Springs Outing: Remarkable Karst Features Near High Springs

The May 2019 FSI outing explored three distinct and impressive karst features all located within five miles of the Florida Springs Institute High Springs office, including:  the Santa Fe River Rise in O’Leno State Park; Scrubtown Sink, a giant sinkhole used as a dump; and a little known Ichetucknee-like karst valley with an extinct headspring, rocky walls, caves, and park-quality forest. We started the day at the rather unspectacular River Rise, which is the second largest dark…

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Too Polluted to Drink
Closeup shot of a man pouring a glass of fresh water from a kitchen faucet

Too Polluted to Drink

For too many families, North Florida’s once pristine groundwater may be unsafe to drink. One nasty pollutant is nitrate, a principal ingredient in synthetic agricultural and urban fertilizers, and in animal manure and human waste. In the past 100 years of rapid development, the ambient concentration of nitrate throughout the Floridan Aquifer has risen from a baseline concentration of less than 0.05 parts per million (ppm) to 1 ppm, a 20-fold increase. As with most environmental variables,…

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Blue Water Audit

We all have an impact on the Floridan Aquifer. Learn more about your impact with the Project Overview The Floridan Aquifer is the principal source of water for natural and human systems throughout much of Florida. In addition to being Florida’s primary source of drinking water, the Floridan Aquifer feeds over 1,000 springs. Florida’s population has grown from less than 1 million in the early 1900s, to over 18 million in 2010, according to the U.S. Census.…

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Analyzing Nitrates in North Florida’s Drinking Water

Groundwater in the Floridan Aquifer is the source for more than 1,000 springs in North and Central Florida. It also provides water for over 90 percent of the people who live there. Even though this water lies hundreds of feet below the ground, it is not entirely protected from sources of pollution at the surface. Nitrate-nitrogen is one pollutant that has contaminated much of the water in the Floridan Aquifer. Nitrates are nutrients necessary for plant growth;…

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A Day in the Life of the Florida Springs Institute Science Team!

We met on Wednesday morning promptly at 7:30 am to load up the boat and equipment needed for the day. Once we arrived at Gilchrist Blue Spring State Park, we immediately unloaded the equipment and took field parameters at the head spring to try to get as undisturbed of a reading as possible. We lowered our grab sampler into the spring vent from the jumping platform.  Because we were there quite early, we were able to sample the…

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