Miami Canal Lock Hearing, July 11, 1946 -Transcript of testimony. "The Dade Drainage District and Related Water Problems...


Material Information

Miami Canal Lock Hearing, July 11, 1946 -Transcript of testimony. "The Dade Drainage District and Related Water Problems," by Carl A. Bock, May 25, 1946, and Remarks by Ernest Graham.
Series Title:
Everglades Drainage and Other Water Issues
Physical Description:
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box: 32
Folder: Miami Canal Lock Hearing, July 11, 1946 -Transcript of testimony. "The Dade Drainage District and Related Water Problems," by Carl A. Bock, May 25, 1946, and Remarks by Ernest Graham.


Subjects / Keywords:
Everglades (Fla.)
Drainage -- Florida -- Everglades.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:

Full Text


Vice-Chairmian -of the Board of' County Comniesioners:
and acting for the chairman who is out of tus oity.

County Engineer for Dade County, Florida.

Attorney for Board of County Commissioners.

Consulting Engineer for Dade County's Water
Control Progran.

Dade County Water Control -Engineer

Geologist, U. S. Geological Survey,
in charge of ground water resources
investigations in Southeastern Florida

Associate Engineer in charge of Surface W~ater
Division of U. S. Geological Survey
in Southeastern Florida

Director of the Department of Wlater and Sewers
Sfor the City of Miand.. (Will present report by
Mualcolm Pirnie, outstanding authority on
TEMPT YMERR~i ~ matters. )

Resident Engineer for Day and Zimmnenaman,
Consulting Engineers, assigned to the
City of M~iamni Department of Wlater and Sewers.

Health Cammissioner for Dade County.

President of Board of Commnissioners,
Everglades Drainage Distriot, and
large property owner ia Northw~est Dade County.

Engineer for Board of Commissioners of
Everglades Drainage District

S Physician, early settler, large acale farmer,
large scale dairyman and President of the Little
River Valley Drainage Distriot.

RlD N oted Horticulturist, plant explorer and
University of Miani professor.

Early settler and President of the
Florida Wdell Drillers Association.


2. rEA31E M. RADER






8. J W. A. GLASS

9. v' C. F. WER~TZ

.0. 4 DR. T. E. CATO








Soil Scientist, U. 8. Department of Agricultgr~e.
(Will present a statement by Dr. Geo. B. Ruhle,
Plant Pathologist with the University of Florida
Agricultural Experimental Station in charge of
sub-tropical Experimental Station, Homestead, Fla.)

Soil Chemist of the University of Florida
Agricultural Experimental Station
and in charge of the Evergladea Experime~ntal
Station, Belle Glrade, Florida

Noted author and representative of Dade County
CGonser-vation Council and Miami Rod and Reel Club

Vice-Presidenrt of Florida W~ild Life Federation.










DADE COURTY, FLORIDA, has applied to the W~ar Department for per-

mission to construct a water control dan with navigation looks

in the MIliami Canal; and


writh the responsibility of regulating the water levels, anal

stages and the outlet capacity of canals within said Distriot,

for the purposes of agriculture, sanitation and for the public

utility and benefit; and


AGE DISTRICT has considered the design and plans of the structure

proposed and is satisfied that said design and plans provide for

an adequate regulation of canal tages and the discharge of flood

wuraters; and that they are further assured that the structure will

contribute to the general betterment of water control conditions,

including prevention of the intrusion of salt wa~Kters.



in West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 5, 1946, that the War Departi-

ment be, and is hereby, requested to grant the request of the



to construct the said rnater control dom in the Miami Canal, and

does assure the iear Department that the granting; of such request

is not La conflict wpith the plans of EVERGLADES DRAINA~GE DIS.TRICT

or its legal rights and interests in the promises.

BE IT FRTHEBR BESOLVED, that nothing contained in

this Resoluti'on relinquishes or warives any statutory duty or




I, K. M. THROOP, Secretary, hereby certify that the

above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of an excerpt

from the minutes of a meeting of the BOARD OF COMMIBISSIONSERS OF

EVERGLADES DRAINABGE DISTRICT held at West Palma Beach, Florida,

on July 5, 194-6.

WVITNESS my signature and official seal of the ~EVER-

GLADES DRAIN3AGE DISTRICT at West Palm Beach, in the County of

Palm Beach, and State of Florida, thia 8th day of July, 1946.

(Signed) K. M. Throop

Presentation at U. S. Engineer office hearing July 11, 1946 on
permit to construct look and dam in Miarni River at NfW 20th Street, Miamd.

Extent and Nature of Intrusion of Salty Water
in Canals in Southeastern Florida

As already described to you salt water contamination of the ground

water concentrically with the inner coast of Southeastern Florida and

along ~the tidal canals was a direct result of drainage operations and

associated lowering of the fresh water table. Tongues of salty water

moved up the canals and caused contaminattion far in advance of the slower

basic intrusion. It was a relatively swift action and varied in extent

fran year to year seasonally.

The contamination of oanals in some degree by salty sea water occurred

prior to 1939 but it was then that the situation in Miaai Canal indicated

the need for iatensivy~ study and possible remedy. Excessively saline water

was found in Miami Canal, then not controlled, itearly 11 miles fran

Biscayne Bay or about 3 miles west of the annicipal well field. It was

in this ~period that a number of the wells were rendered useless as sources

of drinking water. Since 1943, sea water has been prevented from proceeding

farther up Miami Canal than Hialesh by temporary dama near 36th Street,

Miami. There is little doubt that these dams prevented the intrusion

fran extending many miles farther inland. The large rook pits in the

lower Miiami arnd Tamiami basins, however, were outside of the protection

of the dams and became strongly~ salty.

Following a series of dry years, the situation became extreme in the

spring and summer of 1945 as anal and ground water levels declined to

wrhat were possibly all-time lows. In the then uncontrolled Little River

and Biscayne Canals strongly salty water existed throughout their entire

lengths. W8hater with a salt concentration of about 75j4 of that of sea

water was seen running into the porouis ground at the western ends of the

canals, It did not go farther by oanal only because the bottan of Ried

Road Canal and its laterals was slightly higher than the salty wNater in

the tidal larger canals.

In 1945 salty water penetrated west of Florida H~ighway 149 in. Snake

Greek Canal, despite its.weed and debris choked condition. In Tasniami Canal

excessive salinity waes found at the WIest Flagler Street bridge. Salty water

went most of F. E. C. Railway (inland branch) in Coral Gables Canal; past

U. S. Highway 1 in Snapper Creek Canal* In the Homestead-Florida City area

all of the uncontrolled and partially controlled canals were heavily saline

throughout with many of the lateral ditches contaminated. Concentrations

were ia somea places 20 to 30 percent higher than that of normal sea water,

due to evaporation. Along the affected canals reports wnere receivedlabout

soil and water made unfit fTor agricultural, commercial, and domestic use.

Sea water moves in a canal as affected by tidal variations and fresh

water rnuorff As the amount of fresh water coming down a canal decreases

the salt inter in the bay or ocean begins to move inland. It proceeds in an

alternately advancing and retreating action under influence of the tides

and it lays in the lower -part of the canal under the fresh water. Sea water

in this area has a specific gravity as high as 1.03 and in a canal exists

as ea density current. At tians there is fresh water running toward the

Page 2.

aea in the upper part of the canal and salty water running inid~nd beneath

it, with a considerable velocity in both directions and no appreciable

transition zone betweedthe tw~o layers.

The inland trend continues as the amount of fresh water coming from

the back country decreases. Sonewhere along the canal a point is con-

tinuously reached where the effect of the fresh water runoff equals the

effect of the inland moving salty water. And when the level in the canal

declines nearly to that in the sea, the rate of intrusion is accelerated

and that portion of the canal becomes quickly contami~na-ted. Under these

conditions the whole cross-section of the canal becomes salty and there

is no separation between the two kinds of waater. Sdc~h occurred in 1945

with resultant pouring of salty water into the porous formations along the


It hars been observed that within a month or so, with heavy rainfall,

it is possible for conditions in the canals to become entirely reversed

with freds water forcing the salty water back toward the sea. The canals

then become comparatively uncontaminated except in the lower reaches of

the larger ones. But the salty water in the ground does not dissipate

so quickly and remains to cause possible trouble. And the rock -pits do '

not become fresh because the entrances are considerably above the bottoms

and the heavier salty water cannot escape down the canals. The pits have

in the last several years remained salty during~ the wet seasons.

It should be pointed out that in any year of sounty rainfall and

with uncontrolled canals extreme intrusion of salty water own occur.

Page 3.

But the experience of the recent dry a eason indicates that intrusion

can be halted in the canals. The various temporary salt barriers con-

structed this yrear in the Miami area have been entirely effective in

stopping contamination in the canals. For the protection of the fresh,

water it is desirable that such controls. be placed as far downstream

as feasible and that the upstream levels be kept as high as practicable.

July 9, 1946

Dean B. Bogart
Associate Enginsee

11. B. Geological Survey
Miami, Florida

Page 4.


July 10, 1946

I am Djr. T. E. Cato, Director of the Dade County Health Unit
which is the Deparhnent of Publio Kealth for the City of Mdiarpi,
MSiami Beach, Coral Gables, and all of Dade County.

Certain special interests in M8iamd have opposed the construc-
tion of a look in the fidiadn river. In order to block the cons~true-
tion of this look and force the removal of the well fields to the
evrerglades, these people have not confined their opposition to
econeksic and legitimate grounds. They have, unfortunately, attempted
to cause fear in the minds of the people of Miandi concerning the
purity of their water supply now, and after the dambhas been com-

The purity of water is something that can be measured as easily
as the put~ity of gold or- silver can be determined. There is no
question as to the amount of silver in a silver dollar because it
is a matter of record and is easily determined. There is no question
as to the purity of M8iami s water because it is a matter of record
and is easily detennined.

The construction of a dam in the Miami river will not cause
pollution of M~iami's water supply. There will still be the same
depth of sand and rock that the water necessarily must filter
through before it reaches the wells, and the raising of the 9eater
level will not influence the amount of sand through which this
water must filter.

There are definite standards for drinking water that. have been
established by the Federal Government. M-iani~s re wager supply more
than meets these standards. The people of Mdiami own es~t assured
that they have a pure and safe water supply~ and that they will have
a pure and safe water supply after the dan has been constructed.

In conelusion I will say that the City of Mliami's water supply
well field` is niot polluted and will not bie polluted to the future
because the Dade' County Health Unit through the exercise of its
regulations and police power will see to it that it does not became

Respectfully submitted,

(Signed) T. E. Cato

T. E. Cato, MD.
TEC: ah Eealth Canmis sioner


Everglades Exrperiment Station
Belle Glade, Florida

Colonel A. B. Joness Distriot Engineer
U. S. Engineer Office
Jacksonvilles Florida

Re: Soil and Water Conservation in
Relation to Miami River Improve-
ment .

