AVOID RECREATIONAL USE ON UPPER SANTA FE RIVER
The public is strongly urged to temporarily avoid swimming, tubing, canoeing or kayaking in the portion of the upper Santa Fe River bordering northwest Alachua County west of Interstate 75 due to dangerous water conditions.
Strong currents, and submerged trees and other debris that can cause entrapment, serious injury, or drowning are among the hazards posed by recent tropical storm rains, according to the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department. In addition, the river's high flow conditions, combined with low groundwater levels from the drought, are creating powerful, hidden siphons that can drown even a strong swimmer by pulling them through hidden underwater cavities in the bottom of the river.
These unusually dangerous conditions are expected to persist for 7-10 days until the river levels are projected to subside. For more information, contact Chris Bird at 352-264-6801.
A number of sinkholes have opened up in Columbia County during the last few days. Residents are again urged to use caution in standing water as new sinkholes may not be immediately identified in the water. If you see a new sinkhole, contact the Columbia County Citizen’s Information Center at 386.719.7530.
REGARDING SEPTIC TANKS AND PUMPING WATER FROM PRIVATE PROPERTY
Residents are strongly urged to avoid pumping or trenching any water from their property to property of adjacent landowners. Such action will likely result in new or additional damage to neighbors’ homes and property. If you have questions about the pumping issue, call your public works department.
Also, this is not a good time to pump out septic tanks. After pumping, your septic tank will fill back up with water in the ground through drain fields. Older septic tanks may collapse because of the pressure on the walls from the abundance of water, or even pop-up out of the ground. If you call an area company about pumping, be sure to address the issues outlined above before having the work done. Responsible companies will advise you to wait until the area-wide flooding subsides. For additional information on pumping or if you suspect potential contamination of your well for drinking purposes, contact your county health department.
County health departments are concerned about potential well contamination and safe water issues. If your well has been covered at any time by flood waters, you are urged to either use bottled water or boil the water you use at home. Bring the water to a boil and let it roll for at least one minute. If you’d like your well water tested to determine if it is safe to use, contact your county health department.