using the Site Code 04007032. Recently two additional site codes, 04007110 and 04007111 have been added for beaches/beach areas immediately adjacent to the east of the sampling site code 04007032 (04007010) and down the road further to the east (04007111).

The initial 2015 bacteria sampling of these beaches for 2015 was performed on May 13th. Results are in - E. coli levels were very low (zero at one beach and 17 E. coli/100 milliliters (mL) at the other two. This is well below the water quality standard for designated swimming beaches of 235 E. coli/100 mL

PLEASE NOTE that the May 13th samples were collected in a dry weather period. There is a good probability that samples collected after a runoff producing rainfall event could produce conditions where the water quality standards are exceeded. Until waterfowl feeding at and near the beaches is controlled and waterfowl numbers are further reduced, the best advice is for folks, especially those who might have compromised immune systems to avoid whole-body contact within about 48 hours of a runoff producing rainfall event.

Additional testing will be done soon to capture conditions after a runoff event and then again at a minimum before the Independence and Labor Day holidays.

The Lake Jackson beaches were tested on six occasions last summer (2014). Three of the six times E. coli levels above the criteria for single samples from designated swimming beaches of 235 E. coli per 100 milliters were detected at at least one beach area. On July 26 the criteria was exceeded at all three beach areas. On August 10th one beach area was just barely below the criteria at 233 E. coli were detected at one of three beach areas. Clearly there is a persistent bacteriological contamination source, most likely waterfowl.

Samples were collected on August 28, 2014. The sample collected from the beach area just to the east of the long pier had 250 E. coli CFU (colony forming units) per 100 mL and was just above the limit of 235 E. coli CFU per 100 mL. The beaches at Lake Jackson were posted as closed in the Swim Guide. There is a reasonable probability that contamination will be present at levels at or near the single sample limit for designated swimming beach areas over the weekend and into Labor Day as rain is predicted for Saturday and Sunday.

Samples collected on August 10, 2014 at all three beach areas were below the action threshold for a single sample. However, the beach area futhest to the east. The one with the 04007110 Alabama Water Watch site code had waterfowl present and E. coli just below the action level. Caution should be used using this beach after rainfall events large enough to produce runoff.

A recent sample collected on July 26th at all three beach areas at the State Park exceeded the state limit of 235 E. coli/100 mL. Two of the three areas tested tested above the single sample USEPA limit of 235 E. coli/100 mL. The beaches should be posted with warning signs.

The sample collected on July 2, 2014 tested well below the limit for a designated beach.

Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper collected a sample in June (062114) that tested at nearly ten (10) times the limit for a designated swimming beach. Prior to this sampling even there has never been a sample from this site that indicated E. coli at levels of concern. The State of Alabama (ADEM) does not test this site and it is unlikely that it will be tested by ADEM on a regular basis. Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper is in communication with the park manager about training for park employees so that the park might begin testing on a regular basis during the swimming season.

Testing will be done again by Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper shortly before Labor Day or sooner.

WATER QUALITY
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   
CURRENT WEATHER
32°C
Cloudy with a few clear breaks
MONITORING FREQUENCY

Florala State Park Swimming Area is sampled monthly from May 1st to September 31st

SOURCE INFORMATION

The State of Alabama does not regularly monitor any inland swimming areas/beaches. The monitoring is done by Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper at sites where there is significant recreational use. Monitoring is done using methods (protocols) developed by the Alabama Water Watch program that have been approved for first-alert monitoring by Region 4 of the U.

S. EPA.

Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper will monitor these sites for E. coli from May to September. If resources allow these sites will at a minimum be monitored once prior to each major summer holiday. If additional resources are available these 5 will be monitored five times a month in May, June, July, August, September to check for contamination. All data will be reported to the media. Sites that fail to meet water quality standards will be reported to county health departments, the local watershed management authority, posted to the blog on the Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper website and reported directly to members of Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper and the Wiregrass Canoe and Kayak Club.

