In this section
Palm Springs main view
Palm Springs is a third-magnitude spring enclosed by a 4-foot high concrete retaining wall that once formed a swimming pool. The pool is about 100 feet long and 50 feet wide. Spring discharge was from under a rock ledge in a circular vent near the southwest edge of the pool. The vent measured about 15 feet in diameter at its top and narrows with depth. Flow from the spring orifice caused a moderate boil at the surface; the water has a slightly cloudy, bluish-green appearance, and a moderate hydrogen sulfide odor. Discharge from the pool was through a 4-foot wide weir in the north end, and then northward to the Little Wekiva River.
Palm Springs vent
Discharge at Palm Springs was measured by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from 1945 to 2002. St. Johns River Water Management District measured discharge from 1993 to 2010 and currently performs bimonthly discharge measurements. The difference between the minimum and maximum discharges is 9.45 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the period. The maximum measured discharge of 12.2 cfs occurred in October 1960; the minimum discharge of 2.75 cfs occurred in September 1960. The mean and median discharges for the period from 1945 to 2010 are 6.61 cfs and 6.11 cfs, respectively (see the table below).
Palm Springs was sampled five times by USGS from 1956 to 1973 and once in 1995, with periodic field measurements only at other times. The district sampled Palm Springs 55 times from 1993 to 2010 and currently samples the spring four times per year. Summary statistics of the water quality data for selected variables are shown in the table below.
Summary statistics of water quality and discharge at Palm Springs
|Palm Springs — Seminole County||Min||Mean||Median||Max||Count||Period|
|Alkalinity, total, mg/L as CaCO3||89.0||121.1||121.0||138.0||60||1956−2010|
|Calcium, total, mg/L as Ca||30.1||40.6||40.9||44.0||55||1993−2010|
|Chloride, total, mg/L as Cl||7.5||16.3||16.8||20.5||60||1956−2010|
|Fluoride, total, mg/L as F||0.16||0.18||0.17||0.20||29||1993−2003|
|Magnesium, total, mg/L as Mg||8.7||12.0||12.0||13.1||55||1993−2010|
|Nitrate + nitrite, total, mg/L as N||0.11||0.68||0.67||1.20||53||1993−2010|
|Orthophosphate, total, mg/L as P||0.08||0.11||0.11||0.18||53||1972−2010|
|Phosphorus, total, mg/L as P||0.09||0.12||0.12||0.15||32||1972−2010|
|Potassium, total, mg/L as K||1.0||1.2||1.1||1.8||46||1993−2010|
|Sodium, total, mg/L as Na||6.9||9.9||9.8||12.0||55||1993−2010|
|Specific conductance, field, µmhos/cm at 25°C||198||333||337||387||56||1993−2010|
|Specific conductance, lab, µmhos/cm at 25°C||213||329||335||518||51||1956−2010|
|Sulfate, total, mg/L as SO4||12.0||24.3||24.0||30.4||61||1956−2010|
|Total dissolved solids, mg/L||124||193||192||284||57||1960−2010|
|Water temperature, °C||22.5||24.2||24.1||27.8||118||1956−2010|
mg/L = milligrams per liter
cfs = cubic feet per second
Age of discharge water
The age of water discharging from Palm Springs was determined by measuring the concentration of tritium, delta carbon-13, and carbon-14 in the spring discharge, which was measured in September 1995, and tritium and helium-3, as measured in February 2001. Palm Springs had a tritium concentration of 1.60 tritium units, which suggests that the water is less than 42 years old. The tritium/helium-3 age was 19.5 years. Palm Springs had a delta carbon-13 value of −10.86 parts per thousand and a carbon-14 concentration of 43% modern carbon, which results from the reaction of rainfall with calcite, dolomite, and sediment organic matter. The adjusted carbon-14 age of Palm Springs is recent.