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Color of water in Florida streams and canals ( FGS: Map series 35, 1975 )
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015043/00001
 Material Information
Title: Color of water in Florida streams and canals ( FGS: Map series 35, 1975 )
Series Title: ( FGS: Map series 35, 1975 )
Physical Description: 1 map : col. ; 40 x 50 cm.
Scale: Scale [ca. 1:2,000,000]
Language: English
Creator: Kaufman, Matthew I
Florida -- Bureau of Geology
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Publisher: The Bureau
Place of Publication: Tallahassee
Publication Date: [1975]
Edition: Rev. 1975.
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Water quality -- Maps -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Water -- Composition -- Maps -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Water quality monitoring stations -- Maps -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Maps -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Water quality -- 1:2,000,000 -- Florida -- 1975   ( local )
Water -- Composition -- 1:2,000,000 -- Florida -- 1975   ( local )
Water quality monitoring stations -- 1:2,000,000 -- Florida -- 1975   ( local )
Water quality -- 1:2,000,000 -- Florida -- 1975   ( local )
Water -- Composition -- 1:2,000,000 -- Florida -- 1975   ( local )
Water quality monitoring stations -- 1:2,000,000 -- Florida -- 1975   ( local )
1:2,000,000 -- Florida -- 1975   ( local )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
single map   ( marcgt )
Maps   ( lcsh )
Polygon: 31 x -88, 24 x -88, 24 x -80, 31 x -80 ( Map Coverage )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Matthew I. Kaufman ; prepared by United States Geological Survey in cooperation with the Bureau of Geology, Florida Department of Natural Resources ... 1969.
Bibliography: Bibliography.
General Note: Includes text, inset, 3 statistical tables, and 8 graphs.
Funding: Map series (Florida. Bureau of Geology) ;
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: George A. Smathers Libraries, 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 - 001852354
oclc - 08389718
notis - AJS6708
lccn - 82693069 /MAPS
System ID: UF00015043:00001

Full Text




UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


MAP SERIES NO. 35 REVISED


FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
published by BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


80 880o 870 86 85 84 83 820
I I I I _


510 S00


31 l-


300


Stream/Canal
-- Withlacoochee R.
nr. Eva
Welaunee Cr.
nr. Wacissa
Cow Cr. nr.
Maytown
Moultrie Cr.
nr. St. Augustine
New R. nr.
Lake Butler
Indian Prairie Canal
nr. Okeechobee
West Palm Beach
Canal at Canal Pt.

Fenholloway R.
at Foley


Cone. mg/1
Color Hardness Spec. Cond., Chemical
Date Pt-Co Units pH Iron (Fe) as CaCO3 pmhos at 25C Type


9/22/64

5/3/56

9/2/65


JACKSON


DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
BUREAU OF GEOLOGY

This public document was promulgated at a total
cost of $299.00 or a per copy cost of $.12 for the
purpose of disseminating hydrologic data.


-- 31


N. CENTRAL


OKEFENOKEE
SWAMP


- I


COLOR OF WATER IN FLORIDA STREAMS

AND CANALS

by

Matthew I. Kaufman


Prepared by
UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
in cooperation with the
BUREAU OF GEOLOGY
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA
1969
REVISED 1975

