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 Surface water supplies in southeastern...


FGS FEOL



Interim report on the investigation of water resources in southeastern Florida with special reference to the Miami area ...
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 Material Information
Title: Interim report on the investigation of water resources in southeastern Florida with special reference to the Miami area in Dade county ( FGS: Report of investigations 4 )
Series Title: ( FGS: Report of investigations 4 )
Physical Description: 39 numb. 1 : illus. (maps, diagrs.) ; 27 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Parker, Garald G ( Garald Gordon ), 1905-
Ferguson, George E., 1906- ( joint author )
Love, Samuel Kenneth, 1903- ( joint author )
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Tallahassee
Publication Date: 1944
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Groundwater -- Florida -- Miami-Dade County   ( lcsh )
Water-supply -- Florida -- Miami-Dade County   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Garald G. Parker, George E. Ferguson, and S. Kenneth Love...
General Note: At head of title: Florida. State board of conservation. S.E. Rice, supervisor of conservation. Florida Geological survey, Herman Gunter, director.
General Note: Reproduced from type-written copy.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management:
The author dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law and all related or neighboring legal rights he or she had in the work, to the extent allowable by law.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000955570
oclc - 01727631
notis - AER8197
lccn - gs 44000117
System ID: UF00001188:00001

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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    List of Illustrations
        Page 3
    Map
        Page 4
    Introduction
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Occurrence of ground water in southeastern Florida
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Unconfined ground water in the Miami area
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Protection of ground water supplies in the Miami area
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Surface water supplies in southeastern Florida
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Copyright
            Copyright
Full Text






FLORIDA
STATE BOARD OF CONSERVATION
S. E. Rice, Supervisor of Conservation
FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Herman Gunter, Director







REPORT OF INVESTIGATIONS

NO. 4


INTERIM REPORT ON THE INVESTIGATIONS OF WATER RESOURCES
IN SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE
TO THE MIAMI AREA IN DADE COUNTY



By

Garald G. Parker, George E. Ferguson, and S. Kenneth Love
United States Geological Survey










Published by the Florida Geological Survey, Tallahassee,
with the permission of the Director of the
United States Geological Survey




June 30, 1944

Second mimeographed edition, February 15, 1952














CONTENTS


Introduction . . .* . *

Occurrence of ground water in southeastern Florida .

Artesian* . . . .

Unconfined ground water . ..... .

Unconfined ground water in the Miami area. .

The ground-water reservoir. . .

Quality of the ground water . .

Salt water encroachment in the aquifer. .. ..

Salt water in the Miami well field. . .

Development of additional ground water supplies


Protection of ground water supplies in the Miami area

Protection from salt water encroachment by way o
Miami Canal . . . . .


* a a a a *


Page

5

9


* 0 9

. . 9

. . 11

. . 11

. . 13

. . 16

. . 22

. . 25

. . 30


if the
. 1


. 30


Protection from salt water encroachment at depth in the aquifer

Surface water supplies in southeastern Florida . .. ...

Kissimmee River . . .. ..........

Lake Okeechobee .. ... .. .

North New River Canal ...... .... ... .

Miami Canal . . . . . . .










ILLUSTRATIONS

Page

Plate 1. Block diagram of Greater Miami Area .. ..... . 4

2. Geologic cross section west of present well field . . 12

3. Analyses of selected ground water in southeastern Florida .. 14

4. Chloride concentrations in ground water at different depths
in the Everglades . . . . .. . 15

5. Progressive salt water encroachment in the Miami Area,
1904, 1918, 1943. . . . . 17

6. Map of the area west of Hialeah showing high and low water
table contours; the annual average two and one-half foot
water table contour; location of present well field; danger
zone along the Miami Canal; zone in which new supplies
could be developed. . .. . . ... ..19

7. Miami well field area showing land contours, water table
contours, and isochlors, December 26, 1939. . . 23

8. Miami well field area showing land contours, water table
contours, and isochlors, February 29, 1944. ...... .. 24

9. Map of Dade County, Florida. showing general area in which
large supplies of potable ground water could be developed,
free from salt water encroachment . . . 27



















































BLOCK DIAGRAM


OF THE GREATER MIAMI AREA


U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


PLATE I


MIAMI, FLA.







INTRODUCTION


In 1939 the Geological Survey, U. S. Department of the Interior

undertook a thorough investigation of the water resources of southeast-

ern Florida, with special reference to the water supplies of Dade County,

Miami, Miami Beach and Coral Gables. The investigation was made with the

financial support of these cities and of Dade County, and was requested

because of the appearance of salty water in the Miami well field, adjacent

to the Miami Canal, about six and one-half miles inland from Biscayne Bay.

The objectives of the study were sufficiently broad to include an evaluation

of all the water resources of southeastern Florida with emphasis on those

supplies practicable of development for municipal use in the Miami area.

In order to carry out the investigation effectively, it was neces-

sary to obtain basic geologic, hydrologic, and chemical data. Specifically,

it was necessary to determine the depth, thickness, and areal extent of the

water-bearing rock formations; the capacity of these formations to transmit

and yield water; the areas and rates of recharge and discharge, the quality

and quantity of water in the different parts of the water-bearing rocks; the

source and approximate rate of movement of salt water at all depths in the

water-bearing rocks, factors controlling salt-water encroachment; the height

of the water table and the direction of flow of the ground water at different

times of the year; the stage and discharge of the canals throughout the year;

the periods when the canals drained the nearby land areas and when they fed

water to these areas; and the approximate quantities of water involved.