In considering the problem of soil and water conservation ia the

Everglades there frequently comes to adnd the terms with which I once-

heard Mr.' Arthur E. Mlorgan, when Chairman of the Tennessee Valley

authority, characterize our national wastefulness and profligacy in

the handling of our phosphate resources while discussing this subject

in a regional conference in Chattanooga back in 1936. Naturally the

impression made by his remarks was considerably enlarged and extended

when in the course of a later review of this samne subject at the

University of Florida in Gaineaville, Dootor Mdorgan, former President

of the University of Tennessee and immediate suooessor of A, E. Mlorg~an

as Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, used preciselyT the samle

words and essentially the same vehemence in setting forth his own equally

deep feelings of despair in the matter. Whtat both of these gentlemen

said in classifying and characterizing the retributions to come~ was that


Now I suspect that if I were to undertake to discuss the terrifying

waste and economic losses of the past in handling our soil and water re-

sources of the Everglades in these same general terms some of us would

Col. Jones, page 2

have plenty of cause to anticipate that our graves would not only be

speared again and agaia but that those spears. even would be waggled

around until they do actually find us.

There can be no doubt in the mind of anyone who has critically

examined the situation that the soil resources of the Evergladea have

been most miserably punished in the past, especially through the inade-

quate handling of the natural water supply by which they should be pro-

teeted. This has been due in large part, of courses to lack of equipment

and personnel for the purpose. Thus it largely boils down to ~the inadequacy

of the reolanation plans that have been developed in the past, especially

from the standpoint of water conservation ani all that it stands for in

terms of soil conservation, municipal water supply, wild life protection

and development, availability of irrigation water sual the possible amelio-

ration of winter temperatures, to-mention only a few benefits.

Wiith the above facts in mind I wgish to include in the record of this

heartag a copy of Volume V-A of the Proceediags of the Soil Science Society

of Florida which is a complete and comprehensive report on a special,

interim meeting of the Society held in Belle Glade in March of 1943 for

a careful discussion of the physical and economic problems of this great

area. In this volume are to be found numerous papers that treat in con-

siderable detail of the relationships existing between geological and

climatological factors in the formation of these~ soils and of their practi-

cal use limitations at the present time. In viewP of the availability of

this information in this frorm I shall include with the present discussion

as exhibitam;only a limited number of photographs selected largely fras

the field trip reported on pages177-187, inluelssives ia the appendix at

001. Jones, page.5

the baick. These will serve to show the intimate and inseparable relations

of the water probDlems of the. whole area to those of 'the Southeastern

section thereof, which is thei principDal area under discussion in this


Thus, Exhibita II, III and IP as located on1 the myp of Exhibit I,

clearly, ahow the ~importance of the~ subsidence factor in the handling' of

peavt and muano soils and the manner in which water can be: co~ntrolled even

in our main 6asuals while Exhibit V illustrates the great firesa that have

swept the whole area, time and ~agaia, when the water table has been per-

mi~tted to fall so low as to fail in the natural protection such soiled

must have from this. source if they a~re to survive even a reasonable period.

of use. Incidentally the fire in the lower picture of Exhibit Vi is in

the open area to the north an~d west of PennTSUCO where extensive. areas

of the shallow peat have been burned practically to the underlying rook

except, of course, in the deeper potholes. The topographic map of Exhibit

VI, the soil map of Exghioit VII, the geological maps of Exchibits VIII

and II and the man showing the approximate direction of surface flow in

Exhibit I are all helpful ~in indicating the general trend of surface

elevation fron nor a tot south, the very important change in -typtpe iand depth

of organic soils as one progressed southwards in the direction of the

Yiami area, and the type tadd distribution of the underlying rook wrhich is

proving such an important factor from the water control standp oint. Ech'Fibits

II and III display in still greater detail the distribution and character

of. the MBiani. Oolite and other highly porous lime rookss to that section

that shall doubtless find suchi an important place. in this he'aning. A a

ma-tter of fact it wculd seem logical to believe that the leakyr floor in

Col. Jones, page 4

this aeotion of the Glades is quite appreciably accountable for the shallow

depths of the original organic mantle to the south since it places the

formation of peat under suda conditions in somewhat the same position

younor I would find ourselves if wre were to undertake the processing of

sauerkraut in a barrel with its bottom full of holes.

There can be no question that this conservation approach has very

definitely assisted in the development of a broader understanding of the

whole Everglades problem during the past few years, as has also the cordial

and helpful cooperation which the Officials of the U. 8. Engineer Office

have so consistently given us whenever it has been found consistent with

the responsibility of their office to do so. It must be emphasized,

however, that to the extent our understanding of the whole problem has

become more clearly defined to that same extent has our appreciation

been heightened that the general pattern is mnade up of a large Ilnrmber

of individual problems which always must be treated in their relation

to each other and to the adaole project if a return to the confusion

of the past is to be avoided. Thus the question of how best to handle

the local water supply that is under discussion here today is truly typical

of one of those local problems and I sincerely trust that its consideration

as a problem separate and apart; from the whole will not be indulged in.

any way at any time.

Thus when a resolution was moved io the course of the Belle Glade

meeting of the Soil Science Society of Florida back in 1943 that con-

tained as its very heart the request "That the Everglades Drainage

District .... assume responsibility for the development of an OVER-ALL

POLICY AND PLAN~- for the future conservation and development of the land

Col. Jones, page 5

and water resources of the Everglades and ,.... serve as the CENTRAL

AUTLIORITY to coordinate the activities of all private and governmental

agencies in the execution of such plan" it represented quite a far ory

from the approach thd; had prevailed up to that time, as MVr. Mdark R.

Tennant, the Chairman of the Everglades Board at that time, will tell


It is significant, too, that the resolution also asked thatt Ever-

glades Drainage District arrange a joint; meeting with the Trustees of

the Internal Im~provement Fund and State Officials in Tallahassee to be

attended by representatives of all interested agencies to discuss matters

of policy and the steps to be taken towards the adoption of a plan and

Establishment of the Distriot as the~ required CENTRAL AUTRORITY". Such

a meeting was held about a month later (April 1943) in Ta~llhassee under

the general Chairmanship of Governor Holland and with the particular

assistance of Cannmissioner Mayo end Mfr. Tennant. The real significance

of that part of the resolution stems fran the fact that the Tallahassee

meeting proved a tremendous souzrce of inspiration for each and every one

of the eighty or more who attended including, I believes no one quite

so anoh as the Governor himself. For there could be no greater harmony

of thought or unanimity of opinion than prevailed in that meeting when

the question of centralizing authority over Everglades affairs to the

Board of Commnissioners of the Everyglades Drainage D~istr~iot was definitely

brought forward. The entire group, to the very last member of the Cabinet,

was entirely favorable to the proposition and Governor Holland closed the

meeting by turning the decision over to the Everglades Board essentially

as a mandate and urging that the de-tails be worked out as rapidly as


Col. Jones, page 6

While the progress of this conversion to such a broadly different

basis of operation on the part of the Boards due, among; other things,

to lack of funds for essential operations, has not been so rapid as to

dazzle, it assuredly has been steady, straightforward and substantial.

That real advances have been made is well indicated, for instance, when

responsibility and authority for the construction and operation of all

works and installations within the Distriot, once they are approved by

the Board, was recently turned over to its Chief Engineer.

Perhaps an even better indication of the change that is taking place

is to be found in the manner in which Dade County Authorities have worked

with the Everglades District Board and its Engineer in developing the plea

and design for the Miardi River structure nowp under discussion which will

assume such an important role in one of the Distriots principal outlets

in this section of the Everglades if and whnen it is constructed; for such

harmony in the planning of such important local facilities oan not but

develop the hope that coordination and cooperation in the whole plan of

construction and of operation of the facilities at the Distriot, for which

we have waited so long, may be in the process of development.

As a matter of fact, Colonel Jones, if the report of your findings

proves favorable to the development of this control in the Mlised River

and it is constructed and operated under the joint supervision of County

and District Authorities to the very best interest of the several purposes

which it can so effectively s erve rather than for any particular interest

to the disproportionate detrimoent of one or more of the others then I

can see in this hearing one of the really great moments in the life of the

Col. Jones, page 7

Everglades or at least in the life and future of that portion of it which

is still left to us.

In closing I would like to reenqphasize ~briefly, but just as' seriously

as possible, the principal point I have tried to bring out in this discussion

namely,- the importance of water conservation in and on the land for a number

of purposes but above all else the protection of -th2e land itself.

A fact that too few people realize, at least so it seems to mei, is

that the monetary values we attadb to the soil and to the land are for

purposes of barter only and do not, in any real sense of the word, repre-

sent absolute or net values. For the soil by which wre live is, ia the

broader sense of the wrord, -above, and beyond value mruch the same as human

life. Unfortunately we too frequently realize this only after it is

seriously impaired or hopelessly destroyed. Pfhile we may endure a certain

amount of damage to it, locally for a time, it is, nevertheless, always

dangerous for we know from history that when the land of a Nation is beaten

down and destroyed then that Nation, as a Nation, also is dead. The same

is trues of course, for local areas 'insofar as agriculture is concerned.

It is on this account that I have repeatedly asked myself and am now

asking you the very poignant question "Wh~ere is the agriculture of the

~Everglades going when the Glades no longer can be farmed?"\ For this youn

must understand, is not merely a question in parasing but one. that is based

fairly and squarely on the recorded subsidence of these organic soils.

This trend is especially critical, of course, in the main aseotions d' 41e

Everglades where the organic mantle is ~directly underlain by line rock.
This rate of subsidence is well shown in Exhibjit IIII and is inf'luencetd

directly by (1) depth to water table and (2) amount and character of owlti-

001. Jones, page 8

vation. It is not difficult to imagine that quite aside fron the great fires

that raged over the Everglades in 1943, when the water fe~llso liow, even

in the central Gladess that the table. was in the roock itself, where the

muck was 5 feet or more deep, taat this was the most brutal treatment

that possibly could be given thia lands for enormous losses by shrinkage

and oxidation were caused thfereby quite aside, it should be emrphasizeds

fran the actual burning which it sustained as a result of those conditions.

among the salient facts relating to the handling of water that we

must ~eep in mdnd as the basis for the most constructive system of recla-

mation we can possibly develop for the Everglades or for any section of

it;, the following, to my way of thinking stand out as particularly


(1)~ TIhe total water supply coming to the Everglades area, of to Iany

section of it, actually provides little for wasting. If the needs are

fully recognized and are to be even reasonably well satisfied, conserva-

tion must be the wa~tchword.

(2) The water conservation viewpoint must be kept irrevocably

geared to the job or jobs that water anat do with a strict avoidance of

partiality if a well balanced result is to be attained. Soil conservation,

municipal. water supply, w~ild life protection and development, irri gation

and amelioration of winter temperatures are among the jobs which only

water can do, any one of which however, is worthy of practically any amount

of effort required for its attainment.

(3) Finally, we must keep in mind that (A) regardless of local soil

values, carefully planned water reserve areas are an utterly indispens~ible

Col. Jones, page 9

part of a successful waster control system for such a low-lying, flatland

area as the Everglades; (B) if storage areas are not planned for water

in times of abundance or excess, muld well organized facilities available

for delivering it to these areas, then the surplus largely will be dissi-

pated, as in the past; (0) notwithstanding the availability of disposal

facilities for whatever purpose and to whatever places, flash flood con-

ditions can not be cared for with sufficient promptness, in a great flat-

land area. such as we have to deal with, without doing appreciable damage;

but that (D) a flood is always of much less permanent damage to the land

than a fire especially if plans have been made and facilities prepared

in advance to store just as much of the surplus water as possible for

future protection against the time it definitely will be needed for one

or more, if not all, of the highly worth-while purposes~ listed above.

