:: SWFMD Community Grant Program

Project Pure - Education Signs Placement

Many communities are built above or around sinkholes. These water filled cavities are directly connected to the Floridian aquifer – our source of drinking water. Local residents do not realize that contaminants from one sink can travel many miles underground and will eventually reach the Floridian aquifer. This project will educate residents of communities around West Central Florida sinkholes about importance of protecting these windows into our underground drinking water reservoir.
Residents will learn how intimately are our surface waters connected to the drinking water supply. They will learn that polluting even remote sinks can affect water quality in the entire community, since these underground rivers flow freely for miles.
Coastal Karst Foundation has designed educational billboards (2’x3’ on DOT approved aluminum backing), with maps of underwater passages overlain over the aerial photographs of communities by the sinks. Accompanying text and diagrams explain relations between sinks, springs and sources of our drinking water supply. See the Sign design

Installed Signs


One of the signs was installed by Hudson Grotto in Hudson, Fl. Paul Heinerth (l) and Brian Kakuk (m) helped install the sign.

First visitors read the sign by Waynes World (School Sink) in Hudson, FL (l). Waynes World sink is notorious dumping site for the local community. Divers frequently pull lawn mowers, batteries, refrigerators, water beds from the sink. Unfortunately, the sink is directly connected to the local aquifer used for water wells. It is also a part of underground river (cave system) stretching for several miles under Beacon Woods community. Contaminants from this location can be caried for miles and enter local source of drinking water. See map.

Only a month after installation the sign was attacked (l). The solid construction and sturdy placement prevented vandals from destroying our work. But it did not prevent them from depositing new piles of garbage including a refrigerator.

See the film strip below.