STATE OF FLORIDA
STATE BOARD OF. CONSERVATION
Ernest Mitts, Director
FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Robert 0. Vernon, Director
INFORMATION CIRCULAR NO. 25
SURFACE WATER RESOURCES OF
POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA
Richard C. Heath
U. S. Geological Survey
Prepared by U. S. Geological Survey
in cooperation with the Florida Geological Survey
Tallahassee, Florida 1961
Introduction ......................................... 2
Drainage features ............................... 8
Surface water characteristics.................... .... 11
Water stages .................................. 11
Lake s .................................. 11
Streams ................................. 14
Streamflow ..................................... 16
Spring discharge .......................... 17
Floods ........................................ 19
Occurrence. ..................................... 19
Estimation ..................................... 19
Gaging stations and records ...... .............. 25
Appendix I. Stage-duration curves for lakes in
Polk County, Florida ............... .... 93
Appendix II. Stage-duration curves for streams in
Polk County, Florida ............... 105
Appendix III. Flow-duration curves for streams in
Polk County, Florida ............... 109
Appendix IV. Monthly and yearly mean discharges
at gaging stations in Polk County,
Florida..... .......................... 115
1 Map of Florida showing location of Polk County 3 2 Population growth, Polk County, Florida .... 3 3 Aerial view of Lakeland, Florida............... 5
4 Annual rainfall, Bartow, Florida............... 6
5 Temperature and rainfall, Bartow, Florida. 6
6 Mining land-pebble phosphate in Polk County
(1958).............................. ......... 7
7 :Cypres s Gardens.......................... 9
8 Drainage basins, Polk County, Florida...... facing 10
9 Stage hydrograph, Lake Howard at Winter
Haven, Florida............................... 12
10 Stage-duration curve, Lake Arbuckle near
Avon Park, Florida .......................... 13
11 Stage hydrographs for lakes in Polk County. facing 14 12 Effect of pumpage from lakes .............. 15
13 Kissengen Spring near Bartow, Florida, during
flood of September, 1933................... .... 20
14 Kissengen Spring near Bartow, Florida (April
15 Peak stages during flood of October, 1953
Kissimmee River ............. ............. 22
16 Damage to bridge on State Highway 60 at the
Kissimmee River caused by flood of October,
17 Peak flow, flood frequency, and drainage area
relationship, Kissimmee River ............. .... 24
18 Peak flow, flood frequency, and drainage area
relationship, Polk County streams .......... 25
19 Peak flow reduction coefficients, Polk County,
Florida ..-.-................................... 26
20 Surface water gaging stations in Polk County,
Florida ...................................facing 26
21 Stage-duration curve, Lake Arbuckle near
Avon Park, Florida ...................... 94
22 Stage-duration curve, Lake Clinch at Frostproof, Florida ............................. 94
23 Stage -duration curve, Lake Conine at Florence
Villa, Florida ............................ 95
24 Stage-duration curve, Crooked Lake near Babson Park, Florida............................ 95
25 Stage-duration curve, Cypress Lake near
St. Cloud, Florida ........................... 96
26 Stage-duration curve, Deer Lake at Winter
Haven, Florida .............................. 96
27 Stage-duration curve, Lake Hamilton at Lake
Hamilton, Florida......................... .... 97
28 Stage-duration curve, Lake Hartridge at Winter Haven, Florida. ........................... 97
29 Stage-duration curve, Lake Hatchineha near
Haines City, Florida ...................... 98
30 Stage-duration curve, Lake Howard at Winter
Haven, Florida -.-............................ 98
31 Stage-duration curve, Lake Jessie near Auburndale, Florida............................ 99
32 Stage-duration curve, Lake Kissimmee near
Lake Wales, Florida ....................... 99
33 Stage-duration curve, Lake Liilu at outlet near
Eloise, Florida ................................ 100
34 Stage -duration curve, Lake Mariana near Auburndale, Florida .............................. 100
35 Stage -duration curve, Mountain Lake near Lake
Wales, Florida .............................. 101
36 Stage-duration curve, Lake Otis at Winter
Haven, Florida ........................... 101
37 Stage-duration curve, Lake Parker at Lakeland, Florida................................ 102
38 Stage -duration curve, Lake Rochelle at Lake
Alfred, Florida ................................ 102
39 Stage-duration curve, Scott Lake near Lakeland, Florida .................................. 103
40 Stage-duration curve, Kissimmee River below
Lake Kissimmee, Florida.................. .. 106
