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GRAHAM'S DAIRY, Inc.
HIA LE AH, FL OR1ID A
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; IX*ll I
A few~ weeks ago I made a short; talk on the water situation
at a reception where :1r. Seekin wras present~. As a result he
asked me to t~alk along the same lines to you folks today.
It is wiith a great deal of pleasure that I do this, as I
consider this the most important subject facing Dade County today.
A good pure wrater supply is essential for the growth of any city
and until this is assured I don't believe any city can :.cooper.~r
iianj fortunately has this water supply available and there are
f~ew cities as favorably located as Miiami. But unfortuna-tely
much misinfrormation has been given out on this subject. Or
probably I should say, instead of misinformation, that only
part of -the facts have been given out and -thereby the public
has been hot; fully informed.
As to wh~lether or not this stiatemnen~t is true, I pill let you.
be the jur l. A year ago, by new~spaper stories newspaper ads,
by public speaking, you w~ere led to believe that there wras a
water shortage in the M~iami district. I ask you, Is there a man
io this room wiho at that time did not believ-e that I~ria1 waTs
sh~ort~ of water. In order to be sure of" myr facts I wrent to the
United States Geological Survey wjith twc~o other ma~n and asked
wh~eth-er weost of Miami thzere: wasn'*Y a supPLyT of good waJter.
The- told me there w~as and that; the su~pfly wsas practically
unlimited. Since then I have twrice checked that statevnent
and each time have been told the supplyl of water exists.
At a public meeting held and attended by representatives of the
County Commission, Everglades Drainage Distriot, Miami. City
rlater Board, and the Dade Drainage District, it was openly stated
by representatives of the liate~r Board that it wvas just a matter
of dollars and cents, but that they would keep the present well field
as long as they could. They also admitted that the sewage on this
area was getting into the wrell field, but contended that it was
being purified by the limestone through which it leached.
I just asked the question, if you didn't believe there was a
shortage in the Miami area at that time.
IHe have been constantly told that by danming the canals we ~were
going to hold back a head of water sufficient to counterbalance
the salt water. Many of you may not knapw it, but~ a head of 41 feet
of fresh water is required to covarterbalance a head of 40 feet of
salt water r, In other words, if the wells are 80 feet deep we must
have a head of 82 feet of fresh water to offset the salt water.
I hold in my hand a contour map furnished me by the United Stat~es
Geolog~ical Survey, dated May 29,1946. It shows the elevation
of the ground water level in the well field. And, incidentally,
instead of the well field being as you have been told an area of
about one square mcile, by looking at this map you will see that the
pumping area is better than five square miles. It represents a
distance of sane 141,000 feet in one direction, and 12s000 in the other,
ors roughly, a cirolds-: 13,000 feet in diamneter. In case some of
you are not familiar with the map, I may s-tate that this Inu.::oing
area as shownr extends to thie north practically to the race track,
to the east a distance roughly 3,000 feet above the 36th Street
Bridge, to the south to the Pan American Air Field, and to the
west to the F~loridc3a East Coast Canal.
The grbund water level in the wvell field, which is the golf grounds,
runs fron a minus ,02 to a plus .4. Inr the Victory Trailer Camp?
the ground water runs fran plus 1 to plus 1.2, and fron 1 to 1.2
on the east. You can readily see from these figures that y ou
haven't got a balanced head. That during high tide you hgre a
salt water head the height of the tide greater than the ground
water level. liov understand that these ground water levels
wi;ere -taken after w~e had had considerable rain and that the ground
level dropped: in MIay to minlus 3.2 feet. In other wrordls, wrre had
at that time a salt wavt~er head of over five feet greater than the
fresh? wsat~er head. If such a condition continues to exist,
sane-time you're going to have a breakr and yrour well field is
going to be salted, not from the water that cones up the canal
but fromnthe water that comes in at a lower level through the
The people rho advocate the retzl-inin of our present well .system
ad~bd lay great stress on many of the statements in the book
"The VanishingS Eden." But they either did not read the book
through or didn't understand it, for if you w;ill read on page 232,
the author makes exactly the same statenant that I an giving you,
that some time, if this well field is not moved to a safer
location, it is going to fail, an~d that will be at the
In 1927 the Dade Drainage District which covers the area
bound on the north by the Dade-Browrard line, on thze east by
NWT 27th Ave~nue, on the south by ln. 20th Street, engaged the
finn of -the Mdorgan Engineering Company to rSevamp their drainage
plans. The president of the Idorga~n Enin~leeying Company wvas
Dr. Art~hur E. Iiorgan, wrho waVs one of the outstanding drainage
engineers in the world. These people wjere recommended to us
by the NTa~tional City iankll of :De~. York,. 1ihey h~ad handled some
of the biggest drainage projects in ~thwrsh this country,
among which was the Eianil Conse~rancy District at Dayton, Oh-io.
Since that time Dr. Morgan wsas director of the TVA.
Lr.i Carl A4. Book, wjho wa~js vice president of the Morgan En ineering
Comp~anyT and actively6 in charge of this .-set!, spent fron six to
weight weeks going over and la .inr out the Dade D~rainage pla~ns.
