Spring Hill
Photograph Credit: Randy Emberg

Spring Hill/Brooksville

Historic Brooksville is located in an area of rolling hills, pasture land and hardwood forests. Originally known as "Melendez," it was established in 1845. Shortly after, it merged with "Pierceville" and was renamed Brooksville, after South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks. Today, about 8,000 people live in Brooksville.

Gopher thumbnailLike Brooksville, Spring Hill is also located in Hernando County. Spring Hill is a rapidly growing area, with both homeowners and businesses moving to the community. But too many people can put stress on the environment. Both Brooksville and Spring Hill are located in an area of moderate to high aquifer "recharge." The sandy soils located in these parts of Hernando County allow water from rainfall to percolate easily down into the aquifer. It also means that pollutants such as oil, fertilizer and pesticides can easily percolate down into the aquifer. In fact, scientists believe that too much fertilizer placed on landscapes in Spring Hill and Brooksville are the probable cause of increasing nitrate levels showing up in the area's springs. But pollution doesn't happen overnight. Scientists believe that the current nitrate levels in Springs Coast water bodies are caused by pollutants that entered the aquifer up to 10 years ago. That means pollutants that enter the aquifer today may not discharge through spring vents until 10 years from now!

Next stop: Pithlachascotee River