More than 60 exploratory test wells were drilled in order to obtain

data on the geology and hydrology of the formations penetrated. One well

was 812 feet deep, one 6o4 feet deep and the rest ranged between 20 and 350









feet, most of them being between 200 and 300 feet. Samples were collected

of the rock cuttings and of the water encountered in the test wells, and

pumping tests made at many levels as the wells were being drilled. In addi-

tion to these test wells, numerous shallow, observation wells were installed

for periodic water-level measurements. Twenty-one automatic water-level

recorders were placed on selected wells to determine the fluctuations of the

water table.

Studies were made along several stretches of the major drainage

canals to determine the amounts of gain or loss of the ground water. Several

studies were made of the altitude and movement of the ground water in rela-

tion to the stage of the canals in an extensive area west of Hialeah and

Miami Springs, during low, average and high water conditions, to permit

effective evaluation of water-control measures to protect the present well

field. These studies also have a direct bearing upon the future development

of additional supplies in the area. Four intensive studies were made in the

Silver Bluff area of Miami to determine the conditions governing salt-water

encroachment at depth in the water-bearing formation. Thousands of samples

of water from representative wells were collected, and analyzed to determine

the quality of water. In a study of the problem of salt-water encroachment,

samples of water from Biscayne Bay were also analyzed. Artificial mixtures

of normal ground water with sea water were made in various proportions and

comparisons were made between these and samples of salt-contaminated ground

water. Eighteen rain gages and four evaporation stations were installed to

assist in determinations of the supply of water from rainfall and of losses

that are due to transpiration and evaporation.

Most of this work was done in Dade County, in the area centering








around Miami, but some of the problems led to remote parts of the Ever-

glades and Big Cypress Swamp. For example, geologic reconnaissance studies

were made over most of southern Florida so that the areas of outcrop of the

different formations could be determined and the geologic structure of south-

eastern Florida understood; the flow of arterial canals was measured in the

Everglades, and analyses were made of records of stage and flow for Lake

Okeechobee and its connecting channels and basins for the purpose of evalu-

ating the more distant possible sources of surface water supplies and for

defining the hydrology of the whole drainage area.

The writers wish to acknowledge gratefully the assistance given the

U. S. Geological Survey by Dade County and the Cities of Miami, Miami Beach,

and Coral Gables, and by the many persons, agencies, organizations, and

firms who have provided information and records, and who have in any way

helped make available the facilities to carry on the investigation of which

this interim report is a product. So many have aided that it is impossible

to list them in a brief paper of this kind, but a full statement of acknowl-

edgments will appear in the comprehensive report to follow.

As the investigation has proceeded reports have been prepared from

time to time by members of the staff. Several reports have been written

that are restricted because of their military nature. The unrestricted

reports are as follows:

(1) Cross, W. P., and Cooper, H. H. (1940) Water Levels and artesian
pressure in Florida, 1939, U. S. Geological Survey Water Supply
Paper 886, pp. 64-69.

(2) Cross W. P., Love, S. K., Parker, G. G., and Wallace, D. S.
(1940) Progress report on water resources investigations in
southeastern Florida. Mimeographed in 2 volumes.

(3) Parker, G. G. (1942) Notes on the geology and ground water of
the Everglades in southern Florida, Proc. Soil Science Society
of Florida, volume IV-A, pp. 47-76.








(4) Ferguson G. E. (1942) Plan and progress of recent surface
water studies in the Everglades, Proc. Soil Science Society
of Florida, volume IV-A, pp. 77-85.

(5) cross, w. P. (1942) Water levels and artesian pressure in south-
eastern Florida, 1940, U. S. Geological Survey, Water Supply
Paper 907, pp. 26-34.

(6) Cross, W. P., and Love, S. K. (1942) Ground water in south-
eastern Florida, Journal of American Water Works Association,
volume 34, No. 4, pp. 490-504.

(7) Love, S. K., and Swenson, H. A. (1942) Chemical character of
public water supplies in southeastern Florida, Journal of
American Water Works Association, volume 34, No. 11, pp-
1624-1628.

(8) Parker, G. G., and Hoy, N. D. (1943) Additional notes on the
geology and ground water of the Everglades in southern Florida,
Proc. Soil Science Society of Florida, volume V-A, pp. 33-35.

(9) Cross, W. P. (1943) Water levels and artesian pressure in south-
eastern Florida, 1941, U. S. Geological Survey, Water Supply
Paper 937, PP. 19-27.

(10) Ferguson, G. E. (1943) Summary of three years of surface water
studies in the Everglades. Proc. Soil Science Society of Florida,
volume V-A, pp. 18-23.

(11) Parker, G. G. and Cooke, C. W. (1944) late Cenozoic geology of
southern Florida with a discussion of the ground water, Florida
Geological Survey Bulletin 27.

(12) Brown, R. H. and Parker, G. G. (1944.) (Abstract) Salt Water
encroachment in limestone at Silver Bluff, Miami, Florida,
Economic Geology, volume 39, No. 1, p. 87, Jan.-Feb., 1944.

(13) Brown, R. H. and Parker, G. G. (1944) Salt Water encroachment in
limestone at Silver Bluff, Miami, Florida. Economic Geology,
volume 40, No. 4, pp. 235-262.

(14-16) Parker, G. L. and Others, Surface water supplies of the United
States, south Atlantic slope and eastern Gulf of Mexico basins,
U. S Geological Survey, Water Supply Papers 892, 922, and 952.
These publications contain records of canal discharge in south-
eastern Florida for 1940, 1941, and 1942 respectively.









OCCURRENCE OF GROUND WATER IN SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA

Ground water in southeastern Florida occurs in two principal ways:

(1) under pressure, in confined and deeply buried formations and, (2) under

unconfined conditions with a free upper surface (the water table) in the

shallower formations.

