Need for Water Prompts Investigation Deep Underground

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The District is conducting exploratory well research more than a half mile below the surface. It’s happening at the Crooked Lake well site, located in southeastern Polk County. Central Florida has used the Upper Floridan aquifer as it’s predominant water source for decades. Now, with continued population growth, finding future water sources is more important than ever before. 

George Schluttermann, a senior hydrogeologist with the District, said the data coming from the Crooked Lake site will assist the Central Florida Water Initiative or CFWI to make good decisions for future water needs.

“We know that Polk County needs answers,” he said. “What is the productivity of the aquifer? What are the confinements of the aquifer to prevent saltwater intrusion? But, we also want to determine the water quality. This allows us to determine how much blending we may have to do with fresher sources to be able to use it.” 

Limestone core samples, from up to 3,000 ft. deep, taken from the Lower Floridan aquifer are being studied to determine the aquifer’s permeability. Water levels will be monitored over the long term to see how the aquifers change as they become more utilized.