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Wakulla 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 Wakulla Springs

Septic tanks contribute just over 43% of all nitrogen pollution to Wakulla Springs, making it the largest contributor to this spring. We've seen an increase in the share of pollution coming from agriculture for this area.


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


Wakulla Spring's BMAP is the bright spot - the only BMAP of the 13 springs BMAPs to see an improvement. Pollution has decreased by 90,000 pounds.

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

 

How is it going?


This is what more springs BMAPs charts should look like.


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 the 2018 BMAP goal.

  • The second black dot shows where pollution levels actually are. For Wakulla Springs, total pounds of nitrogen measured at spring vents has decreased, and the goal for 2023 was met and surpassed.

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.


 

This two minute video excerpt will walk you through the information for Wakulla Springs.


 

For a deeper understanding of the BMAP updates, 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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