Florida Mines Logo

Bone Valley Phosphate Mines
PHOSPHATE MINING OFFICIALS-POOR ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDS

Over the past seventy years, Florida’s phosphate industry let many man-made severe environmental accidents occur one after another over the years, causing serious environmental impacts to pristine “one of a kind” ecological regions of Florida. The Florida taxpayers are also paying for the court costs, attorney fees, and the like while the court battles continue daily between federal and state environmental agencies versus Florida’s industry officials.

READ MORE HERE
phosphate mining

(Fig. 1) Lithia Springs- Spring Opening

PEACE RIVER VALLEY

The Peace River watershed lies in west central Florida about forty miles east of the Tampa Bay area. Florida’s Peace River was declared an “endangered river” by “American Rivers.org,” a non-profit organization committed to protecting and restoring North American rivers.

The central Florida region holds unique pristine watersheds, marshlands, bogs, and other freshwater naturally occurring filtering systems. Watersheds are areas of land with waterways that flow to a common destination. Most of the region's drinking water is pumped from aquifers that are “recharged” from the watersheds described above.
READ MORE HERE
Peace River Spring Fed Tributary(Fig. 3) Peace River Spring Fed Tributary

WHAT IS AN AQUIFER?

Forida Aquifers

(Fig 1.Owned by: FloridaSpringsInstitute.org) Florida Natural Springs and Aquifers.

How Do Florida’s Aquifer Systems Form?

It takes a significant amount of rainwater to keep Florida’s fresh water above and below ground at normal levels. This means Florida’s rivers, lakes, ponds, springs, and aquifers systems, must be re-charged with fresh water yearly. With this in mind, the average annual rainfall in central Florida varies from 51 inches in drier years to over 70 inches in wetter years, which is almost 6 feet per year. This amount of rainfall comes year after year and can add up quickly. Where does all this water go you may ask?

Floridan and Biscayne Aquifer Systems

Florida has two major aquifer systems called the Floridan, and the Biscayne. “The Floridan Aquifer is the largest and deepest in the state. It stretches for 82,000 squ are miles beneath Florida and parts of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.” (4) These two aquifer systems absorb about 50% (2) of Florida’s yearly rainfall totals and store all the water in earthen structures called aquifer systems.

How Does Water Move Through The Earth’s Surface?

Florida has a unique natural water movement system to move water above and below ground. This “system” consists of rivers, lakes, ponds, springs, aquifer systems, swamps, bogs, and sun-induced evaporation. Each and every one of the water resources mentioned above is essential to Florida’s natural water movement system. Here we see the “system” is greater than the sum of its parts. Another part of the “system” not mentioned so far is the longitudinal center of the Florida peninsula. It can rise some 200 feet (3) above sea level and produces head pressure to propagate water movement to the each coast of the peninsula.

Turn your attention to a particular part of the “system” described above called “aquifer systems.” Florida’s aquifers are a primary source of fresh water for most residents in Central Florida. Aquifer systems are composed of different types of earth containing shell, sand, and limestone, which is the case in Central Florida (1). These unique systems are made of sponge-like porous rock types consisting of, in this instance, limestone rock, sand, and clay. These materials allow water to move through them and form the boundary of the aquifer. Because of aquifers, Florida has natural surface springs that are like windows to underground aquifer systems or water tables.

Contained aquifer water is usually under pressure. This pressure allows water to rise to the surface in some instances and known as a natural surface spring. Natural springs filled with crystal clear aquifer water can reach thousands of feet (3) deep and miles in length, all underground except a relatively small opening at the earth surface.

As described above, an aquifer is a large underground cavern of porous materials like sand, clay, and limestone rock. Rainfall seeps through the different material in layers of the earth. This naturally filters the water that enters the aquifer through a process called “percolation.”

The land surface shape determines how much rainfall seeps in an aquifer. Lowlands hold the water as a reservoir then gravity can take over to feed water back to the aquifers. As much as 50 percent of Florida’s average rainfall each year will perpetually recharge the aquifers (2).

Beautiful Karst Springs In Central Florida

“Karst” (1) springs are “artesian” springs and discharge tremendous amounts of crystal clear aquifer water daily. The hydraulic pressures created underground force aquifer water to the surface through cracks, crevices, and will bubble up through the sand as well. This type of natural spring is what most people think of in Florida because these are the largest, easiest to find, and are great “Old Florida” tourist destinations.

Florida’s natural springs, river, and lakes provide residents and visitors year round access to boating, diving, snorkeling, fishing, swimming, and relaxation. The natural springs in Florida are ”re-charged” by the average yearly rainfall and absorbed by sponge-like porous earth materials that also filter and clean vast amounts of water.

Reference

1. Florida's Aquifers, FloridasWaterdotcom

2. Florida's Water Then and Now, fcit.usf.edu/florida/lessons/water/

3. Springs, Sinkholes, Florida Aquifer, FloridaSpringsdotcom

4. The Floridan Aquifer | WaterVenturedotcom

DISAPEARING WATERSHEDS

Central Florida's groundwater and aquifers are becoming extinct by watershed destruction via phosphate strip mining operations. Florida's natural watersheds, known to the Florida phosphate mining industry as phosphate overburden, are being destroyed for the beginnings of a phosphate strip mine. Where is the balance between Florida politics, industry, and the Public?

READ MORE HERE
Phosphate Rock
WHAT IS AN AQUIFER

An aquifer is contained in the sub-surface encased in a body of saturated rock which also contain caverns and watersheds.

In this case the rock is limestone based, through which water can easily be contained and also move as though it is in a sub-surface river.

Aquifers must be both permeable and porous and include such rock types as sandstone, conglomerate, fractured limestone and unconsolidated sand and gravel. This type of earthen material contains enough drinking water for millions of Florida's citizens year after year.

Central Florida is made of just such a rock landscape and truley does contain everyone's fresh water resources.

However, phosphate officials are "permitted" by the state of Florida to remove everything mentioned above "containing" everyone's freshwater resources in very large tracts of land, measured in square miles, to reach the valuable phosphate rock they seek.

READ MORE HERE


HOMEHOME PAGE BUFFER ZONEPHOSPHATE STRIP MINING BUFFER ZONES
SINKHOLESSINKHOLES CAUSED BY PHOSPHATE STRIP MINING PTDFLORIDA'S PUBLIC TRUST DOCTRINE
AQUIFERSFLORIDA AQUIFERS DRAGLINESPHOSPHATE DRAGLINES
OVERBURDENPHOSPHATE OVERBURDEN BONE VALLEYBONE VALLEY
CONTACT USCONTACT US ARTICLESARTICLES

SSL Certificate

SSL Encrypted Website