Artesian Water.--In the first instance cited above water exists

under artesian pressure. Wells drilled through the confining rocks will

release this water and it will flow at the surface if the ground elevation

is less than 40 feet above mean sea level. However, none of the artesian

wells in southeastern Florida yield potable water, nor with the present

state of knowledge can the water be used for industrial, commercial, or

agricultural purposes. The water is hard, brackish to salty, sulfurous,

and corrosive. Industrial plants have found it more expensive to use this

artesian water that flows of its own pressure than to use municipal supply.

This is because of the original high cost of the artesian well and the

corrosive action of the artesian water that make it necessary frequently to

replace pipes and plumbing fixtures with which the water comes in contact.

The artesian aquifers are deeply buried in southeastern Florida and

require a well at least 800 feet deep to tap them sufficiently to obtain a

good flow. The wells are very expensive to make and produce unusable water,

so as a source of public or private supply they must be discounted.

Unconfined Ground Water.--In the second instance cited above ground

water occurs in a huge underground reservoir in the pores and fissures of the

rocks that overlie the confining layers which cap the artesian aquifers. The

water in this reservoir is constantly being added to by the rains or by

canal flow from runoff in more distant areas, and is likewise constantly






10


being subtracted from by drainage into the canals, by transpiration, evap-

oration, leakage into the ocean, and by pumpage.

It is the unconfined ground water that must be depended upon for

well water supplies in southeastern Florida. In the following discussion

this is the water referred to, and the highly permeable water-bearing rocks

that contain it are referred to as the highly permeable aquifer, or simply

as "the aquifer".









UNCONFINED GROUND WATER IN THE MIAMI AREA

The Ground-water Reservoir.--Very large aggregate supplies of potable

ground water exist in the highly permeable aquifer (Tamiami formation,

chiefly) in which the present wells are developed (see Plates 1, 2).

Computations based on the known depth (top to bottom) and length (east to

west) of the aquifer with an estimated 18% specific yield indicate over 15

million gallons of ground water stored in each foot of width (north to south)

of the aquifer.

The permeability coefficient is very high with an average value of

about 35,000. This means that through a section of the formation a mile

wide and a foot deep 35,000 gallons of water a day would pass through under

a water table slope of one foot to the mile. In terms of transmissibility,

this coefficient of 35,000 must be multiplied by the depth, in feet, of the

saturated part of the aquifer. Most water-bearing materials in which wells

are developed elsewhere have a coefficient of permeability that ranges from

10 to 5,000. The most permeable material ever investigated in the U. S.

Geological Survey hydraulic laboratory had a coefficient of about 90,000.

Field permeability tests show that in some places in the Miami area the

rocks are about that permeable.

The aquifer in Dade County ranges from about 10 feet deep in the

extreme west to almost 300 feet deep in limited areas along the Atlantic

shore. In the vicinity of the Miami well field the formations are over

100 feet thick but of this only about 75 feet is highly permeable because

of oolite and fine sand in the section (see Plate 2).

The highly permeable aquifer underlies the entire eastern margin

'of the State from the Florida Keys at least as far north as Delray, and








PLAT1 P


Oae





f10r l--I FILL L



_TM FO TI r -
Ce.. .
ma C
a5.
O'C

P, S
ROAD ILL AWS SSFAC


,-zi1~i~~~---- -- -


-AVITY


TANIAMI


HAuTrOIRI FORATION


S iii WOIEMAL C AL< II*0
M|MITL e^L r CLT


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a 5




i- -3




,- ca0 FILr


SOLuTE
sass -


FORMATiON


H nWTNOIR FORMATION


1a.A lEa WIV9L



























NoCeI on water staerna in thg section.
Assuming only 18. specific yield,whieh is
very conservative, a strfp of tle Oquifer
one foot wide and of a length reaching
trom 0182 west to 0225 would contain
and yield to pumpage 5,214,240 gallons
of ground water.
In on areo whose width equalled this
length there would be 283,64QO00,000
gallons.


GEOLOGIC SECTION WEST FRUM PIKitiLN I WILL r- Ir.CU


u.s. eLOOaM. sMWW


.44i









possibly farther, Inland it thins and interfingers with the sandy, shelly

Caloosahatchee marl which, in the upper part of the Everglades, contains

highly mineralized water, the modified remnants of bodies of ocean water

entrapped there during the high-sea levels of the Pleistocene, or Great Ice

Age. The amount of water that percolates from the northern and middle part

of the Everglades through the Caloosahatchee marl down gradient into the

Tamiami formation is of very little consequence. The water stored in the

aquifer is mostly derived from rainfall falling over the area underlain by

the aquifer itself.

Quality of the Ground Water.--The quality of the ground water in

the highly permeable aquifer is fairly uniform. The hardness ranges from

about 200 to 300 parts per million and averages about 250 parts per million.

The normal concentration of chloride is from about 20 to 30 parts per

million. Practically all of the ground water is colored with organic matter,

but in varying amounts and with little relation to depth. The color is

derived from peat, muck, and other organic matter.

Ground water in the coastal ridge north and south of Miami contains

somewhat less dissolved mineral matter and is a little less hard, but in

other respects has about the same general character as ground water in the

Miami area.

In the Everglades west and northwest of Miami the ground water is

of poorer quality than in Miami. In general, the farther west and north-

west that wells are developed, the poorer will be the quality of the water

they yield. Hardness and concentration of dissolved mineral matter are

considerably greater in the Everglades than along the Atlantic coastal ridge.