If the structure in question is installed in the Miami River and

operated in the interest of maintaining water reserves in the open Glades

in the interest of soil conservation, wild life protection and development,

irrigation and the amelioration of winter temperatures it is sincerely

believed that this facility will be found an economic benefit even aside

fran its very great value to the municipal water supply of Greater Miand

which is certain to increase at a great .ra~te in the years to comes that is

if the naturally e expanding requirement for water io this area is not itself

prevented by the shortcomings of the manner in which the problem of future

supply is handled.

Everglades Experiment Station
Belle Glades Florida
July 11, 1946


in Coral Gables Box 407
Coconut Grove, Fla.

National Geographic Society
Wjashington, D. C.

July 2nd, 1946

Col. A. B. Jones
District Engineer
U. S. Engineer's Office
Jacksonville, Florida

Dear Colonel Jones:

It would have been a pleasure to meet you and discuss the salt

water seepage control question. It is too important, fraught with too

great dangers to a growing community to be settled in an ordinary way by

people coming to the committee table ai~th prejudices, personal or official,

and using their influence to spring the decision their way.

The question of who will benefit immediately or who be hurt

immediately by the decision, will look small after a few years have passed.

I come into the discussion as a Federal DepartmentC of Agriculture

Expert on Tropical Plants, one wh~o has watched the growth in this region

of thousands of introduced plants from all over the Tropies. I had charge

of the organization of the Federal Office of Plant Introduction in Wiashington

and through it brought in thousands of new and valuable plants from Tropical.

and Sub-tropical regions. These were grown and tested here and later

distributed to the residents of this whole area.

In 1898 a Plant Introduction Gardenwvas established, wPhen Miami was

a small village and no-thing much was known about conditions for growing

plants here, except the remarkable fact that a fewa feet below the surface of

the ground there was an inexhaustible supply of fresh water, It was myr busi-

ness to study the conditions required by the newr crops so as to fit than into


the agriculture which was growing up about the little twnm.

The town has grown enormously -- the Government Introduction Garden has

been removed from a little six sore tract to one of approximately eight hundred

acres and the Government monies spent on it increased in proportion.

Today there exists nowvhere else ia the Western Hemisphere such a collection

of authenticated foreign econonio plants as that ia the Government Garden in

Chapman Field; even devastated as it was by the storm of Septenber last.

The records of observations pertaining to these plants cannot be

equalled outside of the great gardens of Geylon and Java.

This work has gone on in spite of all the discouragements that have been

occasioned by the freezes, hurricanes, and drouthe which have visited the M8iami

region. The Garden now is slowly recovering from its worst oatastrophy, the

September Hurricane of 1945.

These climatic difficulties were not at first anticipated, but we not

then, and such plants as could stand up against them have been increased and

have become Naew Industries here. I have only to cite the Avocado and Mdango

industries as examples and the Cattle industrywas contributed to substantially

through the introduction of the Para grass and other grasses ad legumes.

Now to discover after half a century of work and the expenditure of a

considerable sun of moneys that the drattage of the Everglades, inwhich many

of the residents came to believe turns out to be fraught with perils to our

plants is to say the least mosbdisturbing;.

Through the years since 1898 home owners here have boasted of having

below their gardens and groves .perpetually flowing fresh water; -- in our favor

as against the strongly alkaline, oalcareous, sandy and rooky soils. We banked

on this fresh water that crept upward in the rooks and prevented the drouths

fran killing the trees.

Because of these conditions, which we had a right to believe were perman-

nent, the real estate dealers used the fact in good faith as advertising and

induced thousands of people to buy their homes and gardens in this "paradise";

this tropical garden spot around Miani and test stretches along the coast.

Had it been predicted that the shallow wells they drove in their gardens

would turn salty and the water from them kill their trees and plants, many of them

would not have bought the land at all but gone elsewhere and made their hones.

Now, they cam say with fairness, I think, that they were deceived, bought

hanes under false pretenses an~d have a right to demand that the County do everyr-

thing in its power to protect their gardens from a danger that was' brought about

by the enthusiastic engineers who did not foresee this seepage effect which has

cone upon them.

Fran freezse and hurricanes and drouths, no human power has yet devised

adequate protection but against this new menace they may be protected. Engineers

who have studied the problem carefully say something can be done by controlling

the water flowP in the canals.

Nobody can see the future any more than he can see his hand before his face

on a pitch dark night. But Soience has furnished a most amazing new body of

knowledge to the engineers and soil chemists of today, knowledge that the anal

diggers of twro decades ago did not dream of. If theyr say "Let us try and prevent

this seepage of salt water into the porous rooks underlying your gardena" I believe

they should be given a free hand.

If they fail, and the-salt continues to invade our garden soils, one thing

can be predicted, because it rests on the knowledge of the effects of salt on

plant roots and the physics of its behaviour in porous rookest :birh now well

known phenomena. The beautiful tropical vegetation around our dwellings will

be reduced to the few species that can stand salt water, and much of the charm

that our residents came here to enjoy will be gone.

The intellectual and artistic people who should give a high character

to our life here may go elsewhere. Just across the Caribbean lie places of superb

charn and surpassing beauty. They may go there. Those real estate people in

the North who have been jealous of Miiami's climate and its growth may urge their

clients to go and build their gardens and orchards where the soil is not becoming *

salty -- across to Central and South America.

The question of salt water seepage in our garden soils and its rise to the

roots of our orchard trees has a direct bearing on the possibility of Miiani being

by-passed by the thousands who want garden homes beyond the region of cold weather.

Wihat is the use of the University of M~iami with its program of developing

a Department of Tropical Forestry and Econ~omic Tropical Horticulture; wrh~t is the

use of nakring; a great collection of palms in the Fairchild Tropical Garden if the

land in this area is to~ be allowed to become unfitted for the growth of tropical


The despoiling of Florida's finest forest scenery has gone very far already.

M~ay this salt seepage not ruin the tropical gardens which are swinging into

existence here.

Very sincerely yours

(Signed) David Fairohild

David Fairchild

Mby name is M~elvin E. Gallatin. I an a Soil Scientist,
employed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation
Service in cooperation with the Sub-Tropical Experiment Station
of the University of Florida.

For some time various State and Federal organizations have
been try-ing to obtain data on the relative movement or encroachment
of chloride toward the interior. Because there has been a great
deal of land loth, to agriculture through the encroachment of
chloride the Soil Conservation Service in cooperation with the
Sub-Tropical Experiment Station set up a study in August, 1945
to study the movement of chlorides in the marl lands of South
Florida. The geological survey again had funds toroarry on
their operations in connection with chloride intrusion. The
three organizations combined their efforts in trying to get
data on the rate of encroachment of chlorides. The Geological
survey to s tudy the underground and anal movement, the Soil
Conservation Service, surface movement and the Sub-Tropical
Experiment Station; the tolerance of various tyrpe of crops to
chlo ride .

In February, 1944 when the truck farmers in the Northwest
section of M~iamni along the Tamiami began having trouble with
chlorides, we set up a sampling area covering this section to~ be
sampled periodically with thwo purposes: (1) to try to obtain
some data on orop toleranoeas (2) to see wvhat the time effect
putting a salt barrier ia the canal would be in improving salt

Table #711 gives the location and p.p. million of chlorides in this
area franm lardb 26 to June 10, 1946.

It will be noted since the initial sampling in M~arch that
there has been a constant lowering of the concentration of
chlorides in the surface layer t~hroutghout this area. This is due,
to the leaching effect of the summer rains.

This same thing was noted following the hurricane in Sep-
~teniber, 1945. The resulting higa tides raised the concentration
of chlorides in the marl lands East of Allapattah road to around
10,000 p.p.m. of chlorides and for a time it looked like very
li-ttle of the land could be used for agriculture but following:
this the rainfall was quite heavy and it was found that because of
the high water table and leaching action of the rains a greater
portion of the area was usable.

Table #2 shows tolerance data we have been able to collect
since the initiation of the project by Dr. WIestgate of the Sub-
Tropical Experiment Station and myself,

It will .be noted that various types of orops seem to have
a greater tolerance to salt than others. It must be understood
that this data is only presented as an indication and future
work may change it somewhat, Our data at present would indicate
that beans are the least tolerant,- followed probably by such orops
in approximate order of tolerance as, gla~dfltts, onions, straw-
berries, lettuce, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflow~er
and beets.

As I stated before our data at present ~indicates that crop
tolerances will about follow in this order but to date we do not
have sufficient data to define the exact crop tolerances or to
compute the exact reduction in yield as a function of saline
intensity. However, there is abundant evidence that salt has in
same cases destroyed crops in Dade County and in many cases
materially reduced -the yields in both peat and rrar1 lands. Too
from data accumulated to date from leaching effects it would appear
that much of the land now hampered for agricultural production
by salt could be brought back into production at a relatively
early date provided future saline intrusion is prevented.


Effect of Eigh Water Tables in the Everglades Upon thze Wfater Table
in the Rockdale (Limestone Complex and Malrl Soil of South Florida)

Data to, date collected since the initiation of the water
table studies indicate that as soon as there is no addition to~ the
water table in the back country the water tables for the area
between the Everglades and the coast drop rapidly. Toward the
end of the winter season, the water table in this back country
was about three and a half to four feet below ground surface.
(Ground elevation approximately 7.0 feet). While at Eighland plots
south of Florida City with a ground elevation of about 4 feet, we
had a ground water table a little over four feet below ground
surface .19 feet. Thia law occurred at the end of April. In
Miay there was recorded about 18 inches of raia at the corner of
Mowray Street and Redland Road. Raiins in the back country were
much less as shown by our studies. During the period we had a
rise in the water table in coastal a rea of fran 4 to 5 feet.
IImmediately following this we had a period in which very little
rain fell in this area. During this period the well in the
corner o f Mawrry Street and Redland Road which is read daily
dropped about 0.2 of a foot per day. This excessive drop wa~s due
to tont factors: (1) there is a free out flow of mater through
canals in the coastal area; (2) the water table in the back
country had not built up, so there was very little recharge from
this area.


Data at present indicates that when the water table in the
Everglaides drops to 2 64 feet belowP ground surface the water tables
throughout this section drop excessively. As a result 'of this to
maintain good growing conditions, the grove owners must irrigate
more. frequently.

If the water table in the back country could be maintained
at a higher level and dsua be placed in the coastal canals, wre
should be' able to hold -a higher water table in this area. Pre-
requisites are -- salt barriers and water control structures to
retard flow during low water ia all of the presently uncontrolled
canals in this area.

Mdelvin E. Gallatin


W'. A. Glass Direcltor


P. O. Box 4832
Miami 31s Florida

July 10, 1946

War Department
Engineering Office
Jacksonville, Florida


We are handing you herewith original and three copies
of a Brief in support of the Dade County Engineer Department plan
for water control on the Miami Canal, as presented at the Dade
County Courthouse, Miami, Florida, on July 11, 1946.

There is also enclosed original and three copies of
the statement of Milalcolm Pirnie, Consulting Engineer for the De-
partment of Water and Sewers of the City of Miami, as submi-tted
at the same hearing.

