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Water Issues:

This page is essentially in reverse chronological order with the most recent information coming first, as a result the story lines are mixed together.  You can sometimes find the stories by region on the pages by location. 

Hydrochemical Impacts of Limestone Rock Mining (Water Art Soil Pollution Naja et al Aug 2010)


Interactions between Ground Water and Surface Water in the Northern Everglades and Relation to Water Budget and Mercury Cycling: Study methods and appendixes (Open-Flie Report 00-168 U.S. Department of the Interior and USGS prepared in cooperation with the SFWMD)


Rock Mining operation effects on water quality in the Everglades Aagrcultural Area (G. Melodie Naja Everglades Foundation -Science Department Jan 8, 2010)


Save Our Aquifer Group Files Complaint with State Attorney's Office Regarding City of Rockledge Potential Violations of the Sunshine Law:  August 11, 2009

A Critique of the Peace River Stewardship Program (by William A. Dunson, Emeritus Prof. of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, Aug. 1, 2008)


Nonmechanical dewatering of the regional Fliridan aquifer system (Bacchus GSA 2006)


Lake Belt Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,

The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on Rock Mining in the Lake Belt Region of Miami-Dade County, Florida is now available for review. The document is currently available for download at Please note that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is accepting comments on the Final SEIS during a public comment period that ends June 8, 2009. If you would like to comment through the Corps website, please visit

 Debate rages over Rockledge wastewater plan (FLORIDA TODAY • May 5, 2009)

"A contest between two entrenched points of view took place at a forum on the science of aquifer and storage recovery wells Monday night, where both sides presented new information not yet heard in a public setting.” ..."Both presentations are giving a lot of information we need to take a closer look at," Rockledge City Manager Jim McKnight said, as the forum attended by about 60 people drew to a close. "We're not in the business of making health risks for the community. We believe reusing our resources is important. Ultimately, council has to weigh all of the risks versus the benefits, and make a decision."

Wastewater well plan riles Rockledge residents Homeowners concerned about drinking water (FLORIDA TODAY • April 1, 2009)

Rockledge council to hold aquifer public forum (FLORIDA TODAY • April 1, 2009)

"Facing strong opposition from a citizen group, the Rockledge City Council unanimously approved holding a public forum in early May to address scientific issues surrounding a controversial aquifer and storage recovery well project."...Still, other well opponents said Rockledge needs to do more in addition to the public forum. Rockledge has not been open,” said Roy Laughlin, referring to the city’s public records rules and how citizens must pay $10 an hour and be watched by city employees while viewing records. “There’s been a block to getting technical information.”

Health risks in aquifer recharge using reclaimed water - State of the art report (2003)

Water, Sanitation and Health, Protection of the Human Health, WHO, Geneva WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark


Edited by R. Aertgeerts and A. Angelakis

"The current drinking-water standards and guidelines were not designed to deal with the mixtures and individual contaminants that may be unique to wastewater sources, so they alone cannot be used to completely evaluate the acceptability of a recycled water for potable reuse...

Because of unspecified health concerns, several groundwater recharge projects in the USA are using microfiltration (MF) of secondary effluent followed by nanofiltration (NF) or reverse osmosis (RO) prior to subsurface injection into the aquifer.." (Ch. 6, p. 174)


Tampa Bay Water makes last withdrawal from tapped out reservoir (St. Pete Times. Sat. March 14). Fifteen Billion gallon Reservoir virtually drained!  About 130 million gallons (a day's worth) remains.  Brown lawns will be the rule until the rainy season recharges the aquifer this summer. 

Suwannee Power Point Expansion Plans Canned (Gainesville Sun March 13, 2009)  Progress Energy has withdrawn plans to expand, for now...forecasting slower growth and lower customer use, but they are still seeking a zoning change to allow the expansion.

DEP wastewater dump permit challenged (Feb 23, 2009)  "The Conservation Alliance of St. Lucie County is challenging a permit by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection allowing a bleach manufacturer to dump waste in a Fort Pierce Utilities Authority injection well."

"Nuclear power plants need mines over 75 feet deep for their concrete pads.  See this affidavit for the Levy County proposed Nuclear Power plant. for details (Feb 6, 2009).  The  body of scientific knowledge provides the Endangered Species Act and the US Corps' wetland regulations sufficient means to address both the groundwater quantity and quality impacts that to federally listed species.  Will lawsuits be necessary to protect groundwater and endangered species?  This affidavit addresses issues needed for such a suit.  See especially pages 7, and 23.


Water Resources Impact Assessment Review Washington Loop Fill Pit Punta Gorda, FL Conducted by HH Associates, Specialized Geological Modeling Group. (Feb 2, 2009)  an excerpt from the executive summary of the document prepared for Charlotte County:


FEDS INTERVENE TO SET FLORIDA WATER QUALITY STANDARDS — Rising Percentage of State Rivers, Lakes and Estuaries Impaired by Excess Nutrients from PEER  For Immediate Release: January 19, 2009 Contact: Jeff Ruch (202) 265-7337

Hundreds of Coal Ash dumps lack regulation (NY Times Jan 7th 2009)" The coal ash pond that ruptured and sent a billion gallons of toxic sludge across 300 acres of East Tennessee last month was only one of more than 1,300 similar dumps across the United States — most of them unregulated and unmonitored — that contain billions more gallons of fly ash and other byproducts of burning coal."