Er. Eook today is head of the Puerto Rico l~atr Resou~rces
Authority, writh headquarters ati Suxan Juan. Tihen the question
was raised as to wEhether or nob the drainage was harmful to this
community, w~e immediately set about to get Mr. Bock- to come here
and check these plans. Pressure of work delayed his coming, but
he owne oer heare in April of thbis yiear. IMr. Bookr is one of the
outstanding drainage and water engineers in knerica. In his
report; he pointed out very ably that when the United States
Geolo-ical Survey said certcagn things had to be done to
save the present well field,~ they did not state it wras
necessary ?to save this field or that it would be sound
judgment to save the field. I:1. Book mentioned in
several, instances in his report the effect on sanitation
of damnL~ ing the canal, burt he did not dw~ell on this sub~ject
particularly, as our health situation had not reached the
critical stage it is today. He stated, and I believe
rizhbtly so, that a surveyr should be made by a board of
on I-ineers. I think: this statement is just sound common
Last summer I mayde a trip to ';.ar lington and discussed this
matter writhz the heads of the United States Geological Survey,
and while -t here discussed the matter with Mr. M~alcolm Pernie of
Newi Yorkr. 141. Pernie w~as formerly consultant on w~ater-for
Miiami Beach, He is one of the outstanding water en sneers in
this countryJ. :; idea wvas that it would be good business sense
to have the various in-terested districts, such as Miami Beach,
Coral Gables, M~iam~i abd The County, bring in same competent
engineers wrho have no personal or local interest and stand in
no wva$ to make a financial profit, and have them make a study
of this problem. I have discussed this wjith some of the
officials of -the areas involved but have not -ushecd the matter
owsing to pressure of other work.
B~ut w~e have reached a condition nowr rhe~re I believe something
will have to be done. I think the present well field as located
is a menace to the health of this community. In the first place,
this area w~as an overflow area and was not a healthy place to live
until drainage was provided. Any one whjko has been here 25 years
well knows this to be a fact, A y one who hauw~w mannkMm an~I~ar was here
in 1929 knows whnat took place at that time. Today if the overflow
area that is now~ part of the different municipalities here w~as
put back in the shape it was in 1918, more than 50,000 crop~le
w~ou~ld have to 18ave their homes. If yrou damn the drainage canals
as they have been dammed this spring, all the sew~age back of -these
dams naturally has to Ego into the wrell field. If thle wrell field
wc~as abandoned and the canals damnmed solid, you wtE~ould raise the
ground water table to a level so that you wrou~ld have a sudden
surface flooding frau the septic tanks. Antd just stop and think;.--
IfBaere tIhe elevation is onlly four fee~t -- and that's the elevation
of much of the Victory Trailer Camp -- a septic tank: placed six
inches below the ground would have a discharge pipe one foot to 18
inches below the ground, which would aive an elevation of 2& feet
of what would be the ground water table, if the canal was
assaning the water was not pumped dowrn by the city wells. In my
opinion, to use the wells that furnish yiour drin1l:in- water
to drain an area that is served entirely by septic thanks, in which
sane 15,000 people live or work, is neither good engineering
no r common sense. If the health of -thi~s community is in danger
to the extent that our daily papers contended it wias during the
campaign for the sewers in the City of I.;ianid, by septic tanks
placed on a sand ridge, I think~ the voting of the sewier bonds was
__ J ~
one of the most forward steps taken in this cormmunity.
But yIou must understand that those sewers will1 not extend
into the areas where the wesll fields are located, and the
discharge from the disposal plant is ;oingr to get into
this area, and if -the present and proposed damning arrangements
are gone through w~ith, wihenever -thos e dams are closed
that disposal has to go into the present well field.
I vent to make it clear here that no one I know~ of is
opposed to placing of tide wa~zter gates that will kees the
salt bac.k into the canal, but I k~nowv rany menr who question
-to w isdom and judgment~ of holding -%he water up in the canal.
HIIY TBE PE-~ilT ITfillI TIEELL FIELD SHIOULD BE MOVED).
First Because it may be a menace to the health of this
Second: Because thne records of the laterr Compan~8y will prove
that wihat they are attempting to do can't be done.
I quote from page 21 of the Interim Repolrt put out by
the United States Geological Survey (June 1944 issue):
"But to insure the perpetual use of the
present well field the twoe and one-half
foot average annal contour on the water
-table must pass to the east of the well
field, and this will require the
establishment of controls in the canals
to raise the water level behind the
controls to that height."
The expemriences in the past twro years w~hen they have
had the canal darmmed solid showr that -they can't get
the 2~ foot head, and throughout the dry period the
head in places has dropped as lowr as minus 3.2 feet,
and has consistently stayed down at less than one foot.
Third: The~ industrial and agricultural dev-elopment to the we~st
is blocked as long as the present plan is kept in effect.
One acre is equal to 44,100 square feet.
One acre, one foot deep, with 180 water, will carry
8,000 oubic feet of water, or 60,000 gallons.
One square mile, one foot deep, contains 38,400,000
gallons of water, or roughly one day's supply for the
150 square miles, or 100,000 acres, would supply Himii
for 150 days; or a depth of on~o 100,000 acres would
supply H~iami for one year. That would require
six inches of rainfall over 100,000 acres.