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Protecting Tampa's Wellfields and Aquifers - Preventing Contaminants from Entering Groundwater


Learn how Tampa protects vital wellfields and the Floridan Aquifer that supplies over 90% of the region's drinking water. Discover risks, protection strategies, treatment solutions, and how you can help prevent groundwater contamination.
Learn how Tampa protects vital wellfields and the Floridan Aquifer that supplies over 90% of the region's drinking water. Discover risks, protection strategies, treatment solutions, and how you can help prevent groundwater contamination.

Tampa's groundwater resources provide drinking water for over 2 million residents in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties. This vital resource comes from the Floridan Aquifer System, one of the most productive aquifers in the world. However, rapid growth and development threaten to contaminate the aquifer and wellfields that provide our drinking water. Protecting these valuable assets is crucial for the future of the Tampa Bay region.

Understanding the Risks to the Floridan Aquifer

The Floridan Aquifer stretches over 100,000 square miles across Florida and parts of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. In west-central Florida, the aquifer lies close to the surface, making it more vulnerable to contamination. Potential threats include:

  • Industrial pollution from manufacturing, mining, and energy production

  • Agricultural runoff containing fertilizers and pesticides

  • Leaking underground storage tanks and pipelines

  • Septic tanks and wastewater discharge

  • Stormwater runoff carrying motor oil, chemicals, and debris

  • Saltwater intrusion as freshwater supplies are depleted

Once pollutants enter the aquifer, they can spread for miles and be very difficult and expensive to remove. Preventing contamination is vital to maintain clean groundwater supplies.

Protecting Tampa's Wellfields

The region's largest wellfields tap into the Floridan Aquifer to supply water to Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and surrounding areas. Wellfields are land areas around groups of water wells that pump fresh groundwater to the surface. Keeping these areas free of contaminants is a top priority. Methods include:

Wellfield Protection Zoning

AquaGuard UV SYSTEM for Bacteria Removal around wellfields restrict certain land uses that could pollute groundwater. Activities prohibited or limited include:

  • Storage, handling, or manufacturing chemicals

  • Landfills, mines, and wastewater percolation ponds

  • Feedlots or intensive animal operations

  • Certain agricultural practices

Buffer zones of undeveloped land around wellheads add an extra layer of protection.

Stormwater Management

Controlling runoff around wellfields prevents pollutants from entering groundwater. Methods include retention ponds, swales, and infiltration basins to capture and treat stormwater. Vegetated buffers around wells filter runoff. HydroClear Ozone Generator for Heavy Metals and Bacteria helps remove contaminants.

Monitoring and Testing

Extensive testing tracks water quality trends and identifies contamination issues early. Monitoring wells around the perimeter of wellfields provide advance warning of pollutants approaching water supply wells.

Public Education

Informing residents and businesses about protecting groundwater and proper use/disposal of chemicals is key. Proper septic tank maintenance, avoiding fertilizer overuse, and using non-toxic cleaners helps prevent aquifer contamination.

Water Treatment Solutions for Clean Drinking Water

If contaminants enter groundwater, treatment systems provide a barrier between the water source and the tap. Tampa's advanced treatment plants use multiple processes, including:

Additional residential treatment provides enhanced protection right at the tap against lead, bacteria, chlorine, and other contaminants. Point-of-use systems include:

  • Under sink reverse osmosis systems

  • Countertop and faucet mount carbon filters

  • Whole house filtration

  • UV disinfection

Schedule Your FREE Water Test Today: 727-236-7161 to evaluate your home's water quality and determine the best solutions.

Protecting Our Most Precious Resource

The Floridan Aquifer provides over 90% of drinking water in the Tampa Bay region - a priceless natural resource. Keeping wellfields free of pollution ensures a clean, safe supply of groundwater for generations to come. We all have a role to play through education, responsible use of chemicals, and proper waste disposal. At Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions, we are committed to protecting Tampa's water resources while delivering clean, great-tasting water to homes and businesses.


Sources and Additional Resources:

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