Sites that fail to meet water quality standards will be tested approximately once a week until they meet water quality standards. If they continue to fail to meet water quality standards, efforts will be made to post the sites as failing or have them posted. Sites that meet water quality standards in the early testing period will be tested prior to each major summer holiday. If at any point they fail to meet water quality standards, they will be tested as above.

For safe and unsafe levels, Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper uses several levels based upon the use of the site. For single samples Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper uses the numbers that Alabama Water Watch uses in its training materials which are slightly rounded from the numbers in EPA 440/5-84-002

These are: We/AWW Uses EPA Number

Designated Beach Area 200 235
Moderately Used Swimming Area 300 298
Lightly Used Swimming Area 400 409
Rarely Used Swimming Area 600 575

WATER QUALITY GRAPH

Florala State Park Swimming Area

Florala, Alabama

WATER QUALITY
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   
CURRENT WEATHER
32°C
Cloudy with a few clear breaks
Photo by: Dylan Neild

Samples collected on May 15, 2017 had E. coli numbers below 17/100 mL. It was also significant that no water fowl were observed in or near the swimming areas and there were no signs in the water such as feathers. It is not known whether this results from control measures or whether the waterfowl were just elsewhere on the lake because fewer people have been in the area.

SAMPLES COLLECTED ON MAY 16, June 26 and July 17, 2016 and OBSERVATIONS SHOWED VERY LOW E. coli AND NOTABLY, NO WATERFOWL WERE OBSERVED AND NO OBVIOUS SIGNS OF WATERFOWL (FEATHERS OR DROPPINGS WERE OBSERVED on May 16 and on June 26 and July 17 waterfowl numbers were much lower than in 2015 but there were waterfowl present. CHOCTAWHATCHEE RIVERKEEPER WILL TEST THESE BEACHES AT LEAST ONCE BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY.

UNLESS WATERFOWL RETURN OR ADDITIONAL TESTING AND OBSERVATIONS SHOW UNEXPECTED SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION THE BEACHES AT LAKE JACKSON IN FLORALA SHOULD HAVE SAFE BACTERIA LEVELS.

END 2015 - START 2016 ABOVE.

SAMPLES COLLECTED ON SEPTEMBER 2ND 2015 WERE ALL BELOW THE STANDARD FOR DESIGNATED BEACHES. HOWEVER PEOPLE WERE OBSERVED FEEDING WATERFOWL AND WATER FOWL WERE SWIMMING BACK AND FORTH ALONG THE BEACH AREAS SEEKING FOOD FROM PEOPLE. FOR THAT REASON THE SPECIAL YELLOW (CAUTION) STATUS REMAINS IN PLACE!

SAMPLES COLLECTED ON AUGUST 27TH FOUND E. COLI SLIGHTLY (150 E. coli per 100 mL) BELOW THE USE EPA BEACH ACTION LEVEL (190 E. coli per 100 mL) AND BELOW THE SINGLE SAMPLE STANDARD FOR A DESIGNATED SWIMMING AREA (235 E. coli per 100 mL) AT ONE OF THE THREE BEACH LOCATIONS. THERE WERE STILL WATERFOWL IN THE VICINITY OF THAT BEACH AND THEIR BEHAVIOR INDICATED THAT THEY ARE STILL BEING FED. E. COLI LEVELS SHOULD BE EXPECTED TO SPIKE WHEN THERE IS A RAINFALL/RUNOFF EVENT AT THE SITE. SAMPLING WILL BE PERFORMED AGAIN BEFORE THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

FOR THIS REASON THE SPECIAL YELLOW DESIGNATION INDICATING CAUTION SHOULD BE TAKEN AFTER RAINFALL/RUNOFF EVENTS WILL REMAIN POSTED FOR THESE BEACHES.

