Learn about The Floridan Aquifer by taking a journey with local aquanauts who quest to follow our waters as they travel overland and underground – watch Water’s Journey – The River Returns. For a shorter overview of our aquifer, watch Florida’s Aquifer – The Treasure Below, and Spring Waters Run Deep – Florida Aquifer.
An underground layer of permeable rock, sediment, or soil that yields water. Aquifers can range from a few square kilometers to thousands of square kilometers in size.
Return to Watershed
The majority of the public water systems in Florida use groundwater as their source. There are approximately 12,000 wells associated with groundwater systems used for public water supply in Florida. These wells produce water from five major aquifers or aquifer systems.
The major source of groundwater supply in Florida is the Floridan Aquifer System, which underlies the entire state. The Floridan aquifer is one of the highest producing aquifers in the world. It is found throughout Florida and extends into the southern portions of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. This aquifer system is comprised of a sequence of limestone and dolomite, which thickens from about 250 feet in Georgia to about 3000 feet in south Florida.
The Floridan aquifer system has been divided into an upper and lower aquifer. There are also intermediate areas. These are separated by clay layers that can inhibit flow, slowing the movement of water and, potentially, contaminants from the surface. If you look at a map of the aquifer and its varied layers, you can see that Alachua County and the City of Gainesville contain differing areas in that some areas have direct drainage to the Floridan, while other areas, like eastern Gainesville, have a confining unit. For this reason we have many creeks in this area. Most of our creeks and streams eventually lead to a sinkhole where they drain into the aquifer.
The upper Floridan aquifer is the principal source of water supply in most of north and central Florida. The Floridan aquifer is the source of many springs in Florida. These are two reasons to find solutions to pollution.