St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District
St. Johns River Water Management District -

Water bodies, watersheds and storm water
Bugg Spring aerial view

Bugg Spring aerial view

Bugg Spring

Lake County


Bugg Spring is a second-magnitude spring with a deep, circular pool about 400 feet in diameter. Except on the western side, the side walls are almost vertical, reaching depths of 170 feet to 175 feet. There is no boil observed on the pool surface due to the depth of the spring opening. There is very little aquatic vegetation, but algae are present in the spring pool and run. The spring run flows north about 0.8 mile into the Helena Run outflow from Lake Denham. The low-lying areas around the spring are densely forested, with sandhills to the south.


Bugg Spring pool

Bugg Spring pool
photo by T. Scott, FGS

Discharge at Bugg Spring was measured sporadically from 1943 to 1985. Seven discharge measurements by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) during this time period ranged from 17.66 cubic feet per second (cfs) in 1943, decreasing to 8.68 cfs in 1985 (the early data are not included in the Blue Spring Discharge Graph). From 1990 to the present, discharge has been measured by the landowner at least monthly, with more frequent measurements at times. The difference between the minimum and maximum discharges is 16.00 cfs. The maximum measured discharge of 19.80 cfs occurred in July 1991; the minimum discharge of 3.80 cfs occurred in January 1992. The mean and median discharges for the period from 1943 to 2010 are 11.25 cfs and 11.30 cfs, respectively (see the table below).

Bugg Spring Discharge Graph
Discharge Graph

Water quality

Bugg Spring was sampled seven times by USGS from 1967 to 1999. St. Johns River Water Management District sampled the spring three times in 1991 and has sampled it at least two to four times per year since 1997. The district currently samples Bugg Spring four times per year. Summary statistics of the water quality data for selected variables are shown in the table below.

Bugg Spring Water Quality Graph
Water Quality Graph

Summary statistics of water quality and discharge at Bugg Spring

Bugg Spring Min Mean Median Max Count Period
Discharge, cfs 3.80 11.25 11.30 19.80 654 1943−2010
Alkalinity, total, mg/L as CaCO3 106.0 127.0 126.0 144.0 59 1967−2010
Calcium, total, mg/L as Ca 45.0 50.7 50.8 59.0 42 2000−2010
Chloride, total, mg/L as Cl 6.0 12.6 13.0 20.1 57 1967−2010
Dissolved Oxygen 0.90 3.90 3.62 9.96 18 1998−2004
Fluoride, total, mg/L as F 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.07 4 2001−2002
Magnesium, total, mg/L as Mg 3.0 3.3 3.3 4.5 39 2000−2010
Nitrate + nitrite, total, mg/L as N 0.11 0.47 0.46 0.71 54 1985−2010
Orthophosphate, total, mg/L as P 0.02 0.07 0.07 0.10 43 1972−2010
pH, field 6.75 7.53 7.50 8.36 59 1967−2010
Phosphorus, total, mg/L as P 0.06 0.09 0.09 0.16 52 1972−2010
Potassium, total, mg/L as K 0.9 1.2 1.2 2.1 39 2001−2010
Sodium, total, mg/L as Na 4.6 8.0 8.0 11.0 42 2000−2010
Specific conductance, field, µmhos/cm at 25°C 227 287 292 334 54 1991−2010
Specific conductance, lab, µmhos/cm at 25°C 255 304 305 373 34 1967−2010
Sulfate, total, mg/L as SO4 0.6 8.1 8.8 11.0 55 1967−2010
Total dissolved solids, mg/L 110 170 172 240 46 1967−2010
Water temperature, °C 20.4 23.6 23.4 26.9 63 1967−2010
Units: µmhos/cm = micromhos per centimeter
         mg/L = milligrams per liter
         cfs = cubic feet per second

Age of discharge water

The age of water discharging from Bugg Spring was determined by measuring the concentration of carbon-14 and carbon-13 in the spring discharge, as measured in April 2001. Bugg Spring had a carbon-14 concentration of 42% modern carbon and a delta carbon-13 value of −9.95 parts per thousand. Fontes and Garnier (1979) interpreted carbon-14 age of Bugg Spring discharge at less than 50 years.


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St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922