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Friday, March 28, 2008

Study group meets on Rainbow Springs protection

Published March 27, 2008
Dave DeWitt, with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, pointed to a graph showing that nutrient levels in the spring and at sampling points on the Rainbow River have nearly doubled since 1994. DeWitt said the district's research concluded the primary source of pollution is synthetic fertilizer, which can percolate into the ground or be carried into the river by a stormwater system. A lesser source of pollution, but still a source of concern, is septic tanks, DeWitt said.

This was the first meeting of the new Rainbow Springs Basin Working Group, which the Florida Department of Environmental Protection organized and funded to gather scientific research on pollution and share strategies to fight it with the community.

Bersok said FDEP and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have funded several working groups around Florida to monitor activities in the basins, feeding springs that may pollute the waters. Locally, the Silver Springs Basin Working Group helped bring the "monster pipe," which dumped untreated stormwater into a creek feeding Silver River, to the attention of Ocala and Marion County officials.
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