41 Stage-duration curve, Weohyakapka Creek near
Lake Wales, Florida ................ ....... 106
42 Stage -duration curve, Reedy Creek near Frostproof, Florida ................................. 107
43 Flow-duration -curve, Catfish Creek near Lake
Wale s, Florida .......................... 110
44 Flow-duration curve, Hatchineha-Kissimmee
Canal near Lake Wales, Florida ............ .. 110
45 Flow-duration curve, Kissimmee River below
Lake Kissimmee, Florida.................... 111
46 Flow-duration curve, Lake Lulu outlet at
Eloise, Florida........................... 111
47 Flow-duration curve, Peace Creek drainage
canal near Alturas, Florida.................. 112
48 Flow-duration curve, Peace Creek drainage
canal near Dundee, Florida ................ 112
49 Flow-duration curve, Peace River at Bartow,
Florida .................................. 113
50 Flow-duration curve, Reedy Creek near Frostproof, Florida ................................. 113
I Discharge measurements or observations of no
flow of Kissengen Spring near Bartow, Florida 18
2 Monthly and yearly mean discharge of Catfish
Greek near Lake Wales, Florida............. ..116
3 Monthly and yearly mean discharge- of Hatchineha-Kissinnee Canal near Lake Wales,
Florida .................................. 117
4 Monthly and yearly mean discharge of Kissimmee River below Lake Kissimmee, Florida.. 1~18
5 Monthly and yearly mean discharge of Lake
Lulu outlet at Eloise, Florida .............. .. 119
6 Monthly and yearly mean discharge of Peace
Creek drainage canal near Alturas, Florida. 120
7 Monthly and yearly mean discharge of Peace
Creek drainage canal near Dundee, Florida. 121
8 Monthly and yearly mean discharge of Peace
River at Bartow, Florida .................. ....122
9 Monthly and yearly mean discharge of Reedy
Creek near Frostproof, Florida ............. ...123
SURFACE WATER RESOURCES OF
POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA
Richard C. Heath
Polk County, the fourth largest county in Florida, is in the "ridge" section of the peninsula. It lies on a topographic high and surface drainage is outward in all directions from the center. Six major rivers drain from the area.
Rainfall is abundant. Although much water leaves by way of the surface streams, large amounts are stored in the nearly 500 lakes within the county. These lakes are vitally important to the economy.
Frequent flooding of lowland areas takes place, especially along the Kissimmee River. The floods are caused, usually, bythe heavy rains that accompany tropical storms-. Procedures are presented for estimating the severity of future floods.
The U. S. Geological Surveyhas collected water records at 107 sites within the area. The location of each site is given on a map and the records are presented in summary form. Duration curves show the characteristic fluctuations in stream flow and in lake levels.
Z FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
The rapid increase in population in Polk County during the last decade has been accompanied by a several-fold increase in the number and complexity of problems pertaining tothe use and controlof the streams andlakes of the county. The increase in problems has increased the need for more information about the occurrence and movement of surface water. The primary purpose of this report is to give that information. Its secondary purpose is to give information that will promote an understanding of the nature and causes of the problems or that will aid in arriving at practical solutions.
The water records given herein were collected by the Surface Water Branch of the U. S. Geological Survey. The funds required for this workwere supplied bythe U. S. Geological Survey and the following:
Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District
Florida Geological Survey
Florida Division of Water Survey and Research
Florida State Road Department
Okeechobee Flood Control District
Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund of
the State of Florida
U. S. Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District Winter Haven Iake Region Boat Course District
The report was prepared under the supervision of A. 0. Patterson, District Engineer, U. S. Geological Survey. Funds for its preparation were furnished jointly by the Florida Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Polk County, namedfor James E. Polk, l1th President of the United States, is in the center of the peninsula of Florida (fig. 1). It is bordered on the north by Lake and Sumter counties, onthe east by Osceola County, on the south
INFORMATION CIRCULAR NO. 25 3
0S~~ FLORIDA 4Figure 1. Map of Florida showing location of Polk County.
1960 polsaiNBS D. U F I t ...UC& RELEASED -O IKE UNSiTo STIt. BUREAU or TI
O1Nsus, DISTRICT OrreIt. LAoctAmo. FLA.
