St. Johns River, North Florida

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The St. Johns
I have had many experiences with the St. Johns River in my life. For as long as I can remember I have lived less than a mile from this river. Every activity from boating, to canoeing, or fishing I have done in the river, and every time the water has seemed clean. Over the years the St. Johns River has acquired a bad reputation for being nasty or dangerous. Anything from flesh eating bacteria from algal blooms to bull sharks have been rumored to be lurking in its waters. Though some of these rumors are true and some of them are false, one will not die upon touching the water. However, the St. Johns does need some extra attention based on tests, past and current programs, and the fish population. Many tests performed on the river reflect that the water is relatively clean. State officials over Volusia and Seminole counties have noticed that there is the potential for a water shortage in the next couple years due to population increases. If nothing is done, the ground water in this area will run out. A plan is being proposed to use surface water from the St. Johns River to supplement the ground water. State officials believe they can filter the water from the St. Johns of bacteria and use this water for drinking water. (Ann Givens) The fact that the state is considering using the water in the St. Johns for drinking water shows that the water quality is good. If there were severe algal blooms, the state would not consider trying to filter the water. Many tests performed on the river are in response to the paper mills present on the river. There is one mill in particular addressed on Rice Creek outside of Palatka. The waste water from these paper mills is dumped from pipes into the river. Ten years ago these mills were forced to upgrade their equipment due to a toxin being released called Dioxin. Dioxin is chemical that can cause cancer produced by the chlorine reactions in the mill. The older equipment was believed to be allowing this toxin to flow...
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