See plate 3 which graphically represents the quality of water from different


















































































OF GROUND WATER IN SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA


PLATE 3


Fu/

- -41ri


U.S. IlOLOGICAL SURVIVE


MIMI FLORIDA.




















































-CHLORIDE CONCENTRATIONS IN GROUND WATER AT DIFFERENT DEPTHS IN THE EVERGLADES









wells in the area of about the same depth, and plate 4 which indicates

quality of water at different depths in the Everglades. This difference

in quality is due to several factors, mainly to the very low permeability

of the rocks that underlie the Everglades (the Fort Thompson formation and

the Caloosahatchee marl, principally), to the very flat gradients of the

water table that cannot force water to move readily in these rocks of low

permeability; and to the fact that not enough time has elapsed since the

ocean last covered the Everglades area to allow the rain water falling there

to completely flush out the remnants of the Pleistocene (Ice Age) sea water.

Actually, most of this water has been greatly modified, partly by dilution

with fresh rain water and partly by chemical reactions, mainly of the base-

exchange variety, with the surrounding rocks and organic matter. There are

extensive areas in the Everglades where it is not possible to develop size-

able supplies of suitable ground water.

Quality of the ground water may change locally along arterial canals

when the canal water changes. Along the lower reaches of those canals con-

necting with Biscayne Bay the adjacent ground water changes with advances

and retreats of the salt water from the ocean; and along these canals that

drain the upper part of the Everglades, notably the North New River Canal

in which the quality of water changes seasonally with discharge, there is a

slight local effect when more highly mineralized canal water spreads into

the nearby ground; this is especially noticeable in the area immediately

upstream from each dam.

Salt Water Encroachment in the Aquifer.--With respect to the encroach-

meit of salt water from the ocean at depth in the aquifer it is significant

to note that in Miami, before the dredging'of the drainage canals, perennially







PLATE 5



ARCH ARCH /S CAYNE CANAL ARCH
CREEK CREEK CREEK




LITTLE RIVER CA


79TH ST.
MIAMI WATER
PLANT


AVENUE D AVENUE DT ST
(MIAMI AVE. (MIAMI AVE 36TH



I2TH ST. (FLAGLER ST. FLAGLER S
MIAMI MIAMI MIAMI

(FLAGLER ST.) .. CORAL WAY




: COCONUT GROVE \
S^WATER PLANT


1904 SCALE IN MILES 2 1918 SCALE IN MILES 94 C MILES
o s A: .-: o- ;
0 2 34,

MAPS SHOWING AREAS OF SALT WATER CONCENTRATION AT MIAMI, FLORIDA IN 1904, 1918, AND 1943

NOTE: STIPPLING SHOWS EXTENT OF AREAS THAT HAVE CHLORIDE CONCENTRATION APPROXIMATING 1000 R RM. OR MORE, AT A DEPTH OF ABOUT 80 FEET.


U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


MIAMI, FLORIDA









flowing fresh water springs discharged along the western shore of Biscayne

Bay at elevations of from 3 to 5 feet above mean sea level, thus indicating

a high water table close to the shore line. These springs have long since

ceased to flow, and the lowered water table no longer exerts sufficient

pressure on the heavier salt water from the ocean to hold it back, so the

salt water has moved inland as a blunt-nosed wedge underneath the lighter

fresh water. This salt water wedge, in the Silver Bluff area, has advanced

inland about 8,000 feet. Plate 5 shows maps of the Miami area indicating

the zone of salt water contamination in 1904, 1918, and 1943. The maps for

1904 and 1918 are largely based on estimated and known conditions, but that

for 1943 is principally based on samples from wells generally more than 60

feet deep. These maps clearly show the trend of salt water advancing inland

and displacing fresh water. They show that salt water has not yet reached

the Miami well field by direct infiltration from the Bay at depth in the

aquifer, and likewise show why it was necessary in 1941 to abandon the ground

water supply at the Coconut Grove water plant. Elsewhere along the coast

the distance that the salt water has penetrated inland may be more or may

be less than 8,000 feet depending upon the effectiveness of the nearby

drainage canals in lowering the water table. This blunt-nosed salt water

wedge encroaches haltingly, with many minor advances and retreats, and it

probably will continue in this manner until eventually it will come to rest

in equilibrium with fresh water where the average annual two and one-half

foot contour on the water table occurs. During the short period of this

investigation (4 years) the critical two and one-half foot water table con-

tour has generally paralleled and lain slightly to the west of Red Road, and

has passed to the west of the present well field. (see plate 6).









PLATE 6

CIA E To
COUNTY LINE DAM- >s < /R




BRL OKEN DAM
I

BISCAYNE


















ANALCANALS
LITTLE RIVER
CANAL

































PRESENT WELL FIELD AREA SHOWING CLUSTER OF WELLS.
ITAMIAMIH DANGER ZONE DUE TO POSSIBLE SALT FROM MIAMI CANAL.CANAL
MAP OF AREA WEST OF MIAMI WELL FIELD SHOWING WATER TABLE












CONTOURS AND AREA SUITABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF









LARGE GROUND WATER SUPPLIES
TAMIAMI CANALS

ROADS
.0- CONTOURS OF WATER TABLE -M.S.L.JUNE 29 TO JULY ,194GABLES



'-.0.0"- CONTOURS OF WATER TABLE- M.S.L.-APRIL 5 TO 7, 1943. o
APPROXIMATE POSITION OF THE AVERAGE ANNUAL 9.5 FOOT SCALE IN MILES
STAGE OF THE WATER TABLE, 1939 1943 INCL.
PRESENT WELL FIELD AREA SHOWING CLUSTER OF WELLS.
AREA WHERE POTENTIAL SUPPLIES MIGHT BE DEVELOPED.
0 2 DANGER ZONE DUE TO POSSIBLE SALT FROM MIAMI CANAL.

