Hornsby Spring is a designated Outstanding Florida Spring located in Alachua County in the Suwannee River Water Management District. Hornsby Spring serves as a solemn reminder of the Floridan Aquifer’s fragility. The intermittently flowing spring is currently listed as second magnitude. The spring’s flow began to vary drastically beginning in the 1970s until it ceased flowing altogether for several years in the early 2000s. Today the spring will occasionally flow, but it is often unfit for human use and suffocated with algae mats on the surface and coating the ground. The spring lies on private property operated by the Camp Kulaqua Christian Retreat. In response to the declining flow, the camp built an alternative water park on the property. Some hope for the spring remains. Measurements taken in 2013 and 2015 showed a slow discharge from the spring vent. In 2015, the Suwannee River Water Management District authorized infrastructure to deliver Camp Kulaqua’s wastewater to the nearby High Springs water treatment plant. This will decrease nitrate levels, which exacerbate algae blooms.
In 2016, the Florida Legislature passed the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act.
Hornsby Spring is currently one of the twenty four Outstanding Florida Springs or Springs Groups that is considered “impaired”.
The following images were provided courtesy of the State Archives of Florida. This incredible photographic library provides a window into the historic spring landscape, documenting changing spring and surface water levels, as well as human use and development in this special location.
This is the location for access to data related to this spring. Below, you will find links to reports, data, as well as maps and information from the Florida Springs Institute’s Blue Water Audit project about this particular spring or spring group.
The Blue Water Audit is a tool developed by the Florida Springs Institute to estimate and visualize the impact of human activities on the Floridan Aquifer. Using existing data from a variety of sources, the Blue Water Audit estimates nitrogen loading and groundwater withdrawals for the Florida Springs Region. These estimates are used to assign Aquifer Footprints – a Floridan Aquifer Nitrogen Footprint (water quality) and a Floridan Aquifer Groundwater Footprint (water quantity). Below are maps of the Blue Water Audit Floridan Aquifer Nitrogen footprint for the Hornsby Spring springshed within the Suwannee River Water Management District, as well as a map of the land use within the Hornsby Spring springshed. To find out more about the Blue Water Audit project and to learn how this tool was developed, visit Blue Water Audit.
DATA AND REPORTS
The Interactive Florida Springs Atlas was produced with generous support from the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida. The Community Foundation of North Central Florida supported this project through generous support for our Blue Water Audit project.