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How To Better Protect Florida Springs?

The Florida Springs might appear perennial, but in fact, they aren’t. Don’t believe it? Read ahead.

Silver Springs is one of the most popular Florida springs and used to produce around 500 gallons of water every year. But last year, the water output was just 200 gallons—an alarming decrease of more than 50% of its water output. If the output continues to decline at the current rate, the spring will soon face saltwater intrusion and will no longer be the good old spring you used to visit on weekends.

So what can you do to protect the Floridan Springs from getting polluted?

Here are 7 ways in which you can do your part to save the Floridan Springs.

1. Reduce the pollution on the springshed.

The answer is to protect the springshed. The springshed constitutes the land that provides the freshwater to a spring. Therefore, whatever activities are carried out on the springshed will somehow affect the spring. So the first and foremost thing you can do is to reduce the activities that might pollute the springshed and, therefore, the springs. 

For example, if you have a borewell, reduce its usage. Exploiting the aquatic resources can directly affect the aquifer, which powers the nearby springs.

2. Reduce the use of fertilizers (chemicals, especially).

If you have a small garden or horticulture set up in your front yard and use a significant amount of fertilizers to grow the plants, it’s time to stop it. Chemical fertilizers usually come in a powdered form, making it easier to seep right into the underground water resources and pollute it. 

You can either switch to biofertilizers like compost or limit the use of chemical fertilizers.

3. Make sure your septic tanks are watertight.

Get your septic tank inspected every two or three years. Leaks in septic tanks can cause their content to seep into the underwater reservoir and pollute it. The effect may not be visible immediately. The quality of water, thus, begins to reduce drastically, and eventually, it becomes unfit for human use.

4. Prevent dumping any kind of waste down the drain.

While cleaning your lawn or front yard, don’t accidentally dump the waste you think is minute, like grass clippings, motor oil, or even pet waste, down the drain. Since these are small in size, they can easily reach the underground freshwater source and contaminate it over time. 

Motor oil is the most dangerous of them all – it doesn’t mix with the water and forms a hydrophobic coating on top, eventually making its way into the freshwater springs.

5. Be careful while disposing of daily-use chemicals.

Most often, the last drops of bleach or cleaning solutions go down the drain. Unfortunately, these drains have direct access to the aquifers, which means all the chemicals you pour down the sinkhole pass through the drainage and finally to the aquifer. 

The chemicals can easily mix with the water, eventually contaminating the water that flows into the springs.

6. Take care of the spring’s vegetation when you go for water sports.

People often accidentally damage the vegetation of the place when they go snorkeling or diving. For example, the fins might easily tear off the delicate stems of the water plants, thus destroying the natural habitat of the marine creatures thriving there. What’s even more damaging is that once you destroy the native vegetation, there is a high chance that invasive plants might take up its place. Thus, altering the natural ecosystem of the place.

The vegetation also gets easily destroyed when motor boats are used in shallow areas. Instead, raise the motor or switch it off when you reach the shallow areas and the vegetation below is visible to your eyes.

7. Dispose of trash safely.

This continues to be one of the major causes of pollution in the springs. Visitors who come for camping or picnicking don’t clean the place or leave their trash out in the open, which eventually reaches the water bodies or ends up being eaten by the creatures that thrive there.

Make sure you thoroughly clean up the area once you are done for the day. Also, follow the instructions set by the authorities and don’t scare off the wildlife and marine creatures in their natural habitat.

Final Thoughts

Pick up trash when you see it. Don’t let your trash lie on the way for someone else to pick up. This simple logic will save a lot of springs from the brink of getting polluted. The Floridan Springs are a healthy way to reset your mind and body after a hectic weekend of work. 

If you still want those spring picnics and camping sessions to continue, the springs should continue to produce the same amount of water they used to, and the vegetation and wildlife shouldn’t be disturbed. Only then would it stay beautiful as it has been.

Every minute step we take towards achieving cleaner springs helps. The thought counts too!


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