By Larry L. Loadholtz
Drought, potable water shor-
tages, saltwater intrusions, are
terms often heard since Central
Florida entered into the present
rainfall-deficient period several
years ago. Everyone is affected
when water shortages occur. Also,
everyone uses water, creating heavy
demands on available supplies.
Geologists estimate 90%7 of the
water used in fern production
ultimately finds its way back into
the underground aquifer to be used
another day. But what about the
temporary drawdownss" which oc-
cur during freeze protection periods
and intensive drought periods?
with the assistance of the
Cooperative Extension Service and
the Soil Conservation Service, have
developed a system to recover and
recycle water used in irrigation and
freeze protection. This system will
substantially reduce deep-well pum-
The system involves a network of
underground tubes which catch ex-
cess water and move it to a recovery
or holding pond. From the holding
pond, the water is pumped again
and again over the fernery.
Markalee Blackwelder, one of
Volusia County's most progressive
farmers, has installed a system
which he uses to irrigate his 25-acre
fern operation. A three-acre pond
was dug in a low, unusable location
"several miiion gallons of water
have been recovered and recycled
from this one system." This,
Blackwelder states, reduces his use
of deep-well pumping and practical-
ly eliminates the threat of temporary
water loss during periods of heavy
Over 40 of these systems are in
use at present in Volusia County.
The water-saving capacity of these
40 systems exceeds 200-million
gallons of water annually.
Pumping surface water requires
much less energy than pumping
MAR 25 8 1
See PONDS, page 2.
% u _
water from a puddle in a gar-
bage dump. But run-off from
garbage dumps can filter into
water-storing ground aquifers
and contaminate Southwest
Florida's water suppUies.
That makes* the illegal
dumping that creates eyesores
in Southwest Florida more
than a nuisance. It is a potential
The problem should be
tackled not simply as a gesture
toward neatness, but to protect
public health, safety and wel-
araws rats, ruacL:es ano ver-
min that can spread disease. A
legal dump can control that
problem. Illegal dumps have
no such controls.
For another, illegal dumping
in this area can pollute water
stored in the porous limestone
ground. Legal dumps assure
For that reason, Florida is
ruled out by the federal gov-
ernment as suitable for dump-
AM 65,000 S 65,000
MAR 25 81
See DUMPING, page 2.
Ft. Lauderdale Newl
MAR 28 81
Stronger water policy ordered;
final adoption of rules delayed
By John C. Van Gieson
Special to the News/Sun-Sentinel
TALLAHASSEE With Gov. Bob Graham
demanding a stronger statement, a state en-
vironmental official yesterday postponed final
action on a key section of a state water policy.
Environmental Regulation Secretary Vic-
toria Tschinkel approved most of the con-
troversial 11-page policy, but delayed until
June 8 a hearing on the crucial general-policy
That section sets out 12 criteria that
Tschinkel's Department of Environmental Reg-
ulation would use in reviewing the rules, plans
arid programs of Florida's five water-man-
The general-policy section came under heavy
attack by environmentalists. They charged that
DER watered down the water policy to ac-
comodate agriculture, developers and other
special-interest water users.
If so, the department failed to clear the
actions with Graham.
Tschinkel announced at a hearing on the
policy that the DER would revise the general-
policy section because Graham wanted a
stronger statement of the DER's position.
Graham, who appointed Tschinkel DER sec-
retary just six weeks ago, informed her of his
objections to the proposed policy in a meeting
"In general, he indicated that water policy
was one of the 10 things he most wanted to
See POLICY, page 2. [
The WATER TOPIC articles reprinted herein have appeared in newspapers around the State of Florida. 1
may be of interest to you as water resources, water quality, water treatment, water reuse, and water economics
to the forefront of public concern. These few have been selected for reprint from a base of several hundred pe
to FLORIDA WRRC through the Florida Clipping Service located in Tampa. Catalogs of these clippings are being n
Florida Water Resources Research Center's library. A more complete selection of reprints from a geographic are
particular topic of interest can be had on request by contacting Florida Water Resources Research Center, 424 /
jUniversity of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611 (904/392-0840).
come more and more
.r month furnished
maintained by the
aa or under a
\. P. Black Hall,
i ii ii m oo
Graham said it is 'a fraud tI ,,d tw
SCoastal meet its contractual obliga-
tioa,.--peiodic exploratory drilling
in an area where we know that if
they are successful we are not
Going to allow them to dig."
I AM 450,000
* iif djj .- .H
protesters packed public hearings.
Dup-, the 1969 furor, Gov.
Clauc K called the company's
mining application "a legal maneu-
ver by an unholy company."
MAR 29 81
continued from page 1.
accomplish when he was governor," she told
Tschinkel said she agreed with Graham that
the general-policy statement should be revised
to make it stronger. She said the revision would
focus on the following issues:
The degree to which conservation should
enter into water policy decisions;
Management of flood plains;
A preference for natural water-man-
agement methods over man-made facilities;
More forceful language throughout the
Charles Lee, a Florida Audobon Society vice
president who was one of the sharpest critics of
the original proposal, hailed Graham's in-
sistence on a stronger water policy.