MAP OF AREA WEST OF MIAMI WELL FIELD SHOWING WATER TABLE
CONTOURS AND AREA SUITABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF

LARGE GROUND WATER SUPPLIES


U.S.GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


MIAMI, FLORIDA








The salt wedge moves slowly. In 34 years (1910 to 1944) it has

moved about 8,000 feet inland at Silver Bluff, and possibly more depending

.upon its original position, which is here assumed to have been about at the

shore line. Old residents of this area, however, tell of a well that formerly

was sunk in Biscayne Bay to an unknown but fairly shallow depth (30 to 50

feet, possibly) and that potable water was pumped from it by boatmen. If

the water obtained was fresh, then the fresh water-salt water boundary must

have lain somewhat east of the shore line, out under the Bay, and the total

movement of salt water inland may be nearer 10,000 than 8,000 feet. Using

8,000 feet as a base figure the average rate of movement inland has been

235 feet per year, and at this rate, if conditions remain about as they

now are, it would be many more years before the salt wedge moved in as far

as the present well field. But the salt wedge does not present an even

front. Tongues of salty water from the Bay follow under and along the drain-

age canals and extend from the top of the aquifer to the very bottom. In

cross section these tongues have a trapozoidal shape, narrow at the top

and wide at the base.

The most threatening of these tongues is that of the Miami Canal

with its spearhead now almost dormant about one-half mile west of N. W.

36th Street Bridge. This tongue may be moving at the same or a similar

rate as the salt wedge along the shore. If it is, then it will be only a

matter of about 43 years before the well field is reached inasmuch as the

distance to be traveled is about 2 miles. Only observations carried out

over a much longer period of time will definitely establish this rate of

movement.

The above considerations are based on conditions as they have existed









in the past. Should changes be made in the water levels, or the canals

be dredged wider and/or deeper, the rate of movement of the wedge and

tongues of salty encroaching water would be changed. For instance, should

the Miami Canal be dredged to a depth of 25 feet as far as N. W. 36th

Street Bridge as has been proposed recently highly saline water from

Biscayne Bay would probably immediately penetrate inland the whole length

of the deeply dredged section. It is probable that the natural fresh water

flow in the canal would be insufficient to keep the salty water below the

head of the 25-foot dredged section except possibly during periods of very

heavy rainfall. It is entirely possible, moreover, that pockets of salty

water would remain in portions of the deeply dredged section most if not

all of the time. These pockets of salty water would be a constant source

of contamination of the nearby shallow ground water particularly during

dry periods when the water table is low. This would, in effect, rejuvenate

the movement of the Miami Canal salt tongue, both laterally and upstream.

However, the inland advance of the salt tongue could be held in check by

maintaining an average yearly water table height of two and one-half feet

above mean sea level at the head of the deeply dredged channel.

From the foregoing discussion of salt water encroachment, the fact

that the present well field is ultimately threatened with permanent salt

contamination is apparent. The danger is not imminent, however, nor in

the near future if conditions remain as they now are. But to insure the

perpetual use of the present well field the two and one-half foot average

annual contour on the water table must pass to the east of the well field,

and this will require the establishment of controls in the canals to raise

the water level behind the controls to that height. Under the present









regulations the tidal dam in the Miami Canal cannot be raised until the

canal stage has receded to 2.2 feet above U. S. C. & G. 8. mean sea level

at Pennsuco, about 7.2 miles northwest of the present well field.

Salt Water in the Miami Well Field.--Contamination of the Miami well

field in 1939 was not brought about by movement of salt water at depth in

the aquifer, but was occasioned by a salt incursion in the Miami Canal at

a time when low flow in the canal was insufficient to hold sea water at a

relatively safe distance downstream from the well field.

A shallow cone of depression surrounds the Miami well field and

reaches the Miami Canal much of the time. Water seeks to reach a level,

so moves in laterally from the area Surrounding the cone of depression,

and the movement is always at right angles to the contours on the water

table. Thus, when salty water occupied this reach of the Miami Canal, it

came under the influence of the cone of depression around the well field

and moved inward to the well field. It was inevitable that the water served

the consumers became somewhat salty under the circumstances. Fortunately,

the time that the salt water remained in the canal was not great so that the

amount that reached the well field was not ruinous. Certain wells, for a

while, contained water of over 1,000 parts per million of chloride, but the

large area of salty water in the well field reached a concentration of about

400 parts per million. Thus, the damage was nominal (see plate 7).

Since then, judicious pumping of the several supply wells, effective

placement of barriers in the canals and timely rainfall has prevented a

recurrence of the 1939 experience.

Further, pumping an average of about 28 million gallons per day

from the well field has removed much of this body of salty water from the

















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well field and the remainder has been greatly diluted with inflowing

fresh water so that the field now contains a relatively small amount of

chloride--about 100 parts per million (see plate 8).

The salting of the present well field clearly.points out the dan-

ger of developing a new supply near enough to a canal that may, at times,

contain salt water. Under the influence of the cone of depression sur-

rounding the field this salt water could move into the field and contaminate

it.

Development of Additional Ground Water Supplies.--In choosing the

site of additional well supplies several important factors should be

considered. Among these, without any attempt being made to arrange them

in order of importance, are the following:

(1) Sufficient thickness of permeable aquifer

(2) Satisfactory quality of ground water.

(3) Safety from possible encroachment of salt water at depth in
the aquifer and from canals carrying, at times, sea water.

(4) Location far enough-removed from possible future developments
and activities of other interests that might interfere with
safe and continuous operations.

(5) Location consistent with shortest pumping distance to water
treatment plant and to distribution system.

(6) Location consistent with accessibility to well field area.

(7) Proper spacing of wells so that a minimum cone of depression
will develop.