0 V I _E A t
1s T 1090 1900 io 1920 19-0 1940 10 1, 0
Figure 2. Population growth, Polk County, Florida.
4 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
by Highlands and Hardee counties, and on the west by Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Polk is the fourth largest county in the State. It is approximately 40 miles wide and 50 miles long and has a land area of 1,861 square miles (1, 191,040 acres).
Since Polk County was formed in 1861 its population has increased steadily and in 1950 was 123,997 persons (fig. 2). The population growth of the principal towns has kept pace with the growth of the county. In 1950, Lakeland (fig. 3) had a population of 30, 851; Bartow (the county seat) had a population of 8, 694; and Winter Haven had a population of 8, 605.
The climate of Polk County is subtropical. The average temperature is about 72 degrees and the average annual rainfall is approximately 54 inches. January is usually the coldest month and August the warmest. Temperatures as low as 18 degrees and as high as 102 degrees have been experienced. In most years June is the wettest month and November is the driest. More than half of the rain falls during June, July, August, and September. Figure 4 shows annual rainfall at Bartow from 1887 to 1957 and figure 5 shows average and extremes of rainfall and temperature at Bartow for the periods of record.
Polk County has a diversified economy. The principal sources of income are citrus, phosphate, agricultural crops, cattle, and tourist trade. The county has more acreage devotedto citrus growing (95, 992 acres in 1948-49) than any other county in the State and produces about one-third of the citrus grown in Florida. Polk County has more pasture land and produces more cattle than any other county in the State. Some of the lar ge st land-pebble pho sphate mine s in the world are located in the county. These mines (fig. 6) produce about three-fourths of the phosphate mined in the United States.
Nearly all of Polk County lies in what has been called (Cooke, 1945, p. 8) the Central Highlands topographic division. Its soils are prevailingly sandy. Land surface elevations are as low as 50 feet and as high as 305 feet above sea level, but most of the land lies between 75 feet and 250 feet above sea level.
Figure 3. Aerial view of Lakeland, Florida. Lake in left foreground is
Lake Hollingsworth; large lake in upper center is Lake Parker.
(Photograph courtesy of Robertson Studio, Bartow, Florida. )
RAINIALL (Inc"a) ANNUAL lAIN ALL (ING1118)
1915 55 3
TEMPERATURE (ORc.tcs F.)
DEPARTURE FRcM AVERAGE (Ipecer)
Figure 6. Mining land-pebble phosphate in Polk County (1958).
(Photograph courtesy of International Minerals and
Chemical Corporation, Bartow, Florida. )
8 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Nearly 500 lakes, ranging in size from less than an acre to more than 35,000 acres (55 square miles), lie within the county and along its borders. These lakes have had a decided influence upon the development of the economy, since many enterprises depend entirely upon the lakes for their well-being. Others, though not directly dependent, derive much of their income from activities that would take place on a much smaller scale were the lakes not present. The tourist trade, for example, probably would not have become nearly so important if the natural beauty of the region had not been enhanced further by the lakes. One of the many widely known attractions in the county, Cypress Gardens (fig. 7), has combined the esthetic qualities of Lake Eloise, on whose shore it is located, with water-ski shows, flower gardens, and other entertaining features. Drawing many thousands of visitors each year, it has contributed substantially to the economy.
Indirectly, the lakes help the economy by providing a convenient and economical supply of water for irrigating citrus groves, crop lands, and pastures. In 1956, irrigated land in the county amounted to 50, 000 acres and, on the average, water was being applied at the rate of 66, 000, 000 gallons (200 acre-feet) per day. I Some of this water came from wells, but most of it came from lakes.
Polk County is on the topographic high of Peninsular Florida, from which water flows in all directions (fig. 8). Water from the eastern 35percent of the countydrains eastward and southward into the Kissimmee River and from the south-central 35 percent into the Peace River. Along the western boundary, water from8 percent of the county drains into the Alafia River and water from 4 percent drains into the Hillsborough River. On the north, water from about 15 percent drains northwestward into the Withlacoochee River,
IFlorida's Water Resources; report of the Florida Water Resources Commission, 1957.
