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
Sweetwater Springs main view

Sweetwater Springs main view

Sweetwater Springs (and Little Sweetwater Spring)

Marion County


Sweetwater Springs is a second-magnitude spring with a picturesque spring pool about 70 feet long by 60 feet wide. Clear, light blue water flows from two oval-shaped vents about 4 to 5 feet long, with exposed limestone around the vents. Boils are visible over the vents. The discharge flows southward about 80 feet to Juniper Creek.

Little Sweetwater Springs main view

Little Sweetwater Spring main view
photo by Louis Ley, DEP

Little Sweetwater Spring Map

Little Sweetwater Spring map


Discharge at Sweetwater Springs was measured by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 40 times from 1980 to 2002. St. Johns River Water Management District measured discharge 182 times from 1985 to 2010 and currently measures discharge six times per year. The difference between the minimum and maximum discharges is 15.88 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the period. The maximum measured discharge of 23.0 cfs occurred in June 1987; the minimum discharge of 7.12 cfs occurred in November 1987. The mean and median discharges for the period from 1980 to 2010 are 13.06 cfs and 13.00 cfs, respectively (see the table below).

Sweetwater Springs Discharge Graph
Discharge Graph

Water quality

Sweetwater Springs was sampled by USGS in 1980, with additional field measurement at other times through 1999. The district sampled Sweetwater Springs 77 times, from 1985 to 2010, and currently samples the spring four times per year. Summary statistics of the water quality data for selected variables for Sweetwater Spring are shown in the table below.

The field-specific conductance of Little Sweetwater Spring is 5,590 µmhos/cm, at 25°C. The pH is 7.5. No other water quality or discharge data are available for Little Sweetwater Spring.

Sweetwater Springs Water Quality Graph
Water Quality Graph

Summary statistics of water quality and discharge at Sweetwater Springs

Sweetwater Springs Min Mean Median Max Count Period
Discharge, cfs 7.12 13.06 13.00 23.00 222 1980−2010
Alkalinity, total, mg/L as CaCO3 64.0 71.6 71.3 80.1 75 1985−2010
Calcium, total, mg/L as Ca 87.7 100.6 100.8 116.0 71 1992−2010
Chloride, total, mg/L as Cl 824.0 1019.4 1019.0 1420.0 76 1980−2010
Fluoride, total, mg/L as F 0.09 0.12 0.12 0.14 39 1994−2003
Magnesium, total, mg/L as Mg 51.2 58.1 58.0 67.1 69 1992−2010
Nitrate + nitrite, total, mg/L as N 0.01 0.05 0.04 0.27 75 1989−2010
Orthophosphate, total, mg/L as P 0.01 0.03 0.02 0.24 62 1994−2010
pH, field 5.60 7.55 7.66 9.48 87 1980−2010
Phosphorus, total, mg/L as P 0.01 0.02 0.02 0.04 26 1996−2010
Potassium, total, mg/L as K 12.9 17.5 17.4 22.9 70 1992−2010
Sodium, total, mg/L as Na 450.0 537.2 540.0 622.0 69 1992−2010
Specific conductance, field, µmhos/cm at 25°C 2142 3488 3670 4322 68 1985−2010
Specific conductance, lab, µmhos/cm at 25°C 2610 3729 3720 4350 57 1980−2010
Sulfate, total, mg/L as SO4 197.0 250.4 251.8 296.0 78 1980−2010
Total dissolved solids, mg/L 1620 2081 2065 2510 76 1980−2010
Water temperature, °C 20.7 23.1 23.2 24.5 93 1980−2010
Units: µmhos/cm = micromhos per centimeter
         mg/L = milligrams per liter
         cfs = cubic feet per second

Age of discharge water

Sweetwater Springs Run

Sweetwater Springs Run

The age of water discharging from Sweetwater Springs was determined by measuring the concentration of tritium, delta carbon-13, and carbon-14 in the spring discharge, which was measured in May 1996. Sweetwater Springs had a tritium concentration of 1.2 tritium units, which suggests that the water is less than 70 years old. Sweetwater Springs had a delta carbon-13 value of −8.10 parts per thousand and a carbon-14 concentration of 16% modern carbon, which results from the mixing of Upper and Lower Floridan aquifer water. 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