Two University of Florida institutes and the St. Johns River Water Management District are starting a three-year $3 million study of the impact of pollutants on Florida's springs.
St. Johns district chief scientist Ed Lowe says researchers hope to identify the areas that are the major sources of nitrates and other pollutants in the springs.
The study will focus on Silver Springs in Ocala and Wekiva Springs in Apopka. Lowe tells the Ocala Star-Banner that the findings likely will apply to many other springs in the state.
Scientists say nitrates from fertilizers, septic tanks and farming operations spur algae growth in the water. Researchers hope to learn how to better manage the sources of the pollution to improve the health of the state's iconic springs.