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Assessment of Storm Water Discharge to a Karst
Sulphur Springs is a second magnitude spring and discharges an average
of 25 MGD of groundwater into the Hillsborough River.
The spring is used as a supplemental source of drinking water for
the City of Tampa.
Rapid urbanization has occurred throughout the Sulphur Springs
drainage basin and has significantly stressed the local hydrologic
Prior to the 1970ís, storm water in Curiosity Creek flowed
south to the Blue Sink Complex where the surface water entered the Blue
Sink and traveled through solution channels in the Upper Floridan
Aquifer to Sulphur Springs.
In the mid-1970ís trash and debris accumulated in the sinkholes
and reduced the sinkhole flow capacity and caused extensive flooding.
SI was contacted to investigate options to restore the Blue Sink Complex
back to its natural state and restore the groundwater flow to Sulphur
A network of over 20 monitoring wells were installed in the Blue
Sink Complex and surrounding areas to determine the hydraulic
connectivity between the surface water in Curiosity Creek and the
receiving groundwater system and their relationship to the discharge of
Long-term continuous monitoring of the water elevations in the
network and regional stress tests were performed to delineate the
groundwater flow regime through analysis of the discontinuities in the
potentiometric surface of the aquifer.
SI concluded that removal of the blockage in the solution
channels have reduced the feasibility of restoring the system to its
The primary focus of the investigation has shifted to the
southern portion of the Sulphur Springs drainage basin where numerous
sinks are still connected to the flow system and need to be preserved.
with sinkhole and well locations