Linda Conway Duever has prepared this summary of the most common biota inhabiting north Florida’s 1,000+ springs. This convenient compilation of diverse data was funded by the Wildlife Foundation of Florida’s Protect Florida Springs Program. Any questions concerning this information should be directed to Linda at: ConwayConservation@conway.com
Click the links below to download the complete tables:
Drop-down will reveal videos on springs and the aquifer system of Florida.
Groundwater Wells Nitrate Map
Here we have the nitrate concentrations found in private wells in Alachua County. Click the above image to enlarge.
Additional nitrate concentration data can be found for both Leon and Wakulla Counties above. Click the above image to enlarge.
Marion, Alachua, Leon & Wakulla Counties
The Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute (FSI) is concerned about elevated levels of nitrate nitrogen in much of the Floridan Aquifer. This same Floridan Aquifer is the source of water feeding our 1,000+ artesian springs in North Florida and is the principal supply of potable water for the region.
A substantial portion of the water in the Floridan Aquifer has been contaminated with nitrate by human activities, including the use of fertilizers and the disposal of wastewater in areas where the aquifer is most vulnerable. Resulting nitrate concentrations are well above harmful thresholds (numeric nitrate standard of 0.35 mg/L) in most of Florida's natural springs.
Elevated groundwater nitrate concentrations are also acutely toxic to humans. In some areas of North Florida, nitrate concentrations in drinking water wells are already above the safe drinking water standard of 10 mg/L.
While groundwater nitrate concentrations are rising throughout the region, most areas are still below this acute threshold. However, a growing body of medical literature is indicating that there may be chronic effects of nitrate at levels at or below those found in community drinking water supplies, including municipalities and in bottled drinking water. Human health issues that have been found to be exacerbated by sub-lethal nitrate concentrations in drinking water include various forms of human cancer and birth defects.
For these reasons the Florida Springs Institute is collecting, analyzing, and publishing nitrate data from a variety of potable groundwater suppliers.
For the health of our springs and our human population, we believe it is critical that the public is aware of this growing threat. If you are concerned about the health of our springs and the availability of clean water for drinking and bathing, let your local and state leaders know.
Landscaping for Springs Protection Pilot Project
My Yard, My Spring: It's all Connected– In 2011 and 2012 Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) partnered with the University of Florida Department of Agricultural Education and Communication to conduct qualitative research with stakeholders in the Santa Fe River Springs Basin in order to eventually develop a campaign for influencing behavior changes that protect the quality and quantity of the water that feeds our springs. The main goal of the research was to find out how various stakeholders feel about the springs, how they connect their behaviors to water quality and quantity, and what it will take to get them to change key behaviors. To read the project report, click here.
Studies & Presentations on Silver Springs & River
In 2013, the St. Johns River Water Management District launched its effort to set minimum flows and levels ("MFLs") for Silver Springs and the Silver River. The Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute has been following the development of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Springs Protection Initiative.
Please click on the links below to view each important resources on the restoration of Silver Springs:
November 2006 - Fifty-Year Retrospective Study of Silver Springs, Florida (Munch et al. 2006)
January 18, 2012 - Restoring Silver Springs (Dr. Robert Knight, Silver Springs Restoration Alliance Meeting)
April 3, 2012 - Adena Ranch Permit (Dr. Robert Knight, Silver Springs Alliance)
April 2, 2013 - TMDL and BMAP Process at Silver Springs (Charles Gauthier and Mary Paulic - FDEP)
May 11, 2013 - Silver Springs Alliance Public Forum Presentation Slides