Yours truly,

(Signed) BS A. Glass









Presented for the


Miiami. Florida

One of the most serious problems that the citiseena of M~iamni and

Dade County have to solve is that of salt water eneroslmanat.. It has. already

cost the local taxpayers hundreds -of thousands of dollars in actual cash due

to loss of producing wells, many of which can never be reclaimed. additional

wells are at the present time threatened a potential loss; and the wholw

salt water encroachment problem is caused by and due to the uncontrolled


Uncontrolled drainage has wrought serious damage to property owners

and taxpayers who oma lands on the Coastal. Ridge. Drainage was not planned to

affect any laind but that in the Evergladee; the idea was to remove the water

that flodded the organic soils behind the Coastal Ridge and thus open up to

agricultural pursuits a vast, rich, sub-tropical swamp. But the canals that

were dredged out through the swamps also cut through the Coastal Ridge, and

these same canals that wsere to draia the E erglades nd; only did that, but, they

also drained the Coastal Ridge.

The drainage canals were bet designed as water control canals they

were to carry away the water from the swamp lands. And, to a certain extent,

they have been quite successful in achieving this end. The drainage canals in

this County have run open and uncontrolled all the years since they were

dredged, wet years and dry, until, at the insistence of the City of Mliami, and

at its own expense, a salt water barrier was temporarily installed in the M~iami

Canal near the NW~R 36th Street Bridge to 1939. The canals have never been ade-

gastte to carry off flash floods, so that ~Everglad~es lands are still inundated

at times of extremely heavy rainfall. But during t~hnes of low or inadequate

rainfall the canals continue to~ siphon off untold billions of gallons of

fresh water, w8iasting tehis precious natural resource to the sea. This mi-

controlled drainage has not only waorkied to the disadvantage of dwellers.on

the Coastal Ridge boy over-draining the ground water of the Ridge, but by

drying out the organic soils of tehe Everglades and~ making ::themn~ .inder-dry

during the dry season of ;the year, has allowed the ruinous 'glades fires tp

spring up, fPouling- the air over the~ Ridge for weeks at a tim~e. These gladea

fires are directly a result of uncontrolled drainage. They are not oaly a

nuisance to the readdents of this area but a distinct cause of loan of tourist

trade. Also, by lowering the water surface in the Evejrglades, our winters

have been. made more severe the danger of froat to truck farming orops and to

citrus crops has been increased many fold.

Because of these facts the City of M~iamS Board of Wfater and Sew~ers

takes the position that uncontrolled drainage in Dade County must go, and supports

the County of Dade in its plans for water control. The several factor -risted

above are eada of significant importance, but most vital of all ~is the factor of

salt water enorea~chmdent. WOe believe that had there been no d rainage program put

into effect, there would be today no problem of salt water eneroachmenti, and in

this we have the endorsement of the United States Geological Survey whose scien-

tiata- and engineers have been studying the water resources of Southeastern

Florida since the Fall of 1939.

Salt water encroachment has already ruined two former producing well

fields of the City of Mliami. The first well field. to be lost was the Spring

Gardens field, located near NWU 10t~h avenue and 11th Streets now a part of the

Miami Country Club. TShis well field was used until 1925 but salt water first

began to be noticed there in 1918. (Mbajor Everglades drainage canals were

begun about 1910 and finished about 1918).

Wbhen the Spring Gardens field was first developed, wells were

finished at depths of 60 to 90 feet and water from these wells flowed above'

the land surface due to the hydrostatic pressure of ground watElfer impoun~ded in

the rooks up-gradient fran the well field. Gradually, as the results of

drainage became felt, the wells ceased flowing and the formerly fresh water

became brackish. To overcome thle brackishness, the deeper wells were plugged

up to about 40 or 45 feet, for the heavy salt water was moving in at depth iri

the water-bearing formation and fresh water could still be obtained at shallow

depths. H Iowiever, even this shallow water finally became salted too badly, and

it was necessary to abandon the field. A new site, Ty5 miles inland from Biscayne

Bay, on the eastern margin of the Everglades was chosen. That site is the

location of' the presented well field. Part of it lies in Miamni Springs and part

in Eialesh. Badk ~in 1925 it wras thought that moving the field so far out into

the back-country was an ultra-conservative move, but the facts of the situation

were not then known.

Then in 1959, certain wells in this newr field became salted, sane at

them yielding water containing more than 1000 ppm of chloride. At about the

same time the Coconut G~rove well field which is located about a mile from

Biscayne Bay and about 5/8 adle easterly from the Coral Gables Deep WCaterway

begma to show salt nater contamination. Our public water supply t~huzs threatened,

a request fran the Cities of aiiami, Mlianii Beach, Coral Gables, and fran Dade

County inas sent the United States Geological Survey to investigate our water

resources~. WIe wanted to know all the facts about our present and past

.supplies; the factors controll~iag this salt water invasion; whether it

could be stopped or not; where other supplies might best be obtained in

case the local supplies weFre doomed; in other words, a coamlete investigation.

In the meantime, in spite of all the efforts our water department

eng~inners empqloyed, no seYthod was found to enable us to continue the use

indefinitely of theciGoconut Grove field. In desperation an attempt was made

to obtain water there by digging a huge rectangular pit (essentially a.1arge

open well) the bottom of which was ;just about at sea level and slightly below

the water table. However even this very shallow ground water became highly

contamrinated wlith sea water and had to be abandoned, The Cooonuat Grove

wiell field 'was dead, the money invested in it entirely gone.

Thus, in the short span of 16 years (1925 to 1941) Greater MBiams

had lost two well fields to salt water encoreachment -aLatiff; price ~for city

folks to pay for a drainage program that was 'intended to make lanid usable in

the Everglades. Of course, this was not the only loss involved to city taxr-

payers for there is a considerable body of cityllandt.that ~ies within- the
boundaries of the Everglades Drainage District, and drainage taxes of land

holders on these city lands helped to pay for the drainage program. Not to be

overlooked, but difficult to evaluate in cash, is the loss to citizens of

Greater Miami caused by the ruination of their private well supplies by salt

w~ater. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of private wells have been rendered

useless in a coastal strip averaging about 1~ miles wide in Dad~e County; and

in tongues extending inlaned along each of the tidal drainage -canals well

supplies have been ruined as far inland as 5- mniles from Biscayne Bay.

(as along the Miami Canal to a point west of LeJeune Road).

The United States Geological Survey has shown in their several

publications that our ground later supplies are being attacked by sale

water eneroackmnet in two different but related ways:

(1) Up tidal drainage canals, at times many miles from the Bay,

and then leaking out through the aides and bottans of the canals

to contaminate fresh ground water along the canals. It was this

type of enoroacknent that ocataminated the Mbiami Springedfialesh

field in 1939 and that has since givena trouble on several occasions

when, due to a accident or inability to install a control dam in the

Mliami Canal in time, salt water occupied the-atre~tch of the Miami

Canal adjacent to the present; well field.

(2) By moving in from the Bay all along the shore line and

displacing fresh water in our huge underground reservoir.

It was this kind of enoreachlnent that ruined the Spring Gardena J

fields possibly aided by No. 1, and a combination of Nos. 1 and 2

that ruined the Coconut Grove field.

The United States Geological Survey geologists have measured our

aquifer. Thaey find it to be a wedge-shaped mass of highly permeable rooks

with the thin, edge of the wedge to the west. The highly permeable aquifer

is about 125 feet thick at the western shore of Biscayne Bay, about 100(' reet

thick at NW~r 20th Street and also in the vicinity of the well field, and

somewhat less than 40 feet at the Dade-Browsard Levee. Quality of the water

in the aquifer is best under the coastal Ridge, with the best water of all

to the south in the Peters-Homestead area.' Under this wedge of highly

permeable rooks is a thick section of clays, $ilta, and very: fine sands in

which there is essentially no movement of water at all.


To control the movement .of salt water in the Mliami area there are two> things

that must be done:

(1) By the placement of bParriers in the lower ends of tidal

ommals to prevent the free passage of sea-wna-ter up these canals

whfen conditions are favorable for it to do so.

(2) Raise ground water levels high enough to build in effect a

fredb water dam. Such a fresh water dan would of necessity

have to be under the Coastal Ridge, and as close to the shore of

Biscayne Bay as possible.

The depth of 100 feet to the. relatively impermeable lays, ailts

and sands that underly our highly permeable aquifer demand 2)i feet of fresh

water above meIs.1. Such a height of fresh water would have wieight enough to

depress the encroaching sea water to the very bottom of the aquifer, and

fresh water would thus fill theequifer fran top to bottom, and prevent

further inland movement of the salt water. The placing and proper operation

of control works in the several tidal drainage canals of this area would

accomplish.itchs objective. It would save the nowr~-threatened city well field

indefinitely and would eventually re-freshen and once more make usable wells

in the area to the west of the controls. It would also reclaia some of the

aquifer downstream from the controls, through freshening of the shallower

portions of the aquifer.

It has already been stated by the United States Geological Survey

in one of their reports (Parker, G.G., Ferguson, G.E., and Love, S.K., Interim

Report on the Investigations of W~ater Resources in Southeastern Florida with

special reference t the MDiami Area in Date County, Fla., Geol, Suxry. Rep't. of

Inv.~ Noc 4, 1944, p. 33) that


"The farther downstream control structures could be placed
and operated ia these (Mlini, Tamieumi, Little River, Biscayne,
Snakre, and Snapper Creek Canals) and connecting canals which
discharge into salt water, the more effective salt water control
wBould became, and the closer to the Bay encroaching salt water
would be held".

It seems needless to point out that although the p esent temporary

dam in the Miari Canal, near NWS 56th Street Bridge has temporarily saved the

werll field, it is too close to the cone of depression surrounding the well

field to be retained as the site, of the permanent 'structure. Monthly unpa

of the weall field area showing water table conxtours and isoohlors have been

issued by the United Stat~tes Geological Survey since 1939; the-se monthly maps

indicate that even with the dam to place salt water is still moving island

at depth in the aquifer. This move~ment is very alow, and because the United

States Geological Survey scientists haven't ha~d time to observe the movement

long enough to determine its rate of movement inland, the rate isn't e exactly

known. To determine this, observations would have to be carried out over a

period of years several times as long as the United States Geological Survey

has had already.

The Dade County Engineer Department has proposed a control works

iB the Miami Canal at; NW 20ta Street. This is 6 miles downstream franm the

well field, whereas the present site of the temporary dam at NW `36th Street

is only 2-3/8 miles downstream. The proposed 20th Street dan and looks site

would give the well field an additional s afety factor of 1-5i/8 miles aP fresh

water on the s'eward side of the well field, and would give immeasurable

relief fran salt water enornacknhent.


This 20th Street site has not only the advantage of removing the

salt water front downstream in the Mifanij Canal, but it would prevent salt

water fron finding access to the Tamisni Canal and thus fran attacking the

well field on its southern and southeastern flanks. 20th Street is down-

stream fran the confluence of the Miani and Tarmiami. Canals. The 20th Street

site would also prevent salt water fran entering into mald becoming trapped

in the deep rook pits kcnown3 as Seminole and Palner L kqa. These pitas or

lakes, are excavated to average depths of about 20 feet, but have lobal deep

spots of about 40 feet. Thus, their bottoms are deeper than the inlets

fron the canals and once salt wamter finds its way in it does not flow back

out again The salt water is heavier and denser than fresh water so sinkrs

bottomwvard and seeps out through sidles and bottoms of the lakes to contaminate

ground water on all aides. These lakes thus become local "arms of the sea"

and~ are focal points of ground water contamination doing untold damage to

the fresh water.