INTRODUCTION
A knowledge of the occurrence and distribution of color in surface waters,
from natural as well as man-influenced sources, is important to the understanding
and management of the quality aspects of Florida's water resources. The color of
water is significant for both domestic and industrial uses and is also related to
productivity and trace metal concentration in aqueous environments. Regional
differences of color in surface waters exist which can be related in part to natural
decomposition of organic material and in part to industrial and agricultural
influences. The occurrence and distribution of color in Florida streams and canals
is described herein, including sources, significance, regional distributions and
chemical associations, seasonal variations, and the relations of color to
streamflow.
SOURCES, NATURE, AND SIGNIFICANCE OF COLOR
Natural waters exhibiting a yellow to brown color are common throughout
many parts of the world. Waters of this type are often referred to as swamp,
humus, or colored water (Christman and Ghassemi, 1966). The color may be of
- organic or mineral origin. Organic sources include humic materials (decaying
vegetation, tannins, peat), aquatic plants, etc. Inorganic sources are metallic
substances such as iron and manganese compounds, chemicals, and dyes.
Numerous industries discharge materials that contribute to the color of water,
including pulp and paper, textile, and refineries. Agricultural drainage and
returned irrigation water also contribute to color of water (FWPCA, 1968; McKee
and Wolf, 1963).
According to the Research Committee Report (1966), the effectiveness of
decomposition of organic in contributing to water color depends on the quantity
of material undergoing decomposition and the rate of decomposition. In tropical
and subtropical regions, the quantity of vegetation is abundant and the rate of
decomposition is high; thus rivers in the southeastern U.S., Central America, and
northern South America are highly colored. Black and Christman (1963a) noted a
linear relation between total organic matter and color value of water. The organic
macromolecules are similar to soil organic and the aqueous extractives of wood,
soil, and vegetation at various stages of growth and decay (Res. Comm. Rept,
1966; Christman and Ghassemi, 1966).
Most of the organic matter in naturally colored surface waters consists of
simple to complex mixtures of nonvolatile polymeric hydroxy carboxylic acids
(Lamar and Goerlitz, 1966; Lamar, 1968). Many of these acids color the water
yellow to brown, influence the pH of some stream waters, and account for the
acidic properties of organic color. These organic acids exist in water as negatively
charged colloidal sols which exert a holding action for a number of metallic ions
such as iron and manganese. This holding action has been referred to as
adsorption, bonding, complexion, and chelation. The negative charge has been
attributed by Black and Christman (1963b) to ionization of the carboxyl and
aromatic hydroxyl groups.
Color values are determined by the comparison method (Rainwater and
Thatcher, 1960). One standard color unit is produced by a solution containing 1
mg/1 (milligram per liter) platinum and 0.25 mg/1 cobalt. The color of a water
sample is compared with that of glass discs calibrated to correspond with colors
on the platinum-cobalt scale.
Both soil and water humics are capable of stimulating the growth of algae. Thus
water color plays a significant role in maintaining high primary productivity in
aqueous environments. The relation between water color and productivity
involves trace metal stabilization by the humics. In some instances, however,
where humics are highly concentrated they may severely limit organic
productivity because of absorption and reduction of photosynthetically active
light (Res. Comm. Rept., 1966). According to FWPCA (1968), color in excess of
50 units may limit photosynthesis and have a deleterious effect upon aquatic life,
particularly phytoplankton and the benthos. Slack and Feltz (1968) noted that
organic loading of a stream (due to natural leaching and decomposition)
contributed to dissolved oxygen depletion and that water color was inversely
- related to dissolved oxygen and directly related to iron and manganese
concentrations. Low dissolved oxygen or anaerobic conditions resulting from
decaying vegetation are favorable for the reduction of iron to the soluble ferrous
species (Lamar, 1968).
Color is aesthetically undesirable in waters used for domestic purposes and may
dull clothes and stain fixtures. The 1962 USPHS Drinking Water Standards limit
the color of acceptable water to 15 units. Most Florida, streams exceed these limits
most of the time and would require treatment for removal of the color. Color is
undesirable in water for a number of industrial uses, with limits ranging from
0-100 units (McKee and Wolf, 1963). Humic-derived color is also significant in
other aspects of hydrology. There is a possible role of humics in corrosion (lead in
particular is rendered soluble by water humics) and they may interfere with
coagulation of other constituents of natural waters, particularly with procedures
involving colorimetric analyses (Res. Comm. Rept., 1966).
REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION AND CHEMICAL ASSOCIATIONS
The distribution of maximum color values in Florida streams and canals is
shown on the large map. The values are time as well as space related and tend to
coincide with periods of high flow. The regional distributions and interpretations
are generalized (based on data from the early 1940's through 1966) and local
variations may be expected to exist. Waters exhibiting considerable color include
- those in northcentral and northeast Florida (associated in part with drainage from
Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia), coastal areas east of the St. Johns
River, parts of central and eastcentral peninsular Florida, and those waters in the
environs of Lake Okeechobee. Frequency curves of color in selected Florida
waters in figure 1 show the range of values from regions of low color to regions of
high color. Table 1 summarizes regional differences of color in Florida streams,
utilizing streams and periods of record considered representative of the region.
Excluding streams affected by industrial and agricultural influences, most of
the highly colored streams in Florida have low specific conductance, are soft,
acidic (low pH) and contain appreciable iron. They are weakly buffered and thus
potentially corrosive. The color in these waters is in general derived from the




TABLE 2
Chemical Characteristics Typical of Representative Waters with High Cc


Lamar, W. L.,
1968


Evaluation of Organic Color and Iron in Natural Surface
Waters: U. S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 600-D, p. 24-29.


