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Jackson Blue Springs BMAP, 2024 update

When DEP released its updates to Springs BMAPs in 2024, the Florida Springs Council dug into the updated data to answer three questions:

1. Where is the nitrogen pollution coming from for this springshed?

2. What is the difference in pollution levels in this springshed since the 2018 BMAPs were adopted?

3. How is it going? That is, has this BMAP been successful so far, and where has the 2018 BMAP put this springshed on its path to restoration?


 

Sources of Nitrogen Pollution in Jackson Blue Springs


Jackson Blue Spring has the farthest to go to reach water quality goals, requiring an astounding 91% reduction in nitrogen levels. That reduction will have to come from agriculture, which contributes 85.9% of Jackson Blue Springs' nitrogen pollution.

OSTDS = Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems - septic tanks

Atmo. Dep. = Atmospheric Deposition. This comes from the air or rainfall and is not a source that can be reduced.


Agricultural sources (livestock, dairies, farm fertilizers, nurseries) are in shades of green.

Development/urban sources (urban and sports fertilizers wastewater and septics) are in shades of yellow and orange.

 

The difference in pollution levels and required nitrogen reduction since the 2018 BMAPs were adopted


Jackson Blue Spring holds the top spot for the largest reduction required for any of the Springs BMAPs, requiring a 91% reduction in nitrogen to reach water quality goals.

Pounds per year of nitrogen at the spring vents - data are based on DEP's actual measurements.

 

How is it going?


Rather than decreasing, nitrogen levels have increased at Jackson Blue Springs.


The first black dot at 2018 is based on actual data, how much pollution was measured at the spring vent when the 2018 BMAP went into effect.


The next two dots show how things are going right now.

  • The white dot at 2023 shows where the 2018 BMAP should have gotten us. The white line shows the pollution level goals established by the 2018 BMAP, with reductions in nitrogen levels over the next 20 years to reach water quality goals in 2038.

  • The second black dot shows where are actually are. For Jackson Blue Springs, total pounds of nitrogen measured at the spring vent has increased.


TMDL = Total Maximum Daily Load. That is the water water quality goal - the level of nitrogen coming from the spring vent at which the spring system will no longer experience ecological harm.


Why is the TMDL, or water quality goal, set higher for 2024? Increased rainfall/increased flow since the 2018 BMAPs means that more total pounds of nitrogen can be measured at the spring vent while the overall concentration in the water remains the same.


 


For a deeper understanding, watch Executive Director Ryan Smart explain this analysis in a one-hour "Springs BMAPs - Live Discussion" video, found at floridaspringscouncil.org/springsbmaps


Questions about these graphs and the Springs BMAP update process? Email smart@floridaspringscouncil.org 


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