Because of all these facts ~recited above, it is the sincere desire

of the City of Miiami Boiard of 1Water asd Sewers that a control works be placed

in the NBiand Canal at NWQI 20th Street as planned by the Dade County Enginieer

Department. This Mbiami Canal Control is a key point in the overall program

planned by the County to combat over-drainage; it would save 'the present well

field indefinitely; and it would reclaim a large part of the aquifer now

contaminated by salt water. Of course, it may never reolain all of the

aquifer already con~taminated along the shoreline of Biscayne Bay, nor would

it restore ground water levels to their former h65ghts, either in the E~vergladles


or under the Coastal Ridge; neither would it of itself prevent

entirely the burning of dried out organic soils in the Everglades.

However, it would prevent further salt water encrera~chment and would

reclaim some parts of the aquifer now lost. It is the best answer

to the salt water encrgsachment problem that is possible, considering

the many factors bearing upon it.


July 9, 1946

Consulting Engineer for Dade County Water Control Progran
at Hearing on Miani Canal Lock
held by the U. S. Engineers
July 11, 1946

Mr. Rath~ has already given you a general outline of

the problem involved in checking salt water intrusion along the

Miami Canal, and the steps which Dadie County proposes to take

in order to carry this program out effectively. We have been

working wNith and advising Dade County with respect to the

measures that should be taken and the type of structure that

should be built.

First of all, there is the general question as to

whether any control needs to be instituted along the M~iami

Canal. Th~e best answer to this is that a considerable volume

and area in the ground water reservoir normally occupied by

fresh water in the vicinity of the 'uiami Canal and the Tamiami

Canal has to some degree been salted up. Clearly, this has

been due to the very large channel which has been provided in

the M8iani Canal, The effect of this canal is to provide a

salt water front on either bank of the canal very similar to

the salt water front on Biscayne Bay during the dry season of

the year, that is, for a period of some seven or eight


During this time, the concentrations of salt in the

MJiami Canal are very large, approaching sea water. The effect

of this Is to provide a zone on either side of the canal where

a salt water front meets the fresh water and th~e canal serves

to drain off the fresh w~ater.

Nuow writh the Miiami Canal coming close to the well

fields and the draft on the well fields during the dry season

reducing the volume in the fresh wc~ater reservoir, salt water

wats drawn in to the well fields, first, of course, in very small


This led to the construct-ion of a pneumatic dam above

the government channel at 36th Street, the purpose of which wras

to hold the water above the dam at a higher elevation than the

water below the dan. This structure failed and wras replaced

temporarily by a steel sheet pile dam which has been effective

in checking the salting up of the w-ell fields.

In viewr of the experience already gained with the

structure at 36th Street, first consideration w-as given to the

construction of a look structure at 36th Street and a similar

one on the Tamiarmi Canal above its junction ji~th the Miami

Canal. The idea would be to hold the water level at these

structures about 2y- feet above mean sea level.Thsoudb

sufficient to more than balance the difference in density

between fresh mad salt water and maintain this differential

except at times of extremely low flow, when the draft on the

well fields might prove to be great enough to lower the water

table over a very considerable area. In any case, since during

this period: there is little replenishment of the ground water

table, the draft on the well fields creates a cone of depression.

Of course whlen this exiists and when the salt water face is close

to the depression cone, there is a strong tendencyr to pull in

damaging amounts of salt water i~nto the well field. In our

opinion, the location of the look at 36th Street is so close to

the w;ell field as to make the w~ell field unsafe, and therefore

if protection is to be provided for this wIell field the salt

w-ater barrier must be moved further dOwn~streaml

It wiill be desirable to move this look structure out

as close to Biscayne Bay as possible. However, it would seen

to me a serious problem to put the look in the mouth of the

Mliami River for manyr reasons. The most practicable si~te for

the look wans found to be at the site now7 proposed, which is

some thousand feet below the junction of the Tamiami and Miiami

Canals. In our opinion, this location is sufficiently far down

to protect the w~ell fields an~d to re-establish a considerable

area of fresh water storage between the structure and the well

fields over a period of time. We therefore feel justified in

recommending to Dade County that a barrier structure be placed

at this location. In our opinion, a structure at this location

will be far enough dowvn to protect the wrell fields and also

will ~be effective in re-establishing a considerable amount of

fresh water storage. Wie further believe that at this location

the wrell fields will be safe, against salt wrrater intrusion, for

an indefinite period in the future.

A series of studies have bteen conducted by Mr. S-tephens,

'iater Control Engineer for Dad3e Cou~nty, to develop economic

justification for the proposed work. These studies, which

wfill be presented to you by him, show that the proposed

installation will provide benefits greatly in excess of the

cost of the project.

The location selected for the salt water barrier

lies within the limits of the U. S. Government navigation chan-

nel. Dade County, therefore, is asking for a permit to place

this structure in the navigable channel. In order to provide

the least possible hardship to navigation, it is proposed to

construct twlo looks in connection with the barrier. Each one

of the looks would be controlled by a gate upstream and

dow~nstream with a look chamber between the gates.

The larger one of the locks would have a depth of

15 feet below mean sea level, which depth is below the bottom

of the navigation channel wrJhich is set at 15 feet below high

water. The width of the large look structure would be 40 feet

and the length of the chamber between gate monoliths would be

320 feet. A study of the navigation moving in the canal has

been made, and it was found that the w~idthz of this look is

great enough to permit the passage of any vessel or barge which

navigates these waters. It is also long enough to take the

longest towrs which were brought through these waters without

breaking them up.

About 70 percent of the boats passing this point are

small boats, less than 60 feet in length and 18 feet in width,

and generally having drafts of 5 or 6 feet or less. To provide

for these vessels, an auxiliary lock chamber 18 feet by 60 feet

writh 7i feet of depth below~ mean sea level is provided. Ti

look wrill take all the anall boat traffics at ordinary times.

On holidays, wh~en the small boat traffic is very heavy, it wJill

be necessary occasionally to use the large look to take these

boats through.

It is not intended at this time to submit the details

of the proposed look construction for approval. General plans

only have been submitted.' Howtever, it is proposed that the

look design will be such as to permit the movement of vessels

and barges through the structure w~i~th the least possible delayS.

It is planned that the gates will operate from fully opened to

fully closed position in twso minutes for the large look and

one and one-half minutes for the small look. It is proposed

that the water will be equalized in thie look chambers in less

than twio minutes. W~ith this procedure, there should be very

little loss of time and therefore very little delay to traffic.

The delays have been e estimated by Micr. Stephens in his report

and are believed to be quite conservative.

A navigation traffic count wFas unde for the Months

of November 1945 through Masy 1946 inclusive at the location of

the proposed structure at N.W. 20th Street. A similar count

was made at the Tamiami Canal in N;WJ. South River Drive for

the Months of January, February and MIarch 1946. The results

of these traffic studies are summarized in the following tables:

/i ,L
t ,ib~.~

It wvill be seen from the foregoing that the average

monthly number of lockages for the mlain look for commercial

vessels would be 222 per month and for pleasure craft over 60

feet in length 86 per monta, a total of 308 per month.

These would largely move on wreek-days, so that the average

nudmber per day would be approximately tw~elve. The maximum

per day is approximately double this, or twrenty-four. Fre-

quently more than one vessel or tw~o would pass through the

look at a time. Based on an average thme of 20 minutes per

lockage, the maximum demand could be handled in less than

eight hours, or one-third of the time. It would therefore

appear that the proposed mrain look: was of amp~le capacity to

take care of present and future traffic. The average number

df lockages per month for pleasure craft under 60 feet in

length is 652 and the maxinum 924. This is so average number

of 20 to 30 per day. This nudb~er can be easily handled by

the small look, particularly when it is considered that several

of these boats may pass throughthe look at one time and also

that they may pass through the large look along with commercial

vessels. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the maximum

nudmber of pleasure craft may be 100 or more. On these days the

commercial business is lights and as many of the pleasure craft

as appear in excess of the capacity of the small boat lock can

be taken through the large boat look in groups.

It may be seen from analyzing the foregoing data that

the proposed look structure is adequate in size and capacity to

take care of the present traffic and any reasonable expectation

of future traffic.

It is proposed to design the gates so that they may

be removed for maintenance and repair with a minimumn of delay

to traffic. Their design will be such that they can be removed

over-night for annual overhaul during the period wrhen flows are

high enough in the main stream to make the use of the look

unnecessary. The dan structure itself will provide six 10-foot

wide flood-gates with protection against back pressure.

The type of gate selected is the bottom hinged gate

known also as the tumb3le gate. TPhis has particular advantage

in the maia look when the look is being used by shallow draft

vessels, as it will not be necessary to lower the gate all the

way down and thus the salt water flows which follow the bottom

of the daannel can be impeded.

In times of flood flow8a, all the dan gates as well as

the look gates, may be opened wide and it will then be possible

to pass the greatest possible flood that can come down this

channel at a comparatively low velocity. WYith a flow of 4,000

e.f.s., the velocity will be less than 3 feet per second.

This flow is greater than the greatest experienced flows.

The location of this look at the site proposed will

have a number of beneficial effects upon navigation. In the

first place, the effect of this barrier will be to stop the

movement of the tidal prian at that point. This means that

the tidal velocities below the barrier will be considerably

less, since the large enount of tidal flow required to fill

the basin above this site will then become unnecessary. The

result will be that th~e tidal velocities just below the look

will be negligible, and will bej considerably reduced from there

to the mouth of the M8iami Canal. Above the dan, the tidal

fluctuation will be eliminated and there therefore will be no

tidal velocity. The only currents will be those of the

drainage and flood waters. above the look there will be fresh

water 12 months in the year. This will make locations above

the look most desirable for anchorage. It will also permit

the opening up of Palmer Lake as a fresh water anchorage and

mooring basin.

The effect of the looks also will be to provide a

uniform stage in the canal upstream from the looks. This will

be advantageous for mooring a~nd docking of vessels. It is

believed that the benefits to' navigation will very largely

offset the cost of the delays involved. The other benefits

which will acorne from this projects that is those that come

fran maintaining the freshwauter underground reservoir, are

very great and far exceed the cost of the proposed project.

It might be pointed out at this time that the

alternate sites considered for the water control structures

are above~he navigable channel. Lock:structures therefore
would not have to be as large as at the proposed location, or

if they were built as large, the cost of the installations

would be very great and there would be tw~o lookstructures to

be maintained and operated perpetually.

Now it is entirely possible that the development of

Mdiami will make it advisable to extend the navigation channels

further inland and there is no reason why this should not be

done with adequate salt water barriers. The proposed location

of the look below the Sunotion of the two streams would be the

most advantageous location once this future development is

sooomplished, for navigation could come out of the Tamiami

Canal and go up the Miami Canal without having to pass through

any looks, as against having to pass through two looks if the

upper locations were selected.

