Official reports on drinking water quality are available at:
Sarasota County Water Quality Report
2013 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report by Pluris South Gate, Inc.
Manatee County Water Quality Report
In general, drinking water in the Suncoast comes from a connected network of wells and surface waters, including the Manatee River and Peace River. The wells pull water from the deepest regional aquifer, the Floridan, which is fossil sea water. It is poor quality water, highly mineralized, and must be treated in a variety of ways. It is frequently mixed with water from the Intermediate Aquifers to make it easier and less costly to treat. As a result, Floridan Aquifer waters are migrating through the porous bedrock of the region into the Intermediate Aquifers and creating a lateral spread of waters with a high mineral content. This water is entering the area’s rivers, creating difficulty for the surface-water treatment facilities, which must now deal with high-conductivity ground waters.
The Intermediate and Floridan Aquifers are not recharged by rainfall. Rainfall recharges the surface waters and a third, subsurface aquifer that many homes and communities in the region tap for irrigation. As droughts progress, the drinking water network must rely more upon the Floridan Aquifer.
Suncoast Waterkeeper will actively pursue policies and practices that improve the quality and sustainability of the region’s drinking water, including improved treatment, conservation and pollution prevention.