Valdosta Daily Times

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March 4, 2013

Floridians warned about Withlacoochee River contamination

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — State health officials are cautioning residents in north Florida to avoid the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers due to a possible wastewater contamination.

The Florida Department of Health issued the advisory Saturday for residents in the counties surrounding the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers. Officials say the Withlacoochee Water Pollution Control Plant in Valdosta, has overflowed into the Withlacoochee River, which flows south, connecting with the Suwannee River.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is scheduled to collect water samples. Results from the tests will be available next week.

Until then, residents are urged to avoid contact with both rivers. This includes those individuals in Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, and Suwannee counties.

Health officials warn that water contaminated by wastewater overflow can lead to several health hazards in humans.

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