You wrill hear fron a nanber of others at this Hearing,

who have been studying the problem of salt water intrusion

for many years. It is the consensus of opinion of these

experts that the look and dan structure for the purpose

of stopping salt water intrusion and maintaining fresh water

levels should be placed below the junction of the Miami and

TamingS Canals, and that the site selected and recommended at

this hearing is the farthest upstream that this structure

should be located to meet the situation effectively. It is

also the opinion of these experts that it is vital to this

community that this structure be installed.

To sum up:

1. The proposed structure is necessary for the maintenance

of the fresh water reservoir upon which Mia~mi depends for its

water supply.

2. T~e structure cannot be located further upstream and be

fully effective.

3. The structure will not prove to be an unreasonable

obstacle to navigation, but will in fact provide considerable

benefits to navigation.

4. It is therefore believed that the permit requested

by Dade County for the construction of this structure should

be granted, subject of course to final approval of detailed

plans by the 1War Departmpent.


By (Sipled) _Theo~o~re T. Knappen


Ojus, Florida

July 2, 1946

Col. AL. B. Jones Re: Proposed Look: in Miami River at
District Engineer N.W. 27th Ave., MEiamri, Fla.
U. S. Engineer Office
Jacksonville, Fla.


As a firm wrho is just completing a large investment on Tamiand
Canal west of Red Road (NS.W.i 57th Ave.) we w~ish to have our com-
ment twith reference to the proposed look in the Mdiami River at
N.W. 27th Ave. considered and entered in the record.

W~e are comple-ting a ;c500,000.00 stone crushing plant, quarry,
and concrete block plant on the property lying between Tanismi
Canal on the south, Miami Air Depot on the north, FEC and SAL
Railways on the wesst, and Red Road on the east. WNe will trans-
port our products by barges dowvn Tamiarni Canal to M~iami River,
through the proposed look and thence to delivery points. W1e are
as vitally affected by the proposed look as anyr operation could

After a detailed discussion with MLr. Earle M.i Rader, Dade County
Engineer, as to the size of the look, depth of water, mechanical
operating time, etc., we are convinced that the look will be a
slight convenience at most. Wie are further convinced that this
slight inconvenience cannot be compared to the tremendous good
the people$ of Dade County will receive from the proper control of
their wa rer supply.

In conclusion, please understand that our firm is in favor of the
proposed look.

Yours respectfully


(Signed)R. G. Willianas


0 & FR So~lA or



Office and Yards 2481 N.W. 32nd Ave.

Mdiamni, Florida

SALKGBB-3 800.61 (6618)
Miami Earbor
Biscayne Bay, Florida June 25, 1946

Wlar Department
United States Engineers Office
Jacksonville, Florida

Attention: A. B. Jones, Colonel
District Eng;ineer

Dear Sir:

This i~s in regard to the construction of a look and water control
dam in the Miami. River as outlined in your notice of June 11, 1946.

Our principal business is salvage. W~e wwn a number of lots on
the Mliami River above the proposed site and wiish to state that we
approve of the project providing that the lock will not interfere
with river traffic.

It is our understanding thab the locks will be 40' wide, 320' long;
and 15' deep in which case that should not interfere with barging
operations but -a are not familiar enough with looks to understand
whether or not they would interfere with sameu.

Our opinion is that there are msupr benefits to be derived fran water
control which w~ill enhance the v-alue of our property~ on the river
front as well as be a benefit to agricultural anid other community
interests. Certainly we would not want to imperil the water conditions
of Greater Miiamd.

HYe handle a considerable amount of barge material in barges that carry
faom 150 to 400 tons and anyrthing that wie can do to help the city out,
we will be glad to do, of course, without jeopardizing our business.
The WJar Department of the United States Engineers Of~fice of Wlater
Fronts certainly would kmow whether or not this would obstruct freight
traffic on the Meiami River an-d if it did not, there would be no
objection on our part.

Yours veryT trulyr


(signed) Meyrer Schwrartz
gygyY Meyer Schw~a tz


M~iami, Florida

July 9, 1946

Col. A. B. Jones
District Engineer
United States Engineers
Jacksonville, Florida

Dear Sir:

It is our understanding that the County is contemplating construe-
tion of a dam in the Misni River, the hearing for the issuance of
a permit for this purpose to be held June 11, 1946,

It is our desire to go on record favoring this construction, as in
our opinion the protection of water supply of the city will be
vitally affected as far as salt water intrusion is concerned unless
some steps are taken, such as the construction of this dan to pre-
vent this salt water intrusion.

l'his company owns some river frontage above, or west, of the loca-
tion of the contemplated salt water intrusion dom and while some
inconvenience may be caused by this contemplated construction it
is our considered opinion that the protection of this city's -a~ter
supply is more important than any personal inconvenience that may
be suffered by those whose property is located west of this contem-
plated construction.

In view of the above circumstances, wre recommend that the permit
applied for by the County for this construction be granted.

Yours very truly,

(Signed) C. B. Chinn

G 4 Lr r r lC





P.O. Box 2529
M1iami 15, Fla.

July 5, 1946

The District Engineer,
United States Engineer Department,
Jacksonville, Fla.

Dear Sir:

The attached "Summary of conclusions reached after six years of investi-
gations of the geology and ground water of the Greater M~iarni Area,
Florida" has been prepared by the writer in response to a request
from the Dade County Engineer Department. The summary is intended
to be used in connection with a public hearing to be held in Mriami
by the United States Engineer Department on July 11, 1946, when the
subject of a control structure in the Mdiami. Canal will be discussed.

The United States Geological Survey does not enter into this hearing
as a partisan. The data we have to submit is offered without prejudice
or bias, and is factual. It is based on somewhat more than six years
of intensive investigations of the geological and hydrological conditions
controlling the occurrence of ground water in this area. The United States
Geological Survey has made these investigations in financial
cooperation with the Cities of Miami, Miiand Beach, Coral Gables, the
County of Dade, and the Florida Geological Survey, the investigations
being part of a nation-wide program the aim of which is to learn the
facts of our Nation's ground water supplies.

Very t ruly yrours,

(Signed) Garald G. Parker

Garald G. Parker
Geologist in Charge
Ground W~ater Investigations
in Southern Florida


Garald G. Parker, U. S. Geological Survey

It is not believed necessagy at this time to delve into the history
.of the water resources problems of the Greater Miani Area, nor to
describe in detail the work done by the U. S. Geological Survey in
cooperation wnith the Cities of Miami, Mdiani Beach, Coral Gabless the
County of Dade, and the Florida Geological Survey in studying these
problems. The data have already been presented in almost twenty
separate reports. Of these, perhaps the ones that bear most on the
problem of water control are the following:

(1) Parker, G. G., Fergusan, G.E., and Love, S.K.: Interim report;
on the water resources of southeastern Florida with special
reference to the Miami Area in Dade County, Rep't of Investigations
No. 4, Florida Geological Survey, 1944.

(2) Brownm R. H., and Parker, G.G. : Salt water en~crueachment in lImeL
stone at Silver Bluff, Niami, Florida, Economic Geologys Vol. LL,
No. 4, 1945s PP* 235-262.

(3) Parker, G. G.: Salt water encroachment in southern Floridas American
Water Works Association Journal, YTo. 37, No. 6, 1945, pp. .526-542.

(4) Gross, W. P., Love, S.K., Parker, G. G., and Wallace; D.S., Progress
report on the water resources investigations in southeastern
Florida, mimeographed, in two volumes. Text in Yol. 1,
illustrations in Yol. 2, 1940.

(5) Parkers *. *, Late cenozoio geology of southern Florida with a
discussion of the ground water, Florida Geological Survey Btill.
:1. ; ',Nb.187, 1944.

Copies of Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 listed above are attached herewith for ref-
erence. No. 4 is out of print, though a copy is available at the Miami,
00818 and Whashing~ton, D.C. offices of the U. S. Geological Survey, and
each cooperating official has one copy.

Although there are many conclusions that have been reached as a result of
the geological and hydrological studies m~ade by the U. 3. Geological Survey
in this area, the minor ones need not be recited here. Only those of major
import will be considered.

(1) Prior to drainage development in southern Florida there was no problem
of salt water encraochment.

(2) Prior to 1942 (between the beginning of the encroachment and Feb. 4,-:1942)
salt water had been moving inland at depth in the fresh water aquifer
at a rate of approximately 235 feet per year.

(3) Between Feb. 4, 1942 and Oct. 28, 1944 salt water moved inlead
at; depth in the aquifer at ma average rate of approximately 890
feet per year.

(4) The 890 feet per year rate occurred during the drouth of 1943-44
and is probably not the yearly rate at which salt water will
continue to encreach There are definite indications that under
conditions of heavy rainfall and high water tables the salt en-
oroachment is not only slowed down but; in places moves seaward, The
overall trend, however, is for the salt water to move inland.

(5) Salt water moving at depth in the aquifer is behaving according to
laws of physics, and responds to increases or ~decreases in the
weight of fresh water above mean sea level by moving seaward or land-
wcard. When water lev41s fall salt moves inland; when they rise high
enough it stops or even moves seaward.

(6) Drainage has so lowered the ~weight of fresh water above mean sea
level in the MIiami area that the long established equilibrian between
salt arnd fresh water has been upset, and under the laws of physics
the salt water is gradually moving inland seeking a balance under the
new conditions.

(7) Geological conditions are such that the aquifer in the M~iami area is
very highly permeable. Furthermore, the aquifer is underlain by
about 400 to 600 feet of relatively impermeable~ materials whPich
prevent the easy movement of water through th~em. These geological
conditions permit the natural development of a great underground
storage reservoir sea'l8a off fran waters below, ~but open to water
above and on tile sides.

The aquifer is wedge-shaped, thick toward the shore and thin toward
the interior of the Florida peninsula. Along Biscayne Bay it will
average some srat more than one hundred and twienty-five feet in thick-
neas; in western MTiami it is about one hundred. feet; thiolk; forty miles
west it is only about ten feet thick, To the south it becomes shallow-;
er, being only about sixty feet thick in the H~omestead-Florida City
area, but it is very highly permteable. To the north of M~iami the
aquifer extends somewhat beyond Delray Beach, but becomes sandier and
sandier to the north.

In the Everglades' and to the north of Delray under the Atlantic
Coastal Ridge the aquifer interfingers with or grades into the
Caloosahatchee marl, a material of relatively low permeability. Very
little ground water makes its wayp out of the Caloosahatchee mar1 into
the principal aquifer of this area.

(8) The amount of wat1er taken from the present well field (from thirty to
forty million gallons a day) is only a very small amount of water as
compared to the large amount available.


( The effort of the well field does not ever extend over a very
great distance -- the radius of the cone of depression is seldom
Over a mile.

(0 Because of the geological controls, the water supply of the Greater
Maiand area, which is taken from the huge underground reservoir
above described, is almost- entirely derived from local rainfalls
Very' little water is carried into thes aquifer fran areas outside the
boundaries of the a~quifer.

(11) Bgogause of the controls over salt water encroachment exerted by the
f"~`i lawHs of physiCS and geology, it has been determined that salt water
in the Mdiami area will come eventually to rest in equilibrium with
iL' fresh water at the place where the he~ and one-half foot average
annual contour on the water table exists.