Earlier in this report factors (1), (2), and (3) have been gener-

ally discussed. At this point it would be pertinent to p6lit out, that

in an area about seven miles wide (see plate 6), measured west from the

present well field, and extending northeast and southwest roughly

paralleling the shore line, a well field might be developed almost any








place. In a zone along the Miami Canal where salt water might sometime

penetrate if regulation of the canal is not practiced it probably would

be unsafe to develop a field. In this seven mile wide area there is

sufficient depth of permeable aquifer and satisfactory quality and quan-

tity of water to supply any foreseen population growth of the Miami area.

.North and south of metropolitan Miami the coastal ridge is under-

lain by about 100 feet of highly permeable rock similar to that in which

the present wells of the municipal supply are developed. The ground water,

except that in a zone about 8,000 feet inland from the Bay and in tongues

following under and along the drainage canals which at times carry salty

water, is of excellent quality, can be obtained in large quantities, and

is usually lower in color and hardness than the ground waters of the

,Everglades.

To the south of Miami along the Coastal Ridge, very large supplies

(thirty millions of gallons per day or more) could be developed, but to

be safe from salt water encroachment should be located a mile or more away

from the larger drainage canals, and in no case should be nearer than 3 miles

to the Bay. (see plate 9). In general, such large supplies could be devel-

oped almost anywhere west of Red Road and southward along U. S. Highway 1,

on the western side, at least to Peters. Beyond Peters the area between

the Bay and U. S. Highway 1 is much wider than to the north and becomes

wider with greater distance to the south. Supplies can be developed east

of Homestead for a distance of several miles, but the presence of drainage

canals in this area must always be borne in mind and locations made accord-

ingly. However, if a large supply were to be developed south of Peters it

would be better to choose a site along or west of U. S. Highway 1, not east

of it.







PLATE 9
RANGES EAST













AMIAM AL
















f i
i1. -1..- RALROADS



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I I 3





















SCALE IN MILES
i.S ,@ LI A





















0! LEGEND
AREA FOR POTENTIAL
DEVEL O PVMPNENT OF LARGE
F L 0 R SUPPLIES OF GROUND
3' WATER.
RAILROADS
CANALS
....-MAJOR ROADS

MAP OF EASTERN PART OF DADE COUNTY, FLA., SHOWING AREA FOR

POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF LARGE SUPPLIES OF GROUND WATER
U..9OQLOICGAL IURVY MIAMI, FLA.









To the north of Miami the formations contain greater amounts of

sand than to the south, therefore, wells are more difficult to develop,

the yield is not so large, and drawdown is greater. The same salt water

encroachment safety factors apply here as mentioned above.

In Dade County, generally speaking, it would be unsafe to attempt

the development of a large supply east of the S. A. L. Railroad as far

south as South Miami, and beyond this point U. S. Highway 1 would be the

dividing line.

Under factor (4) agricultural, commercial, industrial, and sanitary

aspects should be considered. For instance, should unrestricted develop-

ment ever take place adjacent to or surrounding the area chosen for develop-

ment of a well field, drainage might be demanded that would result in salt

water gaining access to the site either through new canals or eventually

by a further lowering of the water table and consequent farther movement

to the west of the average annual two and one-half foot contour on the

water table.

The development of such commercial and industrial or sanitary

interests as the Miami Intransit Air Depot, the proposed City of Miami

sewage disposal plant, and a proposed airfield for privately owned air-

planes and "dusters" have to be considered. The Miami Intransit Air

Depot is soon to start pumping one and one-half to two million gallons per

day of ground water and will develop a small cone of depression around its

well field. There is no estimate of what the total pumpage may be in the

future, but should a well field e located nearby, the two cones of depres-

sion would merge into one large one. The Sewage plant would have large

quantities of waste to dispose of daily, possibly by emptying the treated









effluent into the Tamiami Canal. The establishment of the proposed air-

field would be another interest demanding lowered water tables.

Factors (5) and (6) are engineering economics problems that need

not be discussed here.

Factor (7) may be enlarged upon somewhat. In planning a well field,

the manner of spacing the wells and their distance apart must be considered.

Elsewhere it probably would be the best plan to align the wells at right

angles to the direction of flow of the ground water, in other words, par-

allel to the contours on the water table (see plate 5). In the Miami area,

however, the water table gradients are so flat that it would make little

difference how the wells are patterned or laid out. From a study of the

characteristics of the cone of depression surrounding the present well field

it. is believed that, were wells of similar capacity constructed in the new

field, they should not be closer together than 750 feet, and 1,000 feet

apart would be better. Whether the wells be laid out in the form of one

or more long parallel rows, or in the form of a "y", and "x", a "v", or

any other pattern, is a matter of engineering economics.









PROTECTION OF GROUND WATER SUPPLIES IN THE MIAMI AREA


The protection of ground water supplies in the Miami area embraces

two problems: one is the protection of the present well field from salt

water encroachment by way of the Miami Canal and the other is the pro-

tection of both the present well field and all other sources of ground

water supply from salt water encroachment at depth in the aquifer. The

characteristics of both movements are described in an earlier section of

this report. The successful solution of these problems is through control

of ground water levels by means of regulation of the drainage canals.

Protection from Salt Water Encroachment by Way of the Miami Canal.--

The more immediate problem is the protection of the present well field

from sea water which passes upstream in the Miami Canal during periods

when the fresh water flows are insufficient to hold the sea water back.

This problem might be attacked in three ways. First, the discharge in the

unregulated lower reaches of the Miami Canal might be augmented so that the

larger discharges obtained would hold sea water sufficiently far downstream,

without the use of dams, to prevent its encroachment into the well field.

Second, a system of barriers might be maintained in the Miami Canal to

prevent wastage of fresh water and the incursion of salt water far up the

Canal and thus achieve a similar effect. Third, canal flow regulation and/or

augmentation might be combined with the operation of a salt water barrier.

