Project Springs is luncheon program subject By Sid Riley
At Wednesday’s meeting at Jim’s Buffet and Grill, the Marianna Rotary Club program was a presentation on Florida’s Springs, and the Blue Springs Basin system which was presented by Chipola Professor Allan Tidwell. He was introduced by program sponsor, Dale Cavin.
Tidwell informed the group that there are over 700 active springs in the State of Florida, only 33 of which are classified as 1st magnitude springs. This designation means that the spring produces 60,000,000 gallons or more of water per day. Our Jackson Blue Springs produces over 120,000,000 gallons per day.
The "Jackson Blue Springs Work Project is being funded by a $20,000 State grant, and another $60,000 grant as part of the Chipola Area Ground Water Project. They are in the process of hiring a "Springs Ambassador" who will work to coordinate work on these projects.
Tidwell exhibited a map that depicted all of the known "sink holes" in Jackson County. To everyone’s amazement, the map was dotted with what appeared to be thousands of sink holes. As part of their water improvement projects, the group is hoping to spark a sink hole clean up effort throughout the county, and especially in the area defined as "Blue Springs Basin". All land owners that participate in this clean-up effort will be given immunity from any liability for any of the types of items removed from sink holes on their properties.
Tidwell also discussed the high nitrate level that currently exists in the Spring and the fact that it takes some seventeen years for surface water to seep through the ground, into the aquifer, and to finally emerge from the spring. Since fertilization practices were dramatically changed some eight to ten years ago, it is hoped that we will soon see a decrease in the emerging nitrates from the spring.
A web site with more information on this subject is www.tappwater.org.