The salt water is denser and has a greater weight than freshwater,
s~o much so that a forty foot column of salt water weighs the same
as a fortyT-one fb ot column hf fresh-water. This;gives rise to the
Bhyben-:Rerzberg Prinoiple used by geologists and engineers in de-
termining the depth to salt water in a coastal zone of permeable
materials where salt ansd fresh water come into contact. Simply, the
Principle means that for each foot of fresh water that exists above
mean sea level at the zone of contact there will be an additional
forty feet of fresh water below.

(12) Since the aquifer here is one hundred feet thick, and it is desired
to have it completely filled with fresh water fran top to bottom thus
leaving no room for salt water at all, it is necessary to have tos and
one-half feet of fresh water above mean sea level (2i x 40 = 100) to
accomplish this.

(13) The maintenance of ground water levels at an average yearly stage of
two and one-half feet above mean sea level1 can only be effected by
'controlling the canals which draia Dade County, and the greatest de-
Sgree of control that can be effected probably will not prevent some
~.' further inland movement of the salt water in the aquifer; however, it
would preserve a substantially large area that otherwise would be lost
to encoraching salt water, and it would reclaim some parts of the
aquifer now salted, especially those parts extending inland several
miles along the tidal canals from the main body of salt water con~tsmina-

(14) The farther downstream control structures could be placed and operated
in tidal drainage canals in Dade County, the more effootive water
o'ont~rol would become, and the closer to the Bay the encroaching salt
water would. be held.


(15) The temporary dams that have been in operation in the Miamni Canal
at N.W. 36th St. are all that hars saved the present well field
of the City of MtiamIi and all the private wells that exist; in the
E~ iale~a-M~iami Springs area to the west of the dam along; the Canal,
E however, these dams have not been wholly effective for none of them
has actually stopped the westwrard ereep of the salt water at depth
iii in the aquifer. This is shown, by a study of the monthly maps of the
Miami well field area, prepared by the Mdiami office of the United
States Geological Survey. These dams have not stopped~ salt water
encrea~chment at depth in the aquifer because they were not designed
to raise the water table behind t-hem. Their function was to prevent
the movement of salt water in the canal upstream from the dams.

The: several dams that have been installed at the 36th St. site have
prevented, to a large extent, the salt water from finding free access
-to the stretch of the Canal adjacent to the well field, but on occasion
when the dam has been out of place or broken salt water has penetrated
inland adjacent to the wlell field in the Canal. This has brought about
local and small scale saltinrgs of the areas adjacent to the- canal, and
at the present time some of that salty ground water is ~prsent adjacent
to the well field.

~(16) The development and putting into s ervice. of five new wells in the
upper field, and cutting down of pum~page in the old "lower field" has
caused the cone. of depression around the well field to change location.
It has' moved about one mile north and 0.7 mile farther fran the front
of the tongue of salty ground water headed toward the well field and
now situated (the front of high chloride, 500 parts per million or more)
about 0.7 mile Northwest of N.W. 36th St. Bridge. This temporarily
makes the field safer, because salt water now will have a greater dis-
tanc~e -to travel th gain access to the wells.

However, .for the safety of the well field, this change of position of
the cone of depression still leaves the outer edge of the cone too near
the tongue of salt waster mentioned above. If the well field is: to be
saved it; will be necessary to have the control located much thrther down-
stream than 36th St. preferably below the mouth of the Tamiami Canal.
If this were done, the area between the well: field cone of depression
and the dam would be increased by whatever distance the control were
moved. Properly controlled so that only fresh water ever occupied the
stretch of canals abovethe control works, the wellj:efield should be
safe for years to come.

(17) If it should not be deemed essential to save the pr-esent well field
,\ and all the private wells along the Miami Canal, the loss involved
would be mainly an economic loss. The aquifer is large enough add pro-
ductive enough that numerous well fields of the capacity of the present
one could be developed within thirty miles to the south, fifty miles to
the north, and fifteen to eighteen miles to the west (of downtovm Miami).

(18) It would not be possible to develop large supplies of ground water in
the Everglades more than fifteen to eighteen miles west of the coastline.
This Is due to the thinning of the aquifer and consequent lesser capacity,
to the increasing amounts of sand that reduce th~e permeability,
and to the iaoreasing poor quality of the water with distance away from
the coast.


ICu. &/ '- TP RS



July 11, 1946

Miy name is Hugh Peters. I an Vice-Chairman of the Board of

County Commissioners of Dade Cotnty, Florida and represent said Board

in the absence of the chairman who is out; of the city. The Board of

County Commi~ssioners of Dade County, Florida, has been charged by the

1945 Legislature of the State of Florida with the responsibility for

the water control program of Dade County.

This authorization case as a result of extensive studies made

by Federal and State Agencies and widespread local agitation based upon

the very real need for ending the intrusion at salt water into many areas

in Dade County which have previously been underlaid by fresh water.

It was apparent to this community that the intrusion of salt

water was causing a 1arge amount of damage and was threatening us with

even greater damage in the future. We found that our freshwater supply

for the City of :Mami and other communities was threatened, that many of

our agricultural lands were being rendered unfit for cultivation by salt

deposits, that our fresh water anchorages for small raft were being

largely eliminated and that the reduction in fresh water level which

went along with this problem was contributing to the rapid destruction

of our peat soils.

Under the authorization given to Dade County, the County has

started a program of water control which has included placing a Irnuber of

temporary and permanent dams in various streams, water courses and

drainage canals leading into Biscayne Bay. As a result of these measures

a considerable firprcvement has already taken place in many areas. This

work has been under the direction of County Engineer Earle MI. Rader and

his assistant, the County W~ater Control Engineer, John C. Stephens;. The

County has also retained the Knappen Engineering Company as consulting

engineers on this project, mad Mr. K~nappen anrd MBr. Tippets of this firm

have worked with Mdesars. Rader and Stephena in developing a water control


The most important unit of this program is the proposed looks

and dan structure in the Miand River. HPe have already submitted to you

a request for a permit to build this structure, and this hearina~s RSI

understand it, is called in order that you may receive testimony on this

request for a permit. The County Commnissioners would like to emphasize

the great importance which they attach to this proposed construction, and

ask that you give the matter your early attention, and further ask thatyou

grant us the right to build the proposed structure.

I shall now ask County Engineer Earle M. Rader to present this

matter in more detail to you.

/}f)LC~eLNL-Z /RN tS

New York 18, N. Y.



~WRSBAY, 11 JUTLY 1946

Newi York 18, N. Y.

July 6, 1946

War Department
United States Engineer Office
Jacksonville, Florida


As consulting engineer for the Minmi Water Company and
at various times for the City of Miami Beach since 1920,
the Jacksonville Water Supply Cormmission in 1927, War Depart-
ment as a member of the Board of Eagineers and Geologists
which reported on Ground Water related to the Atlantio-G-ulf
Ship Canal and now for the Department of Water and Sawers,
City of Miamij, I have been actively engaged in studies of
ground and surface water resources of Florida, especially
those within Dade County, for more than twenty-five years.

The attached brief statement for the record of the
11 July 1946 hearing on the petition of Dade County for permit
to control water levels in the Minmi Canal is respectfully
subanitted at the request of the Department of Water and Sawers,
Cityr of Miami.

Very truly yours

(Signed) Mdalcolm Pirnie

Malcolm Pirnie


Brief Statement
Descriptive of
Ground WPa~ter Reservoir in Dade County
Immediate Need for Protective Wlater Level Controls
with particular reference to
M~iami and Tuniamij Canals


Immediately under a strip of land, approximately
twenty miles wide east of Biscayne Bay shore line (Exhibit 1
blue and red areas) there exists a wedge shaped mass of very
porous rocks, thin along the wresterly edge and slightly more
than one hundred feet thick along the Bay shore. The surface
materials are shallow deposits of sand generally exposed on the
higher lands with a muck cover;.nC on the lower lands. This
porous mass lies on top of a p:rao-tiedI-ly impervious formation
several hundred feet thick wic~iih acts as an effective seal between
the younger porous rooks above and the older porous rocks below.
(Exhibits 2, 3 wad 4.)

A large proportion of tae rainfall on the surface of
this porous wedge percolates vertically to the underlying ground
water raisiag its surface above sea level. This creates head re-
quired to cause slow easterly flow of fresh water to escape into
sea water near the shore of Biscayne Bay. Eere the fresh-water
neets the movable sea water east wiall of the ground water re-
servoir (Exhibits 3 and 4) flowing upward from the bottom and lower
depths in the reservoir in the contact zone between fresh water
and the west face of the movable sea-water wall. At the west face
and over the crest of the movable wall, sea-water is depressed
forty units below sea level for each unit of fresh water head
above sea level. The fresh-water carrying varying mixtures with
sea-water discharges through tche porous Bay bottom close to sea
level in a variable zone or band automatically adjusted ia width
to permit the existing volume of fresh wliater flow to escape.

Natural and artificial channels out through the Bay
shore ridge move the fresh-water escape band inland. In these
circumstances high ground water levels resulting from heavy rains
must flow laterally for considerable distances through porous
rooks to discharge through the limited perimeters of the channels
until the rest of the movable sea-water east wall of the ground
water reservoir can be forced eastward through the porous rooks
th reestablish an adjustable escape band in the Bay bottom along
the shore line. Obviously the existence of a moderate number of
such channels causes substantially higher ground water levels
during periods of heavy ratus than would occur if the adjustable
rest of the movable sea-water east wall of the reservoir were
maintained at the shore line of the Bay.

While channels out through the Bay shore ridge cause
increased ground water levels in wet periods they also cause
substantially lower ground water, levels in extended droughts.
With little or no recharge from rainfall and continuous drainage
of fresh water stored in the rooks above sea level the storage
is depleted month by month and the fresh water pressure against
the movable east wall of the reservoir is reduced. Ihis wall
moves wrestw~ard seeking a pressure balance. Rate of movement is
limited by friction of flow of salt-water westward and of dis-
placed fresh water seeking escape to sea level through the sides
and bottoms of the channels.

Channels of substantial width and moderate depth be-
came tidal surge ways in dry seasons when fresh water flows
are small. Flood tides project a wedge of sea-water surging in-
land on the bottom. The displaced fresh water flows over the sea-
water wedge in the opposite direction as its level is raised. This
causes considerable mixing at the interface and same back flow of
salted water into the surface waters of the ground water reservoir
un-til solid matter clogs the open pores in the channel sides and
bottom. Ebb tides withdraw the sea-water wedge followed by the
backed up fresh and salted mater mixture. As the level falls
past mean sea level to approach lowr tide level ground water dis-
charge from higher elevations is resumed. This forces the solid
matter away fron the pores to permit flown into the channel. The
ground water drainage effect is similar to that of a tidal basin
controlled by checkr valves closed against flood tides and opened
to discharge on ebb tides. The resulting depletion of ground
water storage augmented slightly by pumping from wells had, on
May: 19, 1945, reduced its surf ace elevation close to and even
below nean sea level over substantial areas at Mfiami Springs and
from Perrine to Royal Palm State Park.