THE BEACHES AT LAKE JACKSON STATE PARK USUALLY SHOULD BE LISTED AS GREEN/OPEN. HOWEVER, RECENT SAMPLING IMMEDIATELY AFTER A RAINSTORM ON JUNE 30TH INDICATED CONTAMINATION AT ONE OF THE BEACHES.

ON JUNE 30TH THE E. COLI LEVEL EAST OF THE PIER NEXT TO THE MAIN SWIMMING AREA WAS 1200/100 ML. In 2014 E. COLI LEVELS AT THE BEACHES EXCEEDED OR CAME VERY CLOSE TO THE SINGLE SAMPLE CRITERIA FOR A DESIGNATED BEACH MULTIPLE TIMES IN 2013 - 2014:

MAIN BEACH WEST OF PIER: 06/27/2013 - 267, 06/21/2014 - 217, 07/26/2014 - 250,
BEACH AREA EAST OF PIER: 06/21/2014 - 2467, 07/26/2014 - 367, 08/28/2014 - 250,
SMALLER BEACH FURTHER TO EAST: 07/26/2014 - 717, 08/10/2014 - 233, 08/28/2014 - 167

THESE BEACH AREAS HAVE A HISTORY OF BACTERIOLOGICAL CONTAMINATION AS INDICATED BY ELEVATED E. COLI. THE SOURCE IS ALMOST CERTAINLY WATERFOWL AND UNTIL FEEDING OF WATERFOWL IS CONTROLLED AND WATERFOWL NUMBERS ARE REDUCED, THERE IS A GOOD PROBABILITY THAT THERE WILL BE BACTERIOLOGICAL CONTAMINATION FOLLOWING RAINFALL RUNOFF EVENTS.

THE BEACHES ARE MARKED YELLOW TOO CATCH FOLKS ATTENTION AND INDICATE THAT THERE CAN BE ELEVATED BACTERIA LEVELS FOR 24 TO 48 HOURS AFTER A RAINFALL/RUNOFF EVENT.

*****NO ELEVATED BACTERIA LEVELS HAVE BEEN FOUND IN 2015 AT THE MAIN BEACH
AREA (THE AREA TO THE WEST OF THE PIER).*****

ELEVATED BACTERIA LEVELS WERE FOUND TO THE EAST OF THE PIER WHERE RUNOFF FROM PARKING LOTS AND OTHER UPHILL AREAS IS DISCHARGED TO THE LAKE. SLIGHTLY ELEVATED BACTERIA LEVELS WERE OBSERVED IN SAMPLES TAKEN FROM THE SMALLER BEACH ABOUT 1/2 MILE TO THE EAST OF THE MAIN BEACH.

This is a beach with moderate to heavy use. Historical data for the site is available at the Alabama Water Watch website http://www.alabamawaterwatch.org/ using the Site Code 04007032. Recently two additional site codes, 04007110 and 04007111 have been added for beaches/beach areas immediately adjacent to the east of the sampling site code 04007032 (04007010) and down the road further to the east (04007111).

The initial 2015 bacteria sampling of these beaches for 2015 was performed on May 13th. Results are in - E. coli levels were very low (zero at one beach and 17 E. coli/100 milliliters (mL) at the other two. This is well below the water quality standard for designated swimming beaches of 235 E. coli/100 mL

PLEASE NOTE that the May 13th samples were collected in a dry weather period. There is a good probability that samples collected after a runoff producing rainfall event could produce conditions where the water quality standards are exceeded. Until waterfowl feeding at and near the beaches is controlled and waterfowl numbers are further reduced, the best advice is for folks, especially those who might have compromised immune systems to avoid whole-body contact within about 48 hours of a runoff producing rainfall event.

Additional testing will be done soon to capture conditions after a runoff event and then again at a minimum before the Independence and Labor Day holidays.