Lamar, W. L., and Goeriitz, D. F.,
1966 Organic Acids in Naturally Colored Surface Waters: U. S.
Geol. Surv. WSP 1817-A, 17 p.
McKee, J. E., and Wolf, H. W.,
1963 Water Quality Criteria: State Water Quality Control Board,
pub. 3A, Sacramento, Calif., 548 p.
Rainwater, F. H., and Thatcher, L. L,
1960 Methods for Collection and Analysis of Water Samples: U. S.
GeoL Surv. WSP 1454, 301 p.
Research Committee on Color Problems
1967 1966 Report, Journ. AWWA, v. 59 p. 1023-1035.
Slack, K. V., and Feltz, H. R.,
1968 Tree Leaf Control on Low Flow Water Quality in a Small
Virginia Stream: Env. Sci. and Tech., v. 2, p. 126-131.
U. S. Geological Survey,
Quality of Surface Waters of the U. S. 1940-63: U. S. Geol.
Surv. WSP 942, 950, 970, 1022, 1030, 1050, 1132, 1162,
1186, 1197, 1250, 1290, 1350, 1400, 1450, 1520, 1571,
1641, 1741, 1881, 1941, 1947.

Water Resources Data for Florida, Part 2, Water Quality
Records 1964, 1965, 1966.


TABLE 3
Occurrences of Maximum and Minimum Color Values
in Selected Florida Streams and Canals by Months


Remarks


540 4.4 0.60 8 48 Ca,Mg,Na-Cl Swamp drainage

500 4.4 1.5 15 72 Ca,Mg,Na-Cl Swamp drainage


800 4.6 0.55 12 66 Na-Cl


Swamp drainage


8/11-20/57 560 6.2 0.45 28 100 Ca,Mg,Na-Cl Swamp drainage +
ground water inflow
7/15-20/57 460 6.2 0.60 38 97 Ca,Mg-HCOs Agric drainage +
ground water inflow
7/18/55 520 6.0 1.7 91 235 Ca-SO4 Agric. drainage

6/23/54 480 7.2 0.30 519 1320 Ca-HCO3 Agric. drainage +
organic soil leach-
ing; high S04
5/16/66 1400 8.2 0.23 96 2400 Na-CI,HCO3 Receives paper mill
effluent


Month
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December


Number of Occurrences
Maximum Color Minimum Color


7
3
10
123
87 21
24
19
5
1


4
28 17


36 stations on 32 different streams and canals during the
period 1950-67. Maximum and minimum values occurred
more than once in the year at many stations.


-- 300


A


TABLE 1
Regional Comparisons of Color in
Selected Florida Streams and Canals


Region
Western Florida
No. Cent. Florida
No. East Florida
East Cent. Florida
West Cent. Florida
So. East Florida


RECENTT OF TIME COLOR EQUALED OR EXCEEDED A GIVEN VALUE
Figure 1. Frequency curves of color in
selected Florida streams.


natural decomposition of organic matter. The low pH relates to carbon dioxide
and organic acids produced during decomposition. The low conductance relates in
part to dilution coincident with periods of increased streamflow and in part to
many of the substances in solution being non-conductors. An inverse relation
between color and specific conductance is exhibited by some streams (figure 2).
Although no consistent statewide relation between color intensity and iron
concentration exists, some individual streams exhibit a direct relation (figure 3).
Lamar (1968) reported that filtration of natural surface waters through 0.1 p and
0.01 ua millipore filters removed progressively greater amounts of iron and organic
color. He concluded that a relationship existed between iron concentration, pH,
and the particle size of the organic colloidal sols.
Waters with high color in the environs of Lake Okeechobee have high specific
conductance, are hard, generally alkaline and contain considerable sulfate, nitrate,
chloride, and at times iron. The color is derived from the leaching of organic soils
that accompanies drainage and irrigation of agricultural lands. Color in the
Okeechobee area tends to increase with increasing mineralization (Hillsboro
Canal, figure 2), in contrast to many of Florida's streams. The pumpage of
drainage and irrigation waters into the canal at times results in reversal of flow
direction from the normal situation in which water drains from Lake Okeechobee
toward the Atlantic Ocean.
Several streams in the state receive paper mill wastes and the receiving waters
then become highly colored, soft, alkaline, and highly mineralized. Selected
chemical characteristics of waters with high color are given in Table 2, noting
regional differences and environmental controls and emphasizing that properties
of a given colored water depend on its source.
VARIATIONS WITH DISCHARGE AND TIME
Streams, particularly those subject to large fluctuations in runoff, show
considerable variation in color. In general, increased color is observed immediately
following rainfall due to the initial flush of decayed organic matter into the
stream, with high color tending to coincide with periods of high flow (figure 4).
The effects of dilution with increased discharge following the initial flush, as well
as seasonal variations, contribute to the observed scatter.
Seasonal variations of color and pertinent correlations and interrelations are
portrayed in figures 5 and 6. Fluctuations in color values are concomitant with
fluctuations in discharge, irrespective of time of year, and are associated with
variations in iron concentration, specific conductance, and pH. These relations are
typical of those occurring in many of Florida's streams. In southeast Florida, as a
result of the leaching of organic soils that accompanies drainage of water from
agricultural lands, increased color values relate directly to increased specific
conductance and at times to nitrate concentration (figure 7). The latter relation is
especially evident during October and late June to early July when peaks of
nitrate concentration are associated with rapidly increasing color values.
Seasonal variations of color in a number of Florida streams and canals are
summarized in table 3. Maximum color values predominate during July through
October, coincident with the period of active decomposition and leaching of
organic matter and the flushing action of high rainfall and runoff. Minimum
values tend to occur in May and June(associated with the period of plant growth,
little rainfall, and low flow) and also in December and January (associated with
the period when vegetation is dormant).
REFERENCES
Black, A. P., and Christman, R. F.,
1963a Characteristics of Colored Surface Waters: Journ. AWWA, v.
55, p. 753-770.
1963b Chemical Characteristics of Fulvic Acids: Journ. AWWA,.v.
55, p. 897-912.
Christman, R. F., and Ghassemi, M.,
1966 Chemical Nature of Organic Color in Water: Journ. AWWA,
V. 58, p. 723-741.
FWPCA
1968 Water Quality Criteria Report of the National Technical
Advisory Committee to the Secretary of the Interior, 234 p.