Figure 7. Cypress Gardens. Lake Eloise is ini foreground; citrus grovcs
in background. Circular pattern i r upper center is formed by parked automobiles. (Photograph courtesy of Floridai Cypress
Gardens Association, Inc. Winter Havoti, Florida.)
10 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURE
and drainage from about 3 percent moves northward into the headwaters system of the Oklawaha River, a tributary to the St. Johns River.
The relatively low, flat prairie land lying-in the Kissimmee River basin is characterizedby large, fairly shallow lakes. Shallow natural channels andman-made canals allow water to pass from lake to lake, and eventually to reach the river. Duringflood times, though, much water moves overland on its way to collecting channels. The result is that large areas sometimes are covered by a thin, slow moving sheet of water.
In the high, rolling, sandy lands of the Peace River basin, channels tend to be better defined, although many of the natural passages between lakes are more accurately described as long, narrow, wooded swamps than as well defined streams. In many places these natural drains have been improved by canalization, In this part of the county lakes are more numerous, although smaller, than in the Kissimmee Valley section. Many of the lakes have no surface outlet and outward drainage may take place through the ground. In several areas, lakes that had no surface connections or were imperfectly joined have been connected by canals and made into full fledged drainage systems. Notable among these is the series of lakes at Winter Haven that have been so connected. In this group, ten large lakes have been connected by canals that are of sufficient size to permit small pleasure boats to ply the whole "chain. "' Several smaller lakes have been connectedto the chainby culverts or ditches. The flow of water out of the chain is regulated by control structures so that optimum-use levels are maintained. The construction and operation of this systemhas reduced flooding by providing drainage ways, prevented overdrainage by maintaining controlled water levels, and has created a valuable recreational and residential asset.
Along the western side of the county, in the Alafia River basin and the Hillsborough River basin, the land is flat, fairly high, and is overgrown with pine and palmetto. Lakes are few and small. Although the few streams in this area are small, most of them have well defined channels.
L.A E L.COUNTY 4
SUMTER Counr v i
AVER J B rA N' \1 N
9 POLK COUNTY
--J- O \FLORIDA
I SCALE Ik MILES
CELN WNTER HAMILTON
f---- A "; ""a*' 'I -'-'- '-m
Fir LA Dring bai11okCony lrd
INFORMATION CIRCULAR NO. 25 11
About 285 square miles of the northwestern part of the county lies in the Withlacoochee River basin. The area is a tableland tilted slightly downward to the northwest, with a slope of less than a foot per mile. It is characterized by innumerable small, low hammocks and shallow, saucer-like depressions (cypress ponds). Except for the Withlacoochee River which runs along the northern boundary of the county there are practically no natural channels in the area. Formerly, in times of excessive rainfall, surplus water noved by overland routes to the river. In recent years, however, efforts have been made to confine the drainage to definite channels by extensive ditching.
A long, narrow strip of the St. Johns River basin extends down into Polk County from the north. It is separated from the Withlacoochee River basin to the west and the Kissimmee River basin to the east by parallel, north-south, relict dune lines. This area is high and sandy, and contains several large lakes. Drainage is northward through two poorly defined, swampy channels.
SURFACE WATER CHARACTERISTICS
The day-to-day fluctuation in lake levels is brought about by combinations of many factors. The factors that usually have the greatest effect on lake levels are rainfall, evaporation, transpiration, surface inflow, surface outflow, pumpage, seepage, and percolation. Not all lakes are affected by all these factors. However, all lakes are affected by some of them and most lakes are affected by most of them. Some of the factors add water to lakes and tend to raise lake levels; others remove water and tend to lower lake levels. Rainfall, surface inflow, and percolation add water to lakes; the other factors remove water.
Each lake rises and falls in a manner that is peculiar to that particular lake. In other words, each lake responds
194r 1 9 194 g 1y4 g 1ra0 1ak1 Hor __ in r H 0ven, 1F OridIs
Figure 9. Stage hydrograph, Lake Howard at Winter Haven, Florida.
INFORMATION CIRCULAR NO. 25 13
to the factors in a characteristic manner. The characteristic manner in which a lake responds is revealed by its stage record. The stage record can be plotted in the form of a hydrograph, as has been done for Lake Howard on figure 9, in order to show the characteristic fluctuations. For some purposes, a better way to showthe characteristic fluctuations is to arrange the stages usually the daily means in descending order of magnitude and plot them in the form of a stage-duration curve, as shown on figure 10 for Lake Arbuckle. In this form the record indicates the percent of time that the lake has been at a particular level, or higher. For example, the level of Lake Arbuckle, from the curve, has been at least 55 feet above mean sea level for about 26 percent of the time.
