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Hydrogeology Section

Water Quality

Aerial Wakulla SpringsAssess long-term trends in native ground-water quality and within springsheds; assist the department in the design of monitoring programs and ground-water indices.

Focus Areas
Activities

  • Fanning Springs Water Quality


  • Fanning Springs is a first magnitude spring located in Fanning Springs State Park on the Suwannee River in Levy County, Florida. The spring consistently discharges nitrite-nitrogen (nitrate plus nitrite as N) (referred to as nitrate) in excess of 5 mg/l. This is the highest concentration of nitrate discharging from any of the first magnitude springs that reside in Florida’s State Parks System. In February 2002, the Division of Recreation and Parks (DRP) requested the Florida Geological Survey (FGS) to provide an estimate of costs and timeframe to assess the nitrate contamination on Fanning Springs. Per the request of DRP, the main objectives of the proposed investigation are to: (1) assist in determining Fanning Springs springshed, (2) determine the sources of nitrate to groundwater within the springshed and their respective contributions to the loading of nitrate, (3) determine the ground-water travel times for the various sources, (4) determine the dilution rates that occur between the nitrate sources and the springs, (5) establish a “sentinel” monitoring network, and (6) evaluate data generated by the network. more...

  • Evaluation of water quality trends in spring and background water quality


  • Florida is known to have over 700 springs. Because the concentration of nitrates in the spring water quality of some of the springs has been demonstrated to have increased significantly over the past several decades, it is of interest to understand trends in a variety of analytes. The ultimate purpose is to determine whether springs are degrading in water quality, not only for nitrate, but for other chemical analytes. Approximately 75 springs and 43 wells with sufficient data are being analyzed for trends for approximately 17 analytes. The preliminary results are expected to be completed in 2005.

  • Development of a monitoring manual for FDEP/DWRM


  • For many years the Department has been monitoring ground-water quality. Although extensive training has been conducted for Department personnel for the collection of water quality and for the laboratory analyses of water quality, very little attention has been given for other aspects of monitoring our water quality. For this reason a monitoring manual is being developed for the department. The document includes aspects of how to develop monitoring plans, how to design monitoring networks to answer specific questions, how to analyze the resulting data and how to efficiently report the results of monitoring. A training workshop is scheduled for September of 2005. The manual is expected to be ready for printing at that time.

  • Development of ground-water quality indices that can be used to evaluate the status of the State's ground-water quality


  • A series of ground-water quality indices are being established for the Department. These indices will make is relatively easy for both the professional and the lay person to understand the overall environmental conditions of groundwater by simply looking at the indices. A series of potential indices have been developed by the Department. Testing of the indices is now underway and will be continually revised for the next couple of years. When tested, the indices can be used to easily evaluate the current conditions of ground-water quality, and to compare the index to past monitoring episodes. Thus, one will be able to easily evaluate whether the overall conditions are improving or not.

Last updated: October 26, 2011

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