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
Wadesboro Spring main view

Wadesboro Spring main view

Wadesboro Spring

Clay County


Wadesboro Spring is a fourth-magnitude spring with water flowing from the Hawthorn Group sediments. The spring is situated at the head of a wooded ravine that is a tributary to Doctors Lake, a branch of the St. Johns River. The spring is enclosed by a 5-foot-high, five-sided concrete and wood enclosure about 15 feet wide by 35 feet long. The spring issues from two closely spaced horizontal cavities in rock below the base of the southwest end of the enclosure. One cavity is about 1 foot wide and the other about 2 feet wide. The head pool is deepest at the spring boil, where turbulence from the discharging spring causes continuous disturbance of the sand bottom. Water depth within most of the enclosure is 1 foot to 1.5 feet, except for the area adjacent to the spring orifices that is 5 feet deep. Water exits through a 13-foot opening on the southeast side of the concrete enclosure. Water from the spring flows about 0.3 mile down a small natural run to Doctors Lake.


Wadesboro Spring run downstream

Wadesboro Spring run downstream

Discharge at Wadesboro Spring was measured by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1972 and 1993. St. Johns River Water Management District measured discharge 52 times from 2000 to 2010. The difference between the minimum and maximum discharges is 0.77 cubic feet per second (cfs). The maximum measured discharge of 1.51 cfs occurred in August 2009; the minimum discharge of 0.74 cfs occurred in May 2007. The mean and median discharges for the period are 0.98 cfs and 0.95 cfs, respectively (see the table below).

Wadesboro Spring Discharge Graph
Discharge Graph

Water quality

Wadesboro Spring was sampled by USGS in 1960, 1972, and 1993. The district sampled Wadesboro Spring in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Summary statistics of the water quality data for selected variables are shown in the table below.

Summary statistics of water quality and discharge at Wadesboro Spring

Wadesboro Spring Min Mean Median Max Count Period
Discharge, cfs 0.74 0.98 0.95 1.51 54 1972−2010
Alkalinity, total, mg/L as CaCO3 83.0 109.0 121.5 129.0 5 1960−2002
Calcium, total, mg/L as Ca 45.9 46.8 46.5 48.0 3 2000−2002
Chloride, total, mg/L as Cl 7.0 14.3 17.1 19.0 6 1960−2002
Dissolved Oxygen 0.22 0.22 0.22 0.22 1 2001
Fluoride, total, mg/L as F 0.17 0.18 0.18 0.20 3 2000−2002
Magnesium, total, mg/L as Mg 8.9 8.9 8.9 9.0 3 2000−2002
Nitrate + nitrite, total, mg/L as N 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02 1 2002
Orthophosphate, total, mg/L as P 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.14 2 2001−2002
pH, field 6.52 7.37 7.40 8.00 5 1960−2002
Phosphorus, total, mg/L as P 0.14 0.14 0.14 0.14 1 2001
Potassium, total, mg/L as K 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.2 3 2000−2002
Sodium, total, mg/L as Na 10.0 10.1 10.1 10.2 3 2000−2002
Specific conductance, field, µmhos/cm at 25°C 354 356 356 357 2 2001−2002
Specific conductance, lab, µmhos/cm at 25°C 206 275 272 351 4 1960−2001
Sulfate, total, mg/L as SO4 6.4 17.0 20.8 22.1 6 1960−2002
Total dissolved solids, mg/L 115 170 190 200 6 1960−2002
Water temperature, °C 21.5 22.3 22.3 22.8 5 1960−2001
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 Wadesboro Spring was determined by measuring the concentration of tritium, delta carbon-13, and carbon-14 in the spring discharge, which was measured in April 2001. Wadesboro Spring had a tritium concentration of 2.85 tritium units, which suggests that the water is less than 48 years old. Wadesboro Spring had a delta carbon-13 value of −11.41 parts per thousand and a carbon-14 concentration of 52% 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