Aquifer You, Aquifer Me
Updated: Mar 22
Here in the great state of Florida, most of our fresh drinking-water supply comes from the Floridan and Biscayne aquifer found beneath many of our wetland ecosystems i.e., Florida's lakes, rivers, springs and famous Everglades. However, less fresh groundwater is pumping out of the natural springs due to something called saltwater intrusion.
The salty dog, not salty water
Saltwater Intrusion represents the loss of freshwater as NaCl, and other minerals enter the fresh water supply due to changing hydrology and aquifer depletion, inevitably increasing salinity. Found beneath freshwater aquifers, lies a saltwater aquifer pushing against the freshwater. When developers pump freshwater out, lateral saltwater seepage contaminates the supply. Naturally, if left alone the aquifers would replenish themselves but unfortunately our anthropogenic footprint and constant need for H2O in Florida led to depleted and strained sources of freshwater. In 2005, it was reported that companies were pumping over 4.2 billion gallons of freshwater per day from aquifers below the natural springs.
Runoff and rising sea levels polluting our drinking water?
When the tide rolls in, there is not enough freshwater to vent out the saltwater. When it rains the natural hydrologic process begins to restore groundwater supply, but water management is required. Runoff occurs when fertilizer, pesticide, oil and trash pollutants drain into the local water canals, wetland areas or storm water drains after excess rain during the wet season here in Florida. These chemicals end up in our aquifers. When bottling companies like Zephyrhills come in to pump water, they do not purify using ultrafiltration. In gets bottled and delivered right to your market as is.
How to help: Water Conservation 101
Here are 5 mindful tips you can implement into your daily routine:
1.) Limit time in the shower...
Did you know every minute in the shower equals to 5 gallons of water wasted per minute?
2.) Turn the faucet off when washing hands, doing dishes and brushing teeth...
On average, Americans consume 3.9 trillion gallons of water per month from household tasks!
3.) Invest in an eco-friendly, low flow or dual flush toilet which flushes 1.5 gallons of water vs. 5 per flush...
For a more cost-effective option try installing a conversion kit into your existing toilet!
4.) Only run your washing machine/dishes when you have a full load...
Running full loads vs half loads saves time, money and water!
5.) Avoid buying products from Zephyrhills...
Save the greater Zephyrhills, Florida spring!
Now you can make a difference too. Making the change is easy when we do it together. Remember we are all connected, so we are all affected!
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Written by Rachel Taylor