Suwannee water District working to solve saltwater dilemma

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LIVE OAK – The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) is working with the City of Cedar Key and other state and local agencies and officials to address the problem of elevated chloride levels in the local water supply.
“Cedar Key is a very special coastal community, and we recognize the urgency to help them remedy this problem as quickly as possible,” said Ann Shortelle, District executive director.
The District is working in cooperation with the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District, Levy County, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to identify the possible reasons for recent saltwater intrusion at the community’s wellfield, which has rendered the water unsuitable for drinking.
At the same time, the District is providing assistance to help develop both short-term and long-term strategies to deal with the situation.
In the short-term, the District has coordinated with Levy County Emergency Management to provide delivery of bottled water for drinking. It also is working with the water and sewer district to identify possible temporary treatment options that would allow the system to get back on line.
In the search for long-term, sustainable solutions, the District is providing technical assistance, including help with assessing potential locations for new wells, and is
evaluating potentially available nearby wells for temporary supply to the water treatment facility. In addition, the District’s water resource monitoring team will be sampling monitor wells along the coast looking for additional cases of salinity impacts.