Posts Tagged ‘Home Improvement’

Floridan Aquifer – Save the Florida Aquifer – Let the Voices Be Heard!

April 23rd, 2022

The Florida Aquifer, technically named the Floridan Aquifer, is one of the largest and most productive aquifer systems in the world. The Floridan Aquifer provides water for irrigation, household, agricultural and industrial use, livestock, plants, wildlife and most importantly, drinking water to the vast majority of Floridians throughout the state. Obviously, for this reason, the Floridan Aquifer is a natural resource of extreme importance which must be protected against Aquifer Storage and Recovery Wells and Deep Injection Wells used for injection of partially treated sewage effluent. Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR), is the injection of treated or partially treated water that meets the water quality standards of drinking water or ground water directly into the aquifer through an ASR injection well for later use. Or, at least in the state of Florida, that was the original intention as I understand it.

The concept of Aquifer Storage and Recovery, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is that the aquifer functions as a storage facility when water is plentiful. When water is in demand due to short supply, the injected water can then be recovered for use as drinking water, irrigation or other use. The level of treatment required after storage depends on the use of the water, whether for public consumption as drinking water, surface water augmentation, irrigation, or wetlands enhancement. At this time, there are 18 aquifer storage and recovery well fields in Florida that have about 65 wells among them, according to the Department of Environmental Protection. Sounds like a reasonable solution to a water shortage if done so properly, laws, rules, and regulations are followed, but this is not always the case. Now days, ASR apparently is no longer limited to the storage and recovery of drinking or ground water quality water. It is my understanding, special permits can be issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to store partially treated sewage effluent directly into the Florida Aquifer, our main source of drinking water, via very shallow ASR wells (just 500 feet deep). In many areas of Florida, partially treated sewage effluent and other toxic waste water from various sources is currently being pumped into deep wells at least 1,000 to 2,000 feet deep and deeper, below the Florida Aquifer to depths far and beyond where drinking water is accessed.

The intention of these wells, 1,000 feet deep or greater, is not to store or recover, but instead to dispose of the sewage effluent – forever. Theoretically, deep well injection of sewage effluent does not effect the environment or drinking water because the injection zone is so deep, far below the Florida Aquifer. Myself and many others do not believe that. Studies have been conducted on the environment in areas where deep well injection has occurred. Scientific studies indicate adverse impacts on the Florida Aquifer, the environment, sea water, coral reefs, fish, sea turtles, and other sea life. Further studies are being conducted. The Floridan Aquifer is actually an underground river surrounded by porous rock. Water within the Floridan Aquifer flows underground through channels or veins similar to caves and also flows into nearby veins through the porous rock that surrounds the aquifer water.. Water levels and water pressure within the aquifer fluctuate as demand for the water increases and decreases. During dry periods, wells used for irrigation are under high demand. This results in low water levels and reduced pressure within the vein of the aquifer that feed the wells. Common sense dictates that if one particular vein of the aquifer is experiencing low pressure due to low water level, and nearby veins are experiencing high pressure due to high water levels, the water flows through the porous rock walls of the aquifer from the veins with high water levels to replenish the vein of low water level. Water seeks its own level, everyone knows that.

We have been lead to believe that water injected into the Floridan Aquifer via Aquifer Storage and Recovery wells is permanently confined within the injection zone, can be recovered, and will never cause a problem. That is not true at all. The water intermingles with the aquifer water within the cavern it was injected and flows great distances in a short period of time from the injection point throughout the vein in which it was injected, to other veins through the porous walls of the aquifer, into other caverns within the aquifer, and beyond, likely reaching local wells, and is also known to surface as springs on land and sea. In other words, once injected it is gone forever and recovery of the injected water is virtually impossible. In numerous locations throughout the state, the Floridan Aquifer comes to the surface of the land as springs that feed rivers and streams. Many of these springs are found, not only on shore, but offshore, flowing into the oceans and water ways surrounding Florida.