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Water bodies, watersheds and storm water
Juniper Springs main view

Juniper Springs main view

Juniper Springs pool

Juniper Springs pool

Juniper Springs vent

Juniper Springs vent

Juniper Springs

Marion County


Juniper Springs is a second-magnitude spring with an oval-shaped pool that measures about 120 feet from north to south and 90 feet from east to west. Several limestone vents and sand boils are present on the pool bottom, with sand and aquatic grasses in other areas of the pool. The clear, bluish water has a low dissolved solids concentration compared with most Florida springs. A limestone and concrete wall with steps and other access points surrounds the pool. An old millhouse and spillway are on the east side of the pool. Numerous sand boils are located down the run from the main pool, with the largest by the bridge over the run. The springs are the headwaters of Juniper Creek, which meanders toward the northeast through the Juniper Prairie Wilderness for about 10 miles to Lake George. Fern Hammock Springs are located about 0.25 miles downstream from Juniper Springs. The springs and the surrounding recreational area provide facilities for camping, picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, and canoeing.


Juniper Springs outlet

Juniper Springs outlet

Discharge at Juniper Springs was measured by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 57 times from 1908 to 2002. St. Johns River Water Management District measured discharge 189 times from 1983 to 2010 and currently measures discharge six times per year. The difference between the minimum and maximum discharges is 16.3 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the period. The maximum discharge of 16.8 cfs was measured in July 1936; the minimum discharge of 0.5 cfs was measured in February 1931. The mean and median discharges for the period from 1908 to 2010 are 10.93 cfs and 11.00 cfs, respectively (see the table below).

Juniper Springs Discharge Graph
Discharge Graph

Water quality

Juniper Springs was sampled by USGS in 1908 and eight times from 1956 to 1980, with periodic field measurements through 1999. The district sampled the spring quarterly for most years from 1984 to 2010 and continues to sample the spring four times per year. Summary statistics of the water quality data for selected variables are shown in the table below.

Juniper Springs Water Quality Graph
Water Quality Graph

Summary statistics of water quality and discharge at Juniper Springs

Juniper Springs Min Mean Median Max Count Period
Discharge, cfs 0.50 10.93 11.00 16.80 246 1908−2010
Alkalinity, total, mg/L as CaCO3 21.0 45.3 45.0 89.6 124 1956−2010
Calcium, total, mg/L as Ca 8.0 12.9 13.0 14.5 106 1992−2010
Chloride, total, mg/L as Cl 3.5 4.8 4.4 14.9 122 1956−2010
Dissolved Oxygen 5.38 6.22 6.20 7.45 18 2006−2010
Fluoride, total, mg/L as F 0.05 0.07 0.07 0.13 54 1989−2009
Magnesium, total, mg/L as Mg 3.8 4.5 4.5 5.1 105 1992−2010
Nitrate + nitrite, total, mg/L as N 0.04 0.09 0.08 0.17 109 1984−2010
Orthophosphate, total, mg/L as P 0.01 0.02 0.02 0.04 73 1994−2010
pH, field 5.80 8.26 8.34 9.70 134 1908−2010
Phosphorus, total, mg/L as P 0.01 0.03 0.03 0.05 63 1996−2010
Potassium, total, mg/L as K 0.3 0.4 0.3 1.2 18 1994−2010
Sodium, total, mg/L as Na 2.0 2.7 2.7 4.0 105 1992−2010
Specific conductance, field, µmhos/cm at 25°C 62 125 116 1146 110 1984−2010
Specific conductance, lab, µmhos/cm at 25°C 102 117 116 159 105 1908−2010
Sulfate, total, mg/L as SO4 3.9 6.4 6.0 15.0 123 1956−2010
Total dissolved solids, mg/L 33 67 66 94 116 1962−2010
Water temperature, °C 20.0 21.9 22.0 25.1 142 1908−2010
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 Juniper Springs was determined by measuring the concentration of tritium, delta carbon-13, and carbon-14 in the spring discharge, which was measured in April 1996, and the concentration of tritium and helium-3 in the discharge, as measured in March 2001. Juniper Springs had a tritium concentration of 4.2 tritium units, which suggests that the water is less than 43 years old. The tritium/helium-3 age was 25 years. Juniper Springs had a delta carbon-13 value of −9.5 parts per thousand and a carbon-14 concentration of 31% modern carbon, which results from the reaction of rainfall with calcite, dolomite, and sediment organic matter. The adjusted carbon-14 age is recent.


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