The value of a duration curve comes from its use as an indicator of future behavior. However, it can be put to this use only if certain conditions that prevailed in the past continue to prevail in the future. An important requirement is that there be no extensive change in the physical conditions
Recon vsm: DAILY AVERAGES, OCTOMER 1942
To SrPTnCacR 1957.
1 20 3- 40- so 0 711 80 9
PERCENT OF TIME
Figure 10. Stage-duration curve, Lake Arbuckle near Avon Park, Florida
14 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
of the lake. The construction of a canal to rernove water from what previously had been a landlocked lake, for example, would change the stage characteristics, and a duration curve prepared from the record collected before the change would not be applicable.
Stage-duration curves have beenprepared for 19-lakes in Polk County and are given in Appendix I. In addition, the stage records for 15 lakes, summarized and plotted in hydrograph form, are given in figure 11.
Duration curves are drawn frequently on probability paper, on which they tend to be straight lines. The vertical scale may be either arithmetic or logarithmic, whichever fits the data better. The logarithmic scale lends itself to flow-duration curves, whereas the arithmetic scale is better for stage-duration curves. For the purpose of this report, however, the curves were drawn on arithmetic coordinate paper because arithmetic plotting on both scales gives a more accurate visual impression of the duration of stages or discharges.
Unless an intensive local study of an individual lake is undertakenthe effect of pumping water fromit is conjectural. Large amounts .of water are lost to evaporation every month, and for lakes of substantial size it is likely that much more water is lostbythis process than couldbe pumped byriparian owners.
To illustrate the effect on a lake level by pumping, alone, a family of simple curves showing 30-day changes in elevation for selected rates of pumping from lakes of areas up to 14 square miles is shown in figure 12.
Stream stages fluctuate in response to the same factors that affect lake levels, but not in a comparable manner. The primary factors that determine the stage of a stream at a particular place are the rate of flow and channel conditions.
If channel conditions remain stable, an increase in flowbrings about an increase in stage and a decrease inflow
J F M A M J J A SO N D J F M A M J J A S 0 N D J F M A M J J A S 0 N D_5 J F M A M J J A S 0 N_D J F M A M J J A S 0 N D
6c F AM J SO D112J AM AS N 12 J M M J S N 59 145
59 lit1 125 58 1 4
58- 110 1 24 57 143
57 1 09 12 3 56 142
E108 122 141
55 107 121 54- 140
4 ,'106 120-53 f 1 9-
53 1051 119- 52 TI9 7 138 -2-
52 104- 1-8 51 137
103117 50 136-102 1 16 49 -35
49 1 0 1 1 5 LlI I48 13 4
> 4 to 1 4 47
LAKE ARBUCKLE LAKE CLINCH CROOKED LAKE CYPRESS LAKE DEER LAKE
(RECORD BEGAN DECEMBER 1941) (RECORD BEGAN JANUARY 1947) (RECORD BEGAN APRIL 1945) (RECORD BEGAN JANUARY 1942) (RECORD BEGAN FEBRUARY 1946)
jF M A M J J A S O N D 137 J F M A M J J A S 0 N D 58 J F M A M J d A S 5 N D 136 J F M A M J J A S N D J F M A M J J A S 0 N D
1 2 136 57 135 56[
S135 56 134 55
24134 5 5 133 54
4 31354- 132 53L3 o"
5 2132- 53 1-31 52
2i 131 ~ ~52 130 51'
20130 51 129 50 '
129 50 128 49128 -49 127 48
7 127 48 26 47
S6 1 26 47L 125 1146
:5L C 16- - 45
LAKE HAMILTON LAKE CARTRIDGE LAKE HATCHINEHA LAKE HOWARD LAKE KISSIMMEE
RECORD BEGAN JUNE 1945) (RECORD BEGAN FEBRUARY 1946) (RECORD BEGAN JANUARY 1942) (RECORD BEGAN APRIL 1945) (RECORD BEGAN MARCH 1949)
JF M A M J J A S O N D 142 J F M A M J J A S 0 N D J F M A M J J A S 0 N D J F M A M J J A S N D 133 J F M A M J J A S Q N
Z5 141 117 83 132
3. -- -140 116 82 131
-33-- -139 -115 81 130
32 138- 114 -80 129
137- 1 -P 79 .128
30 --136 1~~ -I12 78 -127 o
Z9 135 1 77 125
?_8 --134 1 10 76 2
27 133 109 75- 124
26 a 132 -108 74 ----123
25-131107 73- 122
LAKE LULU LAKE MARIANA MOUNTAIN LAKE LAKE REEDY LAKE ROCHELLE
(RECORD BEGAN FEBRUARY 1946) (RECORD BEGAN FEBRUARY 1946) (RECORD BEGAN APRIL 1945) (RECORD BEGAN OCTOBER 1946) (RECORD BEGAN MARCH 1946)
Solid lines show maximum and minimum Dotted lines show month-end averages
month-end stages from beginning of based on 10-year period, October 1947
record to September 1957. to September 1957.
