On August 27, Dr. Robert Knight, Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute called for a comprehensive, area-wide groundwater nitrate sampling effort by state and local governments, especially in the karst areas of Alachua and Gilchrist counties. Dr. Knight’s call for action comes after the Alachua County Health Department released private, self-supply well nitrate data confirming the relatively common occurrence of nitrate above safe drinking water levels (10 mg/L) and the lower springs standard of 0.35 mg/L.
The Alachua County Department of Health has initiated additional sampling and nitrate testing of private wells in the area of the Watson Dairy in eastern Gilchrist County. “In our opinion,” stated Knight, “that does not go far enough considering the human and ecological health risks posed by these elevated pollutant concentrations…This sampling effort should be expedited and results need to be widely publicized so that local residents are aware of the risks they face and the alternatives they have to avoid those risks.”
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