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
Welaka Spring main view

Welaka Spring main view

Welaka Spring pool

Welaka Spring pool
photo by H. Means, FGS

Welaka Spring boil

Welaka Spring boil

Welaka Spring

Putnam County


Welaka Spring is a third-magnitude spring with a pool about 90 feet long from east to west and 60 feet wide from north to south. The spring vent is about 20 feet in diameter in the clayey-sand bottom of the central part of the pool, with a prominent boil over the vent. The water from the spring is clear, but the spring water mixes with dark water from the St. Johns River a short distance downstream. The spring pool opens on its southwest side to a run about 200 feet wide that curves to the southwest, then to the northwest for about 1,200 feet to the St. Johns River. Backwater from the St. Johns River, at least in part associated with tidal effects, frequently makes it impracticable to measure the spring discharge.


Discharge from Welaka Spring, measured in 2001 by the St. Johns River Water Management District, was 7.91 cubic feet per second.

Water quality

Welaka Spring was sampled by the district in 2000 and 2001. Summary statistics of the water quality data for selected variables are shown in the table below.

Summary statistics of water quality and discharge at Welaka Spring

Welaka Spring Min Mean Median Max Count Period
Discharge, cfs 7.91 7.91 7.91 7.91 1 2001
Alkalinity, total, mg/L as CaCO3 79.0 79.5 79.5 80.1 2 2000−2001
Calcium, total, mg/L as Ca 39.3 43.1 43.1 46.9 2 2000−2001
Chloride, total, mg/L as Cl 259.6 310.9 310.9 362.2 2 2000−2001
Dissolved Oxygen 0.26 0.26 0.26 0.26 1 2001
Fluoride, total, mg/L as F 0.13 0.14 0.14 0.14 2 2000−2001
Magnesium, total, mg/L as Mg 18.0 21.1 21.1 24.1 2 2000−2001
Nitrate + nitrite, total, mg/L as N 0.01 0.02 0.02 0.03 2 2000−2001
Orthophosphate, total, mg/L as P 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.06 2 2000−2001
pH, field 7.11 7.29 7.29 7.47 2 2000−2001
Phosphorus, total, mg/L as P 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.06 1 2001
Potassium, total, mg/L as K 4.5 5.3 5.3 6.1 2 2000−2001
Sodium, total, mg/L as Na 141.1 172.0 172.0 202.9 2 2000−2001
Specific conductance, field, µmhos/cm at 25°C 1090 1192 1192 1294 2 2000−2001
Specific conductance, lab, µmhos/cm at 25°C 1047 1047 1047 1047 1 2001
Sulfate, total, mg/L as SO4 41.2 49.5 49.5 57.7 2 2000−2001
Total dissolved solids, mg/L 559 676 676 793 2 2000−2001
Water temperature, °C 23.2 24.0 23.7 25.0 3 1972−2001
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 Welaka 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. Welaka Spring had a tritium concentration of 2.91 tritium units, which suggests that the water is less than 48 years old. Welaka Spring had a delta carbon-13 value of −8.95 parts per thousand and a carbon-14 concentration of 38% 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