Figure 11. Stage hydrographs for lakes in Polk County.
INFORMATION CIRCULAR NO. 25 15
brings abouta corresponding decrease in stage. The amount of increase in stage that results from a particular increase inflow varies from streamto stream, each stream responding in a characteristic manner.
A practicalmethod for determining the characteristic fluctuations in the stage of a stream is to collect a stage record over a period of time at the place of interest and, by rearranging the data, construct a stage -duration curve. Such a curve, however, has a limitation that should be recognized the curve will hold only insofar as the hydrologic events of the past are repeated in the future. Practically, this means that if the weather stays the same, and if the physical conditions of the stream and the land it drains stay the same, the curve is valid; otherwise it is not.
Stage-duration curves for one location on the Kissimmee River, one on Weohyakapka Creek, and one on Reedy Creek, are given in Appendix II, figures 40-42.
-1.0 - - - --- -I -
CURVES REPRESENT CHANGE IN ELEVATION
OF VARIOUS SI2E LAKES UNDER CONTINUOUS
PUWPAGE .FOR 30RDAYS AT RATES INDICATES
-0.8 (IN A LO PER MINUTE, CONSIDERING NO
INFLOW OR OUTFLOW, AND NO RAINFALL ON
EVAPORATION. (1 sQ MI 640 ACRES)
42.4 a 10 12 1
LAKE AFEA. (SQUARE WILFS)
Figure 12. Effect of pumpage from lakes.
16 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Str e amflow
Because of the buffer effect of the many lakes in Polk County, streamflowdoes not fluctuate as rapidly or as much as in many other counties in Florida. The lakes store water in times of rainfall excess, thus reducing flood peaks. Conversely,they release water to streams intimes of deficiency, and thereby sustain streamflow. Each stream is stabilized by lakes to a greater or lesser extent, depending upon the size and number of lakes to which it may be connected. This factor, as well as climatic and geologic factors, causes flow characteristics to be different from stream to stream and even from place to place on the same stream. Consequently, separate determinations of characteristics must be made at many points in an area if optimum use is tobe made of its streams.
Eight such determinations of flow characteristics have been made for various locations throughout Polk County. They consist of flow-duration curves constructed by rearranging the daily discharges from the flow record and plotting them as cumulative occurrence curves. These curves are given in Appendix III. Some of the characteristics they show are:
1. The lowest flow of record (at the 100-percent-oftime ordinate).
2. The highest flow of record (at the zero-percentof-time ordinate).
3. The median flow of record (at the 50-percent-oftime ordinate).
4. The percent of time during which each particular
flow rate or some higher flow rate occurred.
INFORMATION CIRCULAR NO. 25 17
Until it ceased to flow in 1950, Kissengen Spring, four miles southeast of Bartow, was the largest spring in Polk County. It was the only one of sufficient size to be developed as a recreational facility. The flow of Kissengen Spring was first measured by the U. S. Geological Survey on December 21, 1898. Its flow rate on that date was 20 million gallons per day. Subsequently, measurements were made in 1917, 1929, 1930, and 1931. In March 1932, monthly measurements of flow were begun and were continued until the spring ceased flowing in February 1950. Since 1950 monthly inspections have been made. The results of measurements and inspections are given in table 1.
