Groundwater in the Floridan Aquifer is the resource for more than 1,000 springs in north and central Florida. It likewise provides water because that over 90 percent the the civilization who live there. Even though this water lies numerous feet listed below the ground, it is not entirely protected from sources of pollution at the surface. Nitrate-nitrogen is one pollutant that has actually contaminated lot of the water in the Floridan Aquifer. Nitrates are nutrients important for plant growth; however, when water through elevated levels of nitrate-nitrogen flows the end of the aquifer into our springs that is harmful to their environmental health. Elevated groundwater nitrate concentrations can reason algal blooms, i beg your pardon may bring about a lack of oxygen, negatively affecting fish and also other aquatic creatures.

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Nitrates in drink water likewise have negative health impacts on humans. The EPA has actually mandated the public water supplies must preserve nitrate levels listed below 10 milligrams per liter (mg/L). Drink water through nitrate levels over 10 mg/L have the right to reduce the oxygen carrying capacity of blood, bring about methemoglobinemia, or blue baby syndrome, which is harmful or fatal for young children and the elderly.

Epidemiological research performed by the nationwide Cancer academy has provided strong evidence that drink water through elevated nitrate level is linked with enhanced risk of details cancers and birth defects, also at concentration much lower than 10 mg/L. Nitrites, created from nitrates, reaction in the stomach to form what are called N-nitroso compounds. This compounds room the key carcinogen in cigarettes and they have been shown to cause multiple develops of cancer in every animal types tested.

We recognize that nitrate levels are increasing in ours springs. The Florida department of ecological Protection has set 0.35 mg/L as the numeric nutrient limit for healthy springs. About 80% of Florida’s springs exceed this standard and also are taken into consideration by the State to it is in impaired. Yet what around nitrates in our drink water?

The Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute has actually tested samples of drink water from 23 urban in phibìc Florida. 2 rounds of trial and error were performed, one in 2016 and also one in 2018. During each of this sampling events, FSI contrasted tap water and bottled Florida spring water. The mean of the results from this tests are shown in the complying with figures.

BOTTLED FLORIDA feather WATER NITRATE ANALYSIS- march 2016 TO respectable 2018 (average of 1 to 3 samples)

NORTH main FLORIDA drinking WATER NITRATE ANALYSIS- march 2016 TO respectable 2018 (average that 1 come 3 samples)


All the the bottled spring water tested was over the springs nitrate traditional of 0.35 mg/L. Municipal drink water scored much better overall than bottled spring water. Many world buy bottled spring water because they feeling it is a safer and cleaner alternative to tap water. However, about nitrates, this is no the case.

Factors that add to the nitrate air pollution of groundwater are the amount and form of nitrogen resources in the area and the vulnerability that the basic aquifer. Fertilizers (urban and agricultural), extensive livestock operations, and septic tanks are far-ranging sources that nitrate-nitrogen contaminating the Floridan Aquifer.

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In areas where the aquifer is ‘protected’ by a thick layer of much less permeable clay or rock, air pollution from nitrates is less. The map below shows confined and also unconfined locations of the Floridan aquifer. Most of the west side of phibìc and main Florida, the area wherein these samples were collected, lies on the unconfined aquifer. Cities choose Bronson (2.87 mg/L) and also Chiefland (1.45 mg/L), situated in the greatly farmed areas near the Suwannee River often tended to have greater nitrates than cities come the east, where the aquifer is much less vulnerable.


Some municipalities, like the city the Gainesville (nitrate-nitrogen


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