The state of Florida sits on the largest aquifer in the southeastern United States. Aquifers are nothing more than stored groundwater gathered from rain that bubbled up in various springs or wells. Some of this water is more prevalent in some springs than others—which defines their magnitude.
Are Florida Springs Salt or Fresh Water?
As a source of groundwater, Florida’s entire aquifer is fresh water and the springs or wells that these ground waters flow to are as fresh as you can get anywhere else on earth. This is because springs are naturally filtered throughout their cycle from rain to ground to spring.
It’s a fascinating cycle from one end to another, and you’re looking at the same effect, on a much smaller scale, when someone has a freshwater well in their backyard.
The water that comes out of that well is as clean and clear as anything you will find in bottled water, which is often a ludicrous exaggeration.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’re probably fascinated by Florida Springs but not sure what type of water they have. So let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about these majestic waters.
The Formation of Springs
There is nothing on earth more powerful than water. If given enough time, water will break through almost anything. Over time, the natural acids in rainwater break through rocks, erode, and slowly carve out space underground, forming what we know as caves.
Of course, in forming these caves, water creates its own route to a large and ever-expanding reservoir.
These reservoirs continue to grow, some joining the next as the erosion process continues until it qualifies as an aquifer.
We get the word “percolate” from this very action. Water percolates through the tiny cracks and gaps it has created. It also gathers other chemicals throughout the process, including CO2 and the acidic content of rotting vegetation. This combination expedites the erosion process.
While these “aquifers,” forming over thousands of years of steady, underground erosion, also cause problems, such as sinkholes. You’ve probably seen them on TV when a house suddenly collapses.
This is nothing more than the erosion caused by millions of gallons of freshwater.
In a similar event, groundwater that is forced upward will break through the surface, forming a spring. That’s why scuba divers love springs. Large springs lead down to underwater caves, which are dangerous yet exciting to explore.
The Magnitude of Freshwater Springs
Scientists love to classify the intensity of things, whether it’s the category of a hurricane or the “F” ratings for tornadoes.
When it comes to springs, eight magnitudes measure the flow rate coming out of the spring.
1st Magnitude Springs
These are the springs that discharge the most freshwater per day. When looking at a spring, it’s often difficult to see any flow rate. For instance, you can easily see a river’s flow rate. Throw in a branch, and it will float downriver.
However, with springs, the water is discharging from below. A 1st magnitude spring discharges more than 65 million gallons of water daily. That’s an enormous volume of water, and you can barely detect that it’s even happening.
2nd Magnitude Springs
Second magnitude springs discharge up to 65 million gallons per day. It would be a first-magnitude spring if it were to exceed 65 million.
However, second-magnitude springs discharge no less than 6.5 million gallons per day.
3rd Magnitude Springs
Third magnitude springs discharge up to 6.5 million gallons per day but no less than .65 million gallons per day. These springs may not discharge as much water as first and second-magnitude springs, but over time, they can get just as large as the swimming area.
4th Magnitude Springs
Fourth to eight-magnitude springs aren’t worthy enough to receive a name. They are usually given a number/letter combo assignment, and that’s the end of it.
These types of springs discharge well under .65 million gallons of water per day.
What is in Spring Water?
Florida springs are freshwater, but there’s more to it than that. Spring water is full of minerals, which is why so many companies like to filter tap water or pull it from a borehole, bottle it, charge you $2 for a bottle, and call it spring water.
If you’ve ever noticed that companies selling water in a bottle are very vague about where they source their water, you should take the time to check it out.
You’d be surprised at how much tap water you’re paying for and drinking and “spring water” that’s pulled out of a borehole a thousand miles away from an actual spring.
According to the EPA, spring water is “any water that originates from an underground aquifer and is collected as it flows naturally to the” earth’s surface. The kind of minerals in spring water is based on the rocks and vegetation that decayed and eroded as water coursed its way through the earth.
For the most part, you will find Small amounts of zinc and iron, along with much larger amounts of magnesium, sodium, calcium, and potassium. The difference between spring water and tap water is that spring water has the highest content of these minerals.
On the other hand, tap water has trace amounts of the above minerals and is also full of chlorine, fluoride, and other, less than savory chemicals.
Are Freshwater Spring Minerals Healthy?
Since the human body doesn’t produce any of the above minerals on its own, we have to get them through our foods and what we drink. The World Health Organization (WHO), frequently elaborates on the reduction of osteoporosis and heart disease by improving calcium and magnesium intakes.
Tap water, on the other hand, is often tested and found to carry arsenic, fluoride, aluminum, iron, lead, herbicides, pesticides, copper, and uranium. Yes, you read that right—uranium. Of course, not all tap water is created equally.
Depending on where you live, your tap water may have its own combination of the above-listed contaminants. However, ⅔ of the tap water supplied in the US has uranium.
The minerals that you get from spring water are essential.
The minerals found in spring water are far better for you than what you will find in tap water. Unfortunately, the bottled water that premium brands have been convincing people for years is the best water available.
That’s not to say that all bottled water companies are feeding you a line of bull. Some legitimately get their water from fresh springs, many of which come from Florida.
- Deer Park sources their spring waters from the East Coast, much of which comes from Florida
- Evian Spring Water comes from the Cachat Spring in France
- Zephyrhills Spring Water is sourced from Florida and nowhere else
- Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water comes from real springs in California, Colorado, and Canada
- Alkawonder Naturally Alkaline Spring Water is sourced from springs in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania
The spring water in Florida is as fresh as you can get. That’s the case with all of the natural springs around the world. What you get from a spring is naturally filtered rainwater that has gone through an incredible process of erosion and gravity to reach the surface for you to explore, swim in, and drink (safely, of course).