Proof Positive: Sprayfield Affects Springs

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

Friday they received the first indication of dye showing up at Wakulla Springs. It’s dye they released back in March to prove whether or not runoff from the sprayfield was headed to the crown jewel in Wakulla County's waterway, the springs.

The science cannot be denied. After releasing 60 kilograms of dye into the sprayfield, hydrologists finally have the proof they were looking for.

Todd Kincaid, PhD, VP of Hazlett-Kincaid, said, "Well, the question of whether or not the sprayfield contributes water I believe is answered. It does contribute water to Wakulla Springs."

It's proof positive, and for some residents it's also vindication of what they believed all along that what goes in the ground in Tallahassee comes out in Wakulla County's springs.

Jack Leppert, a member of Friends of Wakulla Springs, said, "This is the physical evidence that basically proves at a much higher standard than is necessary beyond a reasonable doubt that sprayfield water in quantity is reaching Wakulla Springs."

But there are still unanswered questions.

Jamie Shaker, Water Quality Manager for Tallahassee, said, "This dye tracer, although it shows a connection, doesn't show the amount going to Wakulla Springs or any of the other area springs, and that's a critical component here."

The city says it was not surprised at the findings. They're waiting for results on just how much pollutant can be traced to the sprayfield and whether or not other sources of nitrates, like septic tanks, should be checked as well.

The study continues as the city waits for answers on how much impact the sprayfield is having.

The hydrologist says nitrate leakage is not a direct finding of this study, but that this will help understand how water from Tallahassee and north Wakulla County makes it to our springs.


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