one of Florida springs near Tampa surrounded. by cypress trees

How You Can Help Florida Springs

one of Florida springs near Tampa surrounded. by cypress trees
Florida springs are amazing, but they need your help, Here’s how you can keep them special and pristine. 
Photo by Cathy Salustri

This week on the podcast, Ryan Smart, Executive Director of the Florida Springs Council, joined me and Rick to answer a listener’s questions about Florida springs.

Last week, I spoke in Ocala about Florida springs, and after the talk, Meg Young, who was in the audience, had more questions. Here’s what we told her about how you can help Florida springs.

Q: If the springs naturally come to the surface, why would the bottled water companies need permits to pump out? Would they not just capture the water as it surfaces? Or are they forcing the spring to produce more than natural? 

A: We answer this more in-depth in the podcast, but it’s because they don’t scoop the water out of the springhead — they tap the spring with a well, and they need permission for that. And it’s actually taking away from spring production, not the other way around.

Q:  I remember years ago when I lived in Orlando there was a Spring on the westbound lanes of Hwy. 17-92 in Longwood and people, including myself, would just stop with empty milk bottles and fill up with the spring water and drink it at home. They have since shut the location off from the public and I don’t know the current status of that water.

A: That’s near the now-gone famous tree in Sanford, the Senator, and it is closed to the public. Rick has memories of this and talks about it on the ‘cast.

Q: How many gallons of water does a third-magnitude spring produce per minute? 

A: Between 1-10 cubic feet per second, so that’s between 60 and 600 cubic feet per minute.

Q: Could you repeat the ways to help Florida springs? 

A: We’d be glad to!

  1. Stop drinking bottled water.
  2. Plant Florida-friendly landscaping.
  3. Turn off your irrigation or change to drip irrigation.
  4. Don’t fertilize.
  5. Connect with and support with a group advocating for springs. A great start is the Florida Springs Council or any of Florida’s  Riverkeepers. Get involved!

Things You Can Do To Help Florida Springs

Berkey water filters

Five-gallon water jugs and USB water jug dispensers

Speak out against bad bills, like these.

Links We Mentioned

Santa Fe Springs Celebration (April 27, 2024)

Take a road trip to these Florida springs — but be careful to leave no trace!