The record indicates that the flow remained fairly stable at about 20 million gallons per day from 1898 to 1934. In 1934 the flow began a downward trend which continued until the spring ceased to flow in 1950. Since then, flow has resumed several times but the periods of flow have been short and the flow rates have been relatively low. In general, these resumptions of flow have come in times of above normal rainfall.
Peeki has shown that there was a greatly increased withdrawal of groundwater in the vicinity of Kissengen Spring coincident with the reduction in spring flow. He indicates that the cessation of flow resulted from the lowering of the piezometric pressure in the area a loweringbrought about by the withdrawal of large amounts of ground water.
1Peek, Harry M., Cessation of Flow of Kissengen Springs;- Florida Geological Survey Report of Investigations No. 7, 1951.
Table 1. Discharge Measurements or Observations of No Flow of Kissengen Spring Near Bartow, Florida (In million gallons per day)
Year Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec,
1932 18.6 12.4 14.7 18.8 16.4 19.9 19.3 15.4
1933 15.6 18.0 18.1 1619 16.0 20.0 19.1 21.3 28.2 26.2 24.3
1934 22,9 20.7 19.8 16.8 16.1 18.8 23.6 25.1 22.8
1935 17.1 16.2 14.2 13.4 12.6 13.3 14.7 14.0 16.7 17.5 15.8 Q
1936 14,1 16.8 17.9 20.5 19.1 22.0 18.5 16.9 18.3 21.3 15.4 14.8
1937 14.2 14.5 16.7 14.6 17.9 16.9 16.5 16.5 15.0 14.9 14.9 0
1938 16.4 15.1 18.9 14.2 9.63 9.31 14.6 12.9 16.0 9.05 17.8 12.0 r
1939 11.1 10.8 9.82 8.92 13.4 13.6 16.0 12.8 15.6 13.4 14.2
1940 13,8 18.8 17.6 10.5 14.2 11.8 12.3 12.3 12.7 10.2 9.24
1941 14.3 10.4 10.2 12.5 9.50 7.63 9.69 14.2 10.7 11.8 10.1 9.31
1942 9.31 10.1 10.8 11.2 14.7 12.4 10.9 10.0 9.76
1943 8.79 8.79 16.3 5.53 12.7 9.11
1944 6.23 6.85 8.98 8.01
1945 13.6 5.28 11.4 9.44
1946 9.11 3.67 2.12 2.25 7.37 5.51 7.76 5.76
1947 9.50 7.89 6.28 1.31 *0.1 2.26 18.9 8.66 2.26
1941 *1.1 *1.2 1.40 1.67
1949 1.87 3.13 5.26 5.01 3.97 2.00 2.17 1.24
1950 0.743 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1981 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1952 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1953 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1954 2.33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1955 0 0 0 0 0 2.35 2.68 0
1956 0 0 0 0 0 -, 0 0 0
1957 0 0 .0 0 0 0
INFORMATION CIRCULAR NO. 25 19
Severe floods in Polk County usually come as a result of the heavy rains that accompany hurricanes and hence nearly always occur in September or October. Several such floods have occurred in the last three decades. One of these, on the Peace River in September 1933, is still remembered by residents of the area. During this flood the river at Zolfo Springs rose to a stage of 55. 25 feet (mean sea level) and the flow reached a rate of 26, 300 5ubic feet per second. Figure 13 is a photograph showing the flooded pavilion at Kissengen Spring at the time. Figure 14 is a later photograph showing the normal appearance of the pavilion.
The highest flood onthe Kissimmee River that has been recorded by the U. S. Geological Survey occurred in October 1953. This flood came as a result of an exceptionally wet summer rainy season in which four out of the five months from June through October had well above normal rainfall and one (July) had slightly above normal rainfall. The season was marked by eight tropical disturbances, the last of which, "Hazel", crossed the State from Fort Myers to Vero Beach on October 9th and dumped an estimated three inches of rain on the alreadyflooded Kissimmee Valley. River stages rose to the highest ever recorded all along the valley (fig. 15) and flood damage was extensive. Bridges and culverts were washed out (fig. 16), pastures and crops were inundated, and livestock was lost. The Weather Bureau reported that estimates of the flood damage ran as high as $9 million. Records indicate that floods of this magnitude occur on the Kissimmee River about once in 25 years, on the average.