Effective adjustment of Great of
Movable Sea-WTater East Wiuall of Reservoir
Raest~rict'he~ ing F-k~ reashatr Dis~cha-rge during Droughts

Water table contours (Exhibi~t 5) record the steepest
slopes for easterly flows from the ground water highs immediately
north and south of the Mbiami Canal under the Bay shore ridge.
Depth of fresh water above the sea-water rest of the east wall
of the reservoir may have then been reduced to one percent or
less of the depth of fresh water to the wost of the wall. Thus
the greater part of flow fran ground water storage above sea
level at that time was westerly toward seepage discharges to
canals and the cone of depression caused by pumping water fron
Mdiami Springs well field. The area colored yellow is that under
which movement of" ground water was toward Nuanu Springs and the
blue arrows indicate the directions of converging flows.

Westward Advance of the
Movabl e Sea--Waer East Wall of Reservoir

Fron its natural location approximating Biscayne Bay
shore line the west face sone of mixing of the movable sea-water
eas-t wall of the ground water reservoir has moved inland under
the area colored red (Exhibit 1). Salients of the advance are
'established under the numerous tidal drainage canals of which the
Miami Canal is obviously the most menacing. Existing "improve-
ments" of this anal, solely in the interests of tide water
shipping, have doomed to bi-section this essential ground water
reservoir of Dade anid Broward counties. Each successive "'improve-
'mentn of the Miami Canal has accelerated the northwesterly march
of sea water under it.

Miami's original water supply was from flowing wells on
the Miami Country Club grounds nlearS. W. Tenth Avenue and a
natural water fall in the Miami River. The pure, good quality
water flowed by gravity in a pipe line laid in the river valley
to the electric power station where it wvas putmped without trea~t-
ment iuto the distribbi-tion system. The initial Miami Canal con-
verted the MSiami River and falls into a tidal section but con-
structled two small boat looks upstream fotning the second pool
level above high tide near Miami Spring~s.

The wells stopped flowing and purmps wuere installed to
lift water from then to the receiving basin for continued gravity
flow to the power station. Salt water contamination of the well
water started at the timel of the first W~orld War and Mr. H. H.
Hymanr, then manager of' the Miani W~ater Company, was sent to jail
for serving the people water containing salt in concentrations of
only about 200 PPH as 01. For a few years salt-free water was
obtained f~ran wells drilled at increasing distances north of the
canal. In the year 1924 it was determined to establish a new
ground water production area above the second looks near Hialeah.
A legislative bill to permit use and maintenance of the new
source of supply was vetoed by the governor anid the City of
Miami assumed responsibility for development and operation of
the source of water supply.

Almost immediately the Miami Canal was deepened and
extended as a tidal channel to .Penuoo. The resulting sea-water
salient is still on its westward march. A concentration of one-
sixth sea-water has already reached NJ. W, 38'th Street. Fran this
location, in spite of intermittent use of temporary dana, tongues
of sea-water contaminated ground water have already lashed north-
westward into the Miami Springs well field at times of law ground
water levels as reobrded on February 29, 1944.~ (Exhibit 6).

On the bottan of the ground water reservoir the sea-
water intruder is always pres~en~t with his rear supported by occupa-
tian of the voloane of the reservoir already conquered, and the re-


aulting resistance to retreat offered by increasing distances for
sea-water flow eastward through the porous rooks. When pressure of
the Fresh water wanes to less than that required to balance sea-
water at- reservoir bottom elevation the intruder creeps. forward un-
til balance of pressure is again established,

ThE'u the proportion of the total time during which cer-
tain fresh water control levels are maintained is the most important
factor in permitting advance or causing retreat of the sea-water
intruder. For enrample, if the fresh water level in the Mdiamd and
Tamidami Canals is controlled as low as elevation 1.5 for more than
half the total time ultimate heavy salting of the existing Mliani
Springs Well field may be anticipated. (Exhibit 7).

M~os-t Effective Controls Possible to
Recapture and Preserve Freda~ Groun~d Wiater Resource

Fortunately the bottan of the reservoir slopes downmward
fron its shallow westerly edges generally with increasing slopes,
until it reaches its location under the Bay Ridge, Dams should
be constructed as close as possible to the Bay shore, high enough
to hold back the maximan flood tides, where all channels out through
the ridge and fresh water level controlled by the dams at or close
to mpean high tide level for as great a proportion of the total time
Bthepo'saible. The movable sea-water east wall of the reservoir would
then be gradually forced back to its natural position with crest
close to the Bay shore line. In these circumstances practically full
depth of the reservoir would be available for lateral flow of ex-
oess volumes of fresh-water seeking discharge over the sea-water
orest- into the Bay. The sea-water salients surrounding the tidal
sections of the canals and obstructing flow of fresh water over
them to discharge into the canals would be rapidly depressed. This
would increase effectiveness of existing canals for fresh ground
water withdrawal when heavy rains cause relatively high levels.

With canal sections adeq~ia~te for the drainage required,
ground water levels can be controlled within desired limits much
more effectively than is possible under present conditions. Higher
level storage should be provided in the shallower half of the ground
water reservoir by secondary controls in all connecting drainage
channels. Such storage will extend the time when it is possible to
hold canal water levels at elevation 2.5 and may need to be su~p-
plemented by Lake Okeechobee storage drawn at times through connect-
ing canals.

This plan of control was included ia the 1940 proposal
for development of a source of ground water supply near the Broward
County Line for Mdiami Beach. It included double controls in Bia-
cayne and Snake Greak Canals and reinstatement of effective control
at the looks in North New River and South NJew River Canals in
Browvard County.


Essential Need for Conservation
-of All So'-uTrces of Stisfactor~ Waer
South of Latitude of North Shore of' Lake Okeechobee

Very low land levels, correspondingly great distances
to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and lack of porous rooks near
sea level in which an underground lateral drainage system could
develop have confined highly nineralized conate waters under
most of the land area. Fresh waters from the rainfall naturally
spread out and flow in shallow broad depressions to discharge
their unevaporated surplus as surface water flows to the ocean
and gulf, Canals dredged through the area which draw water below
natural surface levels nor drain to them some of these oonate
waters which cause marked depreciation in quality, during dry
weather flows. (ExhibJit 8).

Dry season evaporation from Lake Okeechobee removes
water at a rate in excess of' 2,000 c.f.a. and the shallow storage
remaining is definitely limited to provide large quantities of
water fbr various uses during periods of extended droughts.

Narrow belt of porous rooka meeting the ooean water at
and near sea level :provide substantial capacity for lateral flow of
water in the pores to escape near the shore line, Such washing of
the rooks hars dissolved their more soluble substances and has dis-
charged the solutions and oonate waters into the oc ean, (Exh ibit
8 Blue Area), This type of cleansed ground water storage. reservoir
was available under the area colored blue on the southerly east
coast of Florida. One large reservoir extended south from Lake
Worth and another smaller one north fran ~Jupiter Inlet. Both have
been substantially depleted in capacity by surface drainage opera-

The full capacities of these reservoirs are needed as the
only available covered storage basins in which fresh water fran
the rainfall can be collected anid held for use during many months
with few if any rains. The bulk of the fresh water stored in the
reservoirs is needed fran at least 2.5 feet above sea level to the
bottom to hold their seo-water east walls at the shore line.
S~atorage available foEi?;atbrer applysl irrigation and leakage through
the east walls is only that volume above elevation 2.5. There is
no loss by evaporation fron the reservoir surfaces over the
greater parts of their areas where the water table is below the
reach of capillarity and roots of growing plants.

The relatively low land covering of the reservoirs limits
the depths of storage available for use. This is no greater than
needed to support the population and activities which will be
established in this Florida east coast area within a reasonable
future period of time if the present trend in growth continues.
It would be a orine to permit the fortunes and industryq~of so
large a group of citizens to be invested in the area unless

adequate steps are taken immediately to reestablish and protect
these natural ground water storage reservoirs.

Ship and Boat Looks at Sea Water Contact
D-esigined alnd Operated to Keep Canal Water Fresh

Model tests recently completed by Anny E~ngineers at
Vicksburg, Miss. have demonstrated the feasibility of design and
operation of looks to prevent serious salting of anal waters. In
the sea level chambers when the sea gate is closed at least a half
look full of fresh water is admitted at the surface Phile an eq~ual
quantity of salt water is withdrawn evenly over the bottom. The
water in the sea level chamber is practically fresh whien the canal
gate is opened. Water from an upstream sump :'u the canal bottan
is also withdrawn to discharge salted water which may pass over the
canal bottom aill. This is an essential use of available fresh
water supply. Water for this purpose in the M~iasri Canal might be
furnished in part through canals connecting with Lake Okeechobee.

NJ. W. Twentieth Street Lodat~ion
for M~iami Canal Look

Location of the proposed look at the temporary dan site
near N. W. Thirty-Sixth Street would not provide the necessary
factor of safety to prevent ultimate salting of the Mbiiamib Springs well
field even with another look built on the Tamiami Canal close to
its connection. with the Miami Canal. Furthermore,water levels
above both looks would have to be controlled at or above elevation
2.5 at all times.

It is obviously preferable as a means of preventing sa-
water contamination of the well field at Miami Springs to adopt the
recommended location near N. W. Tw~rentieth Street as petitioned by
Dade County. at this location also water level above the look should be
controlled at elevation 2.5 except when heavy rains cause such large
volume of flow as to require full look openings to effect its dis-
charge .

If this N. W. Twoentieth Street location is the nearest to
the Bay shore which can be approved at this time it should be
authorized at once and built immediately. It will be useful as a
second level look when the Bay shore self-flushing look is built as
it should be in the immediate future.


This statement would not have been possible without the
splendid recordings of the excellent studies made by the Un~ited
States Geological Survey during the past six years. All of the
attached exhibits are copies of a few selected records of this
great work. They have been colored to emp~hasize the brief d~escrip-
tions presented. Discussions of controlling principles of the prob-
lem with Mr. Parker and Mr. Bogart have aided materially in
visualizing the operations of these coastal ground water reservoirs.


Inspections and consultations with t he engineers of
the United States Departneint of Agriculture, Soil. Consenra-
tion Service have contributed greatly to a growing understanding
of the over-all problems of desperately needed waiter control in

k)RLE /Ih AS&@PP

July 11, 1946

My name is Earle M., Rader. I am County Engineer for Dade

County, Florida and as such an in charge of Dade County's WCater Control


In general the water control program being carried out by Dade

County has as its objectives the stopping of salt water intrusion into

the fresh water, and where possible, the re-establishment of fresh water

in areas that have gone salt, together with the control of the fresh water

table in farm lands so as to make such lands more suitable for farmijng.

In the case of peat soils we propose to prevent their burning and reduce

their oxidization and thereby preserve such peat soils.

As Commissioner Peters has outlined, preliminary to taking the

action we are now taking, the U. S. Geological Survey in cooperation with

D~ade County, -has carried on an extensive study of the water control pro-

blema in this county. The U. S. Department of Agriculture, the Florida

Experimental Station, U. S. Weather Bureau, the Everglades Drainage District

and numerous other agencies (local, state and Federal) have cooperated.

Tais investigation revealed a serious salt water encroachment up

the streams and canals and particutlarlyr up the Miami Canal where this en-

creacknment affects the city of MBiami water supply well fields. As a result

of this investigation it was deemed essential to take positive action to

correct the situation; the County was organized as a water control dis-

trict and I set up, under my directions a staff for that specific purpose,

headed by John C. Stephens, W~ater Control Enegineer, who will be heard

from later.