Lee had been especially critical of what he
termed weak statements regarding protection
of marshes and natut al management systems in
the original proposal.
"I think the approach they're adopting is in
reaction to concerns that the policy was gut-
less," he said.
But Tschinkel denied that revision of the
general-policy section was motivated by Lee's
threats to challenge the document in court.
"That didn't make any difference to our
decision," she said. "We get rules challenges all
L.M. "Buddy" Blain, general counsel of the
Southwest Florida Water Management District,
criticized Tschinkel's decision to delay dis-
cussion of the general-policy section until June.
MAR 31 81
"Most of the effort that's been put forth for
the last eight months has been on this section,"
Blain told her. "I think to come to this point and
leave rnost of the (general-policy proposals)
lying out in the air pretty much OK and not
come to some kind of a decision is a breech of
But Tschinkel refused to adopt non-con-
troversial items in the general-policy section.
She said it would be better to act on the entire
section at one time.
Asked why it took so long to get Graham's
response to the water policy, Tschinkel said: "I
think we had his input. I think the question is
always how you translate that into words."
Thp lengthy hearing generally went
smoothly, with Tschinkel neatly orchestrating
change* in other sections of the policy that were
recommended by her staff, the water-man-
agemert districts, conservationists aid special
The sections Tschinkel adopted will set poli-
cy on water use, transporting water from one
district to another, surface-water management,
minimum flows and levels, and district water-
There was a flare-up late in the hearing when
Blain attacked Lee's call to name the document
"General Water Policy and Guidance on Water
Management Programs, Rules and Plans."
Tschinkel disagreed. She stuck to the title
SRWM D Approves New
Well Permitting Policy
II a new rule adopted by Independent Post cis(s, I'lanagan said, which
the Suwannec River Water 2 Weekly 5,OGO would avoid the extra costs
M Management l Dstritn r f t Live Oak incu(rred under the state
we(ek is a;,ijr w y ) tv (he MAD c A 1 Ipl an
state, it could cut about $2(X)
olf the ('st of having a
water well put in.
.Joe f'lanagan, resource
with the )District, said the
rule will 'e less costly than
another water well rule
Proposed by the state
Department of En-
un- 'Ihe I)E D rule, which
on- would go into effect next
uth month, would rtequiire all
the wells to x' "groutelld," or
be- sumrrlouinded lv ;a two inch
I I mn i. ,j u .
gr'loun(l level to the bo)ttoin
of t'he well.
Si rnce current well
regulations reluIre nor
grout, this would raise thli
average cost of installing a
well Irom about $1,5(m) to
$1,70), Flanagan said.
lult the Il) it rule will only
apply if the state water
districts do not come uip
with a policy of their own.
'I'he rule adopted by llme
I)istrict's governing Iboard
'Thursday would( require
... 1 onr,1ly i n the (lower (ten
'thei reasoning be'hindr
requiring a (onc'ret'e grioit
is to prevent a well Ifrom
punching a hole in a pocket
of water closer to the sur-
Iace andl causing that water
to 1lo(w down to a (deeper
But most wells being put
in now are surrounldel tby
clay and other plastic soils
that m1old( around a well pipe
and do the same job con-
crl'ete( would do, lFlanagan
said. In this case, a ((lc i-
plete groui job would be
.T_.-u .iIi i liiiir'a .
As gasoline prices rise, ille-
gal dunainpuwill become more
ter. Nor have there been reports of t
ing water, he said.
By JOHN DUNN
Tribune Staff Writer
BARTOW Ten million gallons (
are flowing from the polluted Peace R,
ing sinkhole and to the Floridan Aquil
ronmental officials have determined.
With 95 percent of the river being
since the river water is basically indu
mestic wastewater discharges, the stat
of Environmental Regulation has deci
plug the hole before the rainy season.
DER engineer Steve Thompson si
will take about a week to dctermini
level of the water flowing into the Aqui!
"People don't understand the Peace
this part of the county is industrial %
domestic wastewater discharges," TL
"One good thing is there is no water
Lake or Lake Hancock going in."
Those two lakes are among the nr
the 14 county DER regional territory,
The sinkhole is located just south
property owned by International Miner
cal Corp. Although the hole has existed
years, it was only recently that envi
cials discovered the size of the hole ha,
to its present proportions.
The hole measures from 10 feet t
and is about 50 yards wide. It sets a'
from the river and a small canal has c
the river to the hole.
The large collection of logs and
mouth of the hole is testimony to tht
water that was swallowed up during
Thompson said the diversion of
subsequent slowing of the flow d,
caused greater pollution of river wa;t
land area and along State Road 640.
"The river is quite low, it's stagnant
a heavy green color due to the large
that point," Thompson said. "If we st
would realize an increased flow dai
.would perhaps improve the river water
Thompson said even though the v
into the aquifer, a large network (
streams that provides most of central I
there have been no reports of poor qiu
-- ----- -- -- -- -- --- --
ienf, not just a mas