Protestors stage showdown with FPL over 450-acre swap in Martin County (January 7th, 2009 by Post Staff) Update on Barley Barber Swamp issue  "

Reservoirs are mining and aquifer de-watering NOT water storage, furthermore, FPL power plant will cause damage to Everglades restoration (according to AES January 7, 2009 letter to Gov. Crist regarding speech at Everglades Coalition Conference).


Florida: Activists Stand-Off with Law Enforcement at Barley Barber Swamp (January 6th Info shop News) regarding blocked access by FPL to oldest Bald Cypress trees in state near Martin County Fossil Fuel Power Plant- the largest in the U.S.  Activist claim trees may be dying due to water drawdown.  "Photos and video from the swamp are available upon request.  On-the-field interviews are available by phone or on site. Call for directions and assistance to reach the vigil site. ...Please call 561.308.9452"


Rockledge taps residents on water- Protecting own project, city asks what wells are being used for (BY REBECCA BASU • FLORIDA TODAY • January 5, 2009) "The city plans to inject up to 1.2 million gallons of reclaimed water per day into the well, which is about 500 feet deep...Since 2006, Rockledge has banned people from drinking water from wells within one mile of where the well is being built...


Mining firm denies U.S. Sugar lease is void (Palm Beach Post By PAUL QUINLAN January 05, 2009) "U.S. Sugar now says Florida Rock missed a key deadline, nullifying the mining agreement. But Florida Rock has filed suit to keep it alive."


Environmental groups sue over EPA mining rule: Environmental groups sue to stop EPA from changing rule allowing surface mining near streams ( By JESSE J. HOLLAND Associated Press Writer | AP Dec 22, 2008)

EPA "stream buffer zone" regulation:

Environmental groups lawsuit: — docs/sbz-rule-final-complaint-12-1 9.pdf

"Given the known links between sulfate loading and Methyl Mercury (MeHg) production, it is reasonable to conclude that sulfate added from the release of recovered ASR water could contribute to additional MeHg formation in receiving waters of the Everglades"

above quote excerpted from this USGS "An Assessment of Potential Effects of Aquifer Storage and Recovery on Mercury Cycling in South Florida. (In cooperation with the USACOE Jacksonville) Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5240"


Congress exempted 'hydraulic fracturing' from the Clean Water Act (this is also the method used to increase the ability to inject larger volumes fluids more rapidly in Florida's sewage effluent/ASR injection wells).  Read more about it at this Denver Post story Election may bring a hard look at Oil- Gas Exemption (Nov 27, 2008).


Rockledge relents on posting signs- Anti-well group earns approval (FLORIDA TODAY BY REBECCA BASU December 19, 2008)

Letter to the City of Rockledge, FL from the ACLU about posting signs to "Save our Aquifers" from ASR injection asserting the interpretation is unconstitutional and posting signs on private property does not violate the municipal ordinance as the City recently claimed (November 24, 2008)


St. John's River Water Withdrawals in the court rooms.  Water Wars:  Hearings Begin on Tapping the St. John's River Lawyers air arguments on river withdrawals in Central Florida (Times-Union Oct 2, 2008)

Ambitious Project Aims To Get Peace River Flowing Again (Nicole White Tampa Tribune 5/30/08)  Decades of pumping the ground for nearby farms, phosphate mines and home faucets, coupled with two years of unusually dry weather, have turned a 20-mile stretch of the Peace River into a cracked, sandy bed. For almost a third of the year, little or no water flows.


The ultimate in recycling: drinking water from wastewater Mike Donila (St. Petersburg Times 5/25/08) - all water is recycled, let's help remove the stigma and make this a realistic solution

Florida's Vanishing Wetlands- special series by Craig Pittman at St. Pete's Times- highlights issues with mitigation banking


Reservoirs in our Watershed: A Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program Conference planned for Feb, 2009-

Please consider suggesting the  RIGHT EXPERTS FOR THE AGENDA.  Contact the CHNEP regarding the opportunity to participate.


Fortune and Flame Why the Everglades is burning, and how we sucked it dry By Michael Grunwald 21 May 2008 (in Grist; Environmental News and Commentary

Potential for pollution from mines concerns Lee Officials (Naples News May, 2008)

HEX report suggesting denial of new Mine on Corkscrew road (Lee County April 4, 2008)

brief summary of report and ruckus caused by expert witness brought in by residents

Important - Mining Impact questions being raised by county staff in Indian River County summit 2008

Palm Beach County citizens trying to protect resources- a loss and opportunity (April, 2008)

Fighting mining because of Benzene contamination of potable water- (in Georgia) (March, 2008)

Letter to editor regarding unsupported claims for mine pits acting as reservoirs

Hope for Clean water- a story about limerock mining in Levy county- Tarmac (March 24, 2008) and the Bennett pre-emption bill

 Here is a story about sand mining and Gulf Sturgeon in Walton County (March 17, 2008)

Guided tour of the Peace River Basin read about the circuitous route to find information (Apr 16, 2008)

This interview in Surfer Magazine is a look at possible surface water and coastal zone impacts caused by aquifer injection.  Read about the article from the interviewee

Return to  compilation of resources and issues

This resource focuses on adverse impacts from mining currently not addressed or evaluated by regulatory agencies and municipalities, as well as alternatives to mining and approaches for improved monitoring and evaluation of existing and proposed mine sites and mine-related impacts.  This portal is made possible thanks to the volunteer efforts of scientists, other professionals and citizens.

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Last updated February 7, 2011