The first method does not appear practicable because of the diffi-

culties of providing the relatively high rates of flow needed during periods

of drought. A minimum discharge of about 250 million gallons per day should

be maintained at the Miami water plant for effective sea water flushing










action without the use of barriers.

The second method involves operations very much the same as those

employed by the City during the past two low water periods when a pneu-

matic type of tidal gate at 36th Street effectively prevented free up-

stream movement of salt water. It is evident, however, that the successful

continued use of such a barrier will require larger discharges during low

water periods than can be provided under the present state of development

of the canal basin upstream.

The third method, which is a combination of the first two, appears

to be the most practicable. A somewhat higher low water flow in the Canal

could be achieved by relatively minor improvements which would increase the

capacity and decrease the rate of loss from the storage area above the

County Line dam. This includes the placing of additional barriers at

strategic locations on the canals bordering and leading from the storage

area. These canals collect and drain off the stored water at a more rapid

rate than desirable. With the degree of regulation of flows thus established

and proper regulation of the present tidal dam sea water would be effectively

held below such a barrier except perhaps during times of high wind or

hurricane tides.

Protection from Salt Water Encroachment at Depth in the Aquifer.--

Although the advance of the salt water front does not immediately endanger

the Miami well field nor the potentially important supply areas to the west,

north, and south, the problem as described in earlier sections is neverthe-

less sufficiently acute to demand early attention. In the light of scien-

tific data now available the salt water encroachment is shown to be the

result of overdrainage, not only of the Everglades but also of the Coastal










Ridge. The problem covers more than the protection of the Miami well

field; it involves the preservation of as much as possible of the still

uncontaminated parts of the aquifer in the coastal areas so that existing

and future water supplies in these areas may be safeguarded, it is a county-

wide problem involving the investments of home-owners and property-holders

outside the boundaries of the municipalities.

The maintenance of ground water levels at an average yearly stage

of two and one-half feet or more above mean sea level can be affected only

by control of the canals which drain Dade County. Because of development

subsequent to, and made possible by drainage operations, it is not to be

expected that original water levels can be restored, that parts of the

aquifer now salted will be reclaimed, or that springs will again issue

along the western shore of Biscayne Bay. The greatest degree of water con-

trol that can be effected through the regulation of the canals without

endangering developed activities probably will not prevent some further

inland movement of the salt water front but will preserve a substantially

large area that otherwise would be lost to encroaching salt water.

In a control program the Miami and Tamiami Canals will be of greatest

importance, to the City of Miami principally because of location of the Miami

well field between their converging reaches. The Coral Gables Canal will

be important, too, because of its strategic location immediately south of

the well field area, and also because it is one of the larger and deeper

waterways that allows salt water access to an ever-widening and lengthening

zone along its course. To Dade County and the rest of the municipalities

within it, the other unregulated canals are very important, especially Little

River, Biscayne, Snake, and Snapper Creek Canals.










The farther.downstream control structures could be placed and

operated in these and connecting cankls which discharge into salt water,

the more effective water control wo6id become, and the closer to the Bay

the encroaching salt water would be held.









SURFACE WATER SUPPLIES IN SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA


There are briefly described below, from the standpoint of quantity

and quality, the several surface water sources in southeastern Florida that

might be considered as possible future supplies for the Miami area. The

brief evaluation of these sources does not include the economics of develop-

ment other than reference to their distances from the point of utilization.

A certain potential source of supply may, because of its remoteness, be

considered impracticable for early development but may, owing to greatly

increased population and water consumption, be an entirely feasible supply

in the distant future.

KISSIMMEE RIVER

This is the most distant of all sources covered in this report, the

mouth of the Kissimmee River being nearly 100 airline miles from Miami and

a. considerably longer distance by any practicable water-conduit route.

The quantity of water available from the Kissimmee River is best determined

from the discharge as measured since 1928 at a gaging station near the point









of discharge of the river into Lake Okeechobee. During this period the

minimum daily discharge was over 130 millions of gallons or over 3 times

the greatest daily rate of production of treated water at the Miami plant.

Factors to be considered in the selection of this supply include the effect

of possible upstream development upon existing drouth or base flow, and the

effect of possible large future diversions from the Kissimmee River upon

the storage requirements in Lake Okeechobee which are principally for

navigation and agricultural activities. The Kissimmee River is designated

by law a navigable waterway.

The quality of water in the Kissimmee River is, from many points of

view, the best to be found in southeastern Florida. Its average hardness

of about 20 parts per million classifies it as the largest, single source

of very soft water in this part of the State. The total mineral content

of about 70 parts per million is also lower than that of any other major

source of water in the area included in the investigation. The color of

the Kissimmee River is.high and objectionable but could be removed with

proper treatment. Although soft waters tend to be corrosive it is a rather

simple matter to correct this condition.


LAKE OKEECHOBEE

This large body of water, the nearest shore of which lies about 65

air line miles northwest of Miami has long been considered by many persons

as a possible future source of water supply for the municipalities along

the Florida lower east coast. Certain groups have favored carrying the

water to the coastal strip by closed conduit or pipe line; others by use of

the existing open canals. Studies dealing with the adequacy of water in Lake










Okeechobee are complex for they involve problems of Lake regulation for

flood control, navigation, and agriculture. The changes which further

development of the Kissimmee River basin and the Everglades would bring

about must also be considered.

The amount of water to be diverted from Lake Okeechobee for

municipal use in the Miami area would vary greatly with the type of conduit

provided to carry the water to the coast. This amount would be essentially

that required for treatment, if a pipe line or other water-tight channel

were used, but would necessarily be many times greater if an unlined open

channel were utilized. In the former case the amount diverted would be only

a small percentage of the loss from the Lake by evaporation and transpiration

(about 4 feet per year) and seemingly would have little effect upon the stage.

