Silver Springs Threatened by Proposed Slaughterhouse

With water flow already down in Florida Springs the St. Johns River Water Management District is considering issuance of a permit that could threaten one of Florida’s best known springs.

Flow and water quality at famous Silver Springs near Ocala, Florida will likely be threatened by this pending action.

Now in the early stages of evaluating a permit application by Adena Springs Ranch, the SJRWMD is seeking public input. Please review the SJRWMD Report which includes a link inviting your input.

Developers have acquired 30,000 acres of land that has previously been left relatively natural and is considered a “springshed.” They are currently applying for permits to develop the land into a cattle finishing” operation and slaughterhouse. Their current plans call for 110 new wells that would pump 13.267million gallons of water per day out of the ground at Ft. McCoy near Silver Springs, Florida. This is down from the initial request of 27million gallons of water per day. According to sources this new plan calls for using about the same volume of water each day as is currently being used by all existing development in Ocala.

With water flow at Silver Springs off by more than 50% from historic volumes concern is building for the health of our vital natural resource. The steep decline began in the 1980s as development increased in the state. In 2011 the flow at Silver Springs had declined to only half the historic average and by April 1st of this year the flow was at the lowest volume ever recorded- 282 cubic feet per second which is only 37% of the historical average. Similar trends are emerging in springs all over the state.

With development has come a decline in water quality as well. Our springs have seen a steady decline over the years with fertilizers and waste from sewage percolating down causing unnatural growth of algae.

Such a large operation as the proposed Adena Springs Ranch will undoubtedly add to surface pollution while drawing more water from the aquifer and speeding up the decline.

Please take a moment to read the Saint Johns River Water Management District report and then let your voice be heard in defense of our springs.


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