The Lake Jackson beaches were tested on six occasions last summer (2014). Three of the six times E. coli levels above the criteria for single samples from designated swimming beaches of 235 E. coli per 100 milliters were detected at at least one beach area. On July 26 the criteria was exceeded at all three beach areas. On August 10th one beach area was just barely below the criteria at 233 E. coli were detected at one of three beach areas. Clearly there is a persistent bacteriological contamination source, most likely waterfowl.

Samples were collected on August 28, 2014. The sample collected from the beach area just to the east of the long pier had 250 E. coli CFU (colony forming units) per 100 mL and was just above the limit of 235 E. coli CFU per 100 mL. The beaches at Lake Jackson were posted as closed in the Swim Guide. There is a reasonable probability that contamination will be present at levels at or near the single sample limit for designated swimming beach areas over the weekend and into Labor Day as rain is predicted for Saturday and Sunday.

Samples collected on August 10, 2014 at all three beach areas were below the action threshold for a single sample. However, the beach area futhest to the east. The one with the 04007110 Alabama Water Watch site code had waterfowl present and E. coli just below the action level. Caution should be used using this beach after rainfall events large enough to produce runoff.

A recent sample collected on July 26th at all three beach areas at the State Park exceeded the state limit of 235 E. coli/100 mL. Two of the three areas tested tested above the single sample USEPA limit of 235 E. coli/100 mL. The beaches should be posted with warning signs.

The sample collected on July 2, 2014 tested well below the limit for a designated beach.

Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper collected a sample in June (062114) that tested at nearly ten (10) times the limit for a designated swimming beach. Prior to this sampling even there has never been a sample from this site that indicated E. coli at levels of concern. The State of Alabama (ADEM) does not test this site and it is unlikely that it will be tested by ADEM on a regular basis. Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper is in communication with the park manager about training for park employees so that the park might begin testing on a regular basis during the swimming season.

Testing will be done again by Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper shortly before Labor Day or sooner.

MONITORING FREQUENCY

Florala State Park Swimming Area is sampled monthly from May 1st to September 31st

SOURCE INFORMATION

The State of Alabama does not regularly monitor any inland swimming areas/beaches. The monitoring is done by Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper at sites where there is significant recreational use. Monitoring is done using methods (protocols) developed by the Alabama Water Watch program that have been approved for first-alert monitoring by Region 4 of the U.

S. EPA.

Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper will monitor these sites for E. coli from May to September. If resources allow these sites will at a minimum be monitored once prior to each major summer holiday. If additional resources are available these 5 will be monitored five times a month in May, June, July, August, September to check for contamination. All data will be reported to the media. Sites that fail to meet water quality standards will be reported to county health departments, the local watershed management authority, posted to the blog on the Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper website and reported directly to members of Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper and the Wiregrass Canoe and Kayak Club.

Sites that fail to meet water quality standards will be tested approximately once a week until they meet water quality standards. If they continue to fail to meet water quality standards, efforts will be made to post the sites as failing or have them posted. Sites that meet water quality standards in the early testing period will be tested prior to each major summer holiday. If at any point they fail to meet water quality standards, they will be tested as above.

For safe and unsafe levels, Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper uses several levels based upon the use of the site. For single samples Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper uses the numbers that Alabama Water Watch uses in its training materials which are slightly rounded from the numbers in EPA 440/5-84-002

These are: We/AWW Uses EPA Number

Designated Beach Area 200 235
Moderately Used Swimming Area 300 298
Lightly Used Swimming Area 400 409
Rarely Used Swimming Area 600 575

WATER QUALITY GRAPH



Swim Guide
is supported by
* The RBC Foundation

Swim Guide shares the best information we have at the moment you ask for it. Always obey signs at the beach or advisories from official government agencies. Stay alert and check for other swimming hazards such as dangerous currents and tides. Please report your pollution concerns so Affiliates can help keep other beach-goers safe.

Swim Guide, "Swim Drink Fish icons," and associated trademarks are owned by SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA.| See Legal.

© SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA, 2011 - 2018