Procedures for making reasonably reliable estimates of the magnitude and frequency of future floods are pre sented in a report by Pride. 3 The procedures described therein
3Pride, R. W. Floods in Florida, Magnitude and Fre quency, U. S. Geological Survey open file report, 1958.
Figure 13. Kissengen Spring tear Bartow, Florida, during flood of September
1933, looking east at flooded pavilion. (Photograph courtesy of
Sam W. Clark, Bartow, Florida.)
Figure 14. Kissengen Spring ntjar bartow, Florida (April 1947), looking
northeast at pool and development. (Photograph courtesy of
Florida Geological Survey. )I.
22 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
J 1O3231Q 3XV-1
OL -AEH V IJ en
/3**3 4.44 b
/0 -H''-)33a oI XT
(13A31 ~ ~ ~ ~ 3K114 V3 13W30WO3j VI I~
Figure 16. iJamage to bridge on State Highway bU at the Kissimmee River
caused by flood of October 1953, looking eastward. (Photograph
courtesy of the Florida State Road Department.) W
24 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
have been applied to construct curves, applicable to Polk County streams, which are given here. One curve (fig. 17) is applicable only to the main stem of the Kissimmee River, and consists of a three-dimensional relationship combining drainage area, recurrence interval, and peak flow. If the drainage area is known, the estimated peak flow can be obtained directlyfromthe curve for any selected recurrence interval.
For all streams in Polk County except the main stem of the Kissimmee River, two curves are required for estimating the flood peaks. One of these (fig. 18) gives the unadjusted peak flow if the drainage area and recurrence interval are known. To get the adjusted peak flow the unadjusted peak flow is multiplied by a reduction coefficient obtained from figure 19 in order to take into account the buffer effect of lakes in the basin.
"-'a _______7.. 1.0 Sa0.00 200 2,0 00o 320 1'
Figure 17. Peak flow, flood frequency, and arainage area
relationship, Kissimmee River.
INFORMATION CIRCULAR NO. 25 25
GAGING STATIONS AND RECORDS
The operation of gaging stations in Polk County by the U. S. Geological Survey began in 193 with the establishment of a station on the Kissimmee River at State Highway 60. Between 1931 and 1958, 107 stations were established. Sixty-three of these were subsequently discontinued so that, in 1958, there were 44 active gaging stations in the county.
The records that have been colle cted consist primarily of stage and flow data. However, at some locations supplementary data such as lake depth and lake area have been collected. For some stations the record consists of daily stage readings; for some it consists of daily discharges and daily stage readings; for others it consists of stage readings or flow determinations made at weekly or longer intervals. The records obtained from regular gaging stations those
USE iN CNINsuOOe ON NTN PESO PL.OW
0 oN A A c me r THEAIN ( Ali 1N).
TN KissouSEt Riven.
2 4 6 a 10 20 40 60 80 100 200 400 600 1000 2000 4000 DRAIRME AU NWOUNZ .111)
Figure 18. Peak flow, flood frequency, and drainage area
relationship, Polk County streams.
26 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
whose record consists of daily discharges have been published in U. S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Papers. These papers are published annually as a numbered series. Papers containing records of sites in Polk County are: Year WSP No. Year WSP No. Year WSP No.
1932 727 1941 9z2 1950 1172
1933 742 1942 952 1951 1204
1934 757 1943 972 1952 1234
1935 782 1944 1002 1953 1274
1936 802 1945 1032 1954 1334
1937 822 1946 1052 1955 1384
1938 852 1947 1082 1956 1434
1939 872 1948 1112 1957 1504
1940 ?92 1949 1142
PERCDR OF DRAIMGE AMA COME BY LACES
Figure 19. Peak flow reduction coefficients, Polk County, Florida.
GRADED AND DRAINED ROAD PmMIT VE R..OAD
-OU EY BOUNDARY LINE CITY
POLK CITY LK
U. S- HIGHWAY
DAVENPORT STATE HIGHWAY
SURFACE WATER GAGING SITE
OC LAKE ALFRED
0 \- C-P---AUBURNDALE 0 LAKE
2 LAKE HAMILTON
dAKEAND %6 W ~
LAE EAGLE LAKE
AN- PIERCE cr"HIGHLAND C CA CITY
-T.MULBERRY 'AKE LAKE WA ES
9 ALTURAS 9 -BABSON PARK
93 L AKEx