00 F CO
DISCHARGE, CUBIC FEET PER SECOND


Figure 4. Relation of color values to discharge in three
streams in N. Central and W. Central Florida.


Figure 5. Seasonal variations of color,
discharge, and iron concen-
tration in two Florida streams.


10000


Number of
Streams/Canals
Utilized


Color, Pt-Co Units
Mean Range
25 0-120
150 5-360
200 5-560
110 30-260
90 5-280
140 37-560


(/ OR


A




0 OX

0 0

EXPLANATION
So NEW RIVER NEAR LAKE

A SUWANNEE RIVER NEAR


Figure 3. Relation of color values to the dissolved iron
A MOUconcentration in three streams inLTRE CREEal and NEAR
ST AUGUSTINE (1956-
57)
DISSOLVED IRON (Fe), MILLIGRAMS PER LITER
Figure 3. Relation of color values to the dissolved iron
concentration in three streams in N. Central and NE Florida


0


C %


RDE


L ake

GLADESOkeecbobee


WT


1950 1951
Figure 7. Seasonal variations of specific conductance.
color, and nitrate concentration, Hillsboro Canal at
Shawano, SE Florida, 1950-51.


,PT. Q


- SOUTH)
E L MENORY


i-- Q


COLLIE R


. -L


EXPLANATION
MAXIMUM COLOR OF WATER IN FLORIDA STREAMS
COLOR UNITS, PLATINUM -COBALT SCALE)


OAOE


-I <100

100-200

200- 300


m


300-400

400-500

>500


WATER QUALITY DATA STATIONS, FLORIDA STREAMS
U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 1940- 66

Minimum of 4 yrs. bimonthly, or at least 20 complete
analyses, all flow conditions.
Minimum of 2 yrs. semi-annual, or at least 5 complete
analyses, all flow conditions.
Annual, 1 to 4 complete analyses, generally represents
low flow conditions.
A Daily specific conductance station, minimum record
1 yr.


1964 1965
Figure 6. Seasonal variations of discharge, color, iron
concentration, pH, and specific conductance, Manatee
River near Bradenton, W. Central Florida, 1964-65.
/


89 88o 87 880 865 84 83 82


0 10 20


810 -


SF-L"I R :t o c3r-u flFT t- c~j irztjrlv M f~r iI*N~~~,A


-- 28


6--(2


MILES '


G 3931


I N1.35
I 1975


SPECIFIC CONDUCTANCE, MICROMHOS AT 25C
Figure 2. Relation of color values to specific conductance in
selected Florida streams and canals.

III I
EXPLANATION
A MANATEE RIVER NEAR BRADENTON
250- 964-65)
PEACE RIVER NEAR ARCADIA /
(1964-65 /
0 SUWANNEE RIVER NEAR BRANFORD
200- (1956-57) A /A /..


'50- A /
A / 00
/
AA A A*


00 oo
/ ./ oo


*
A
A


2901


280 -


HILLSBORO CANAL AT So AY, -
38 REVERSE FLOWS, (1955-64
SE FLORIDA


ESCAMBtA R NEAR
W FLORIDA


MAIOU'


-' '-


nor -j






19
q


i 1 0% /* / A 'e\. A


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