For example a diversion equal in amount to the present maximum output of

treated water at the Miami water plant would reduce the stage only about

a hundredth of a foot in one month over the 500 square mile low-water area

of the Lake.

The water in Lake Okeechobee is intermediate in hardness and in

total dissolved mineral matter between that of the Kissimmee River and the

surface and ground water in the Miami area. It is suitable for most purposes,

and is currently the source of the public water supplies for most cities and

towns near Lake Okeechobee.

If diversion from the Lake were through unlined channels, such as

arterial canals, cut through the muck and rock of the Everglades, the water

delivered for municipal use at the lower end would differ in both quantity

and quality from that diverted from the Lake. Due to the highly permeable

character of the rock formations along the lower reaches of such canals water










would pass freely between the channel and adjacent banks. During low water

periods adjacent ground water would be readily recharged from the canal with

large accompanying losses to the conveyed supply. It is apparent that such

an operation would have a direct relation to water control activities in the

area adjacent to the channel. During other periods it is likely that con-

siderable quantities of the highly mineralized water from the formations

cut through would enter the channel giving the resulting mixture a quality

poorer than the Lake water.


NORTH NEW RIVER CANAL

The North New River Canal has long been considered as a channel

through which to carry water, the greater part of the distance, from the

Lake to the Miami area. The water carrying conditions of unlined channels

described in the preceding section are applicable to this canal and to con-

necting canals south towards Miami.

The composition of water in the North New River Canal, under existing

limited diversion from the Lake, varies between rather wide limits. Analyses

show that during a period of one year the concentration of dissolved mineral

matter ranged between 205 and 813 parts per million and that the hardness

ranged between 126 and 456 parts per million with the higher concentrations

occurring at times of low flow. Water in this canal is more difficult to

treat during a greater part of the year than water currently pumped from the

present Miami well field. Water having the composition of the average found

in the North New River Canal would be of poorer quality than water in Lake

Okeechobee or water now being used for the public supply of Miami. Increased

diversion from the Lake through the canal might improve the quality of the

canal water slightly during dry periods.










MIAMI CANAL

The Miami Canal is, along its middle course, only partially exca-

vated, and water does not pass through that muck and weed choked part of

its channel during normal and drought periods. In fact, the flow in the

upper reaches of the Miami Canal is toward the Lake at frequent intervals

throughout the year. If this canal were deepened to accommodate diversions

from Lake Okeechobee, mineralized ground water would be encountered in its

middle and upper reaches similar to that found in the North New River Canal.

Flow in the lower Miami Canal serves during normal periods to help

protect the Miami well field from salt contamination, and is in itself a

possible source of municipal supply. The minimum discharge (approximately

'50 millions of gallons per day) considered sufficient to effectively hold

sea water downstream without the use of the recently constructed pneumatic

tidal dam is several times the present output of treated water. The mini-

mum unregulated discharge in the Miami Canal during severe drought is not

accurately known since retention structures have been in use during these

periods as a protection against upstream migration of sea water. The

location of the intake for any possible municipal use of canal water would

determine the necessity for and location of a tidal gate or barrier to be

used during drought flows. Without a barrier the intake would necessarily

be placed at or above the farthest migration of salt water which, within

the past few years, has been several miles upstream from the water plant.

The composition of water in the lower reaches of the Miami Canal

changes somewhat with discharge, but is generally similar to the composition

of) ground water withdrawn from the Miami well field for the municipal supply.









A direct diversion by pipe line or lined conduit from a point in

the Miami Chnal above the County Line dam woald draw water directly from

the headwaters storage area. Measurements made during the release of water

from this area through the gates in County Line dam indicate that consid-

erable storage is available there. During a period of 10 days (March 28 -

April 6, 1942) a total of over 1.5 billions of gallons was withdrawn with

an accompanying average lowering of water elevation in the backwater of Miami

and South New River Canals of less than one foot. Such a withdrawal would

be equivalent to a diversion of 50 million gallons a day for a period of

one month. It is estimated, however, that there are several times that

amount of water available by pumpage from or release through the dams in

the Miami and South New River Canals during the normally dry winter and

spring months in the present state of development of this storage area.

Prior to any steps toward the development of this source the

hydrologic and hydraulic characteristics of the area should be more con-

pletely studied. During the comparatively dry winter and spring months

the total evaporation and transpiration over this reservoir area, together

with leakage, at times removes water at rates in excess of one tenth of a

foot decline in water levels each week. However, the lower the water levels

in the area fall the less is the loss by total evaporation and transpiration.

The open water storage in the canal is only a small part of the total ground

water storage in the shallow but relatively permeable formations of the area.

There would apparently be little advantage in increasing by excavation the

open water storage volume because such areas have greater evaporation losses

during low levels in the reservoir than the land areas beneath which water

is stored naturally in the porous rock.









Future development in, or future water policies relating to, this

storage area may dictate its value as a source of supply or even as an

equalizing basin for the flow of the Miami Canal. As a reservoir it could

be improved with respect to capacity and storage characteristic by the

placing of additional retention structures in existing canals, or it could

be largely nullified by the opening or removal of the dams in the Miami and

the South New River Canals.

Analyses indicate that water in the Miami Canal north of Dade-Broward

County line dam is somewhat softer and contains less dissolved mineral matter

than the Miami Canal at the water plant in Hialeah. However, as large

withdrawals made from this section of the Miami Canal are replaced by water

withdrawn from the ground water reservoir in the adjacent area, the water

will probably increase in hardness and in dissolved mineral matter. Such

increase is indicated by the analyses of samples of shallow ground water

collected from observation wells in the area.










FLRD GEOLOSk ( IC SUfRiW


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