Your recent “Drenchings replenish region’s water supply” article paints a glowing picture of rivers flowing, lakes full and the aquifer flush with new water. It sounds good, but a visit to the rural-residential community surrounding Cross Bar Wellfield in Pasco County displays a totally different picture. It shows an area of lakes ravished by 33 years of aquifer overpumping — the water removed from the area to serve the needs of other counties.
It’s an area where many seasoned residents remember Lake Loyce as a pristine, beautiful 44-acre lake — an area where so much water has been removed by overpumping the aquifer that Lake Loyce drained as if the plug had been pulled from a bathtub.
Lake Loyce, Monsees Pond, Crews Lake and Pasco Lake and others are weed-infested shadows — if they have any water at all — of their former beauty, and some are on life support through augmentation. Travel north on U.S. 41 to where Pasco Lake once overflowed and traveled under U.S. 41, providing water to Jumping Gully and water throughout a chain of Pasco lakes. Today it is bone dry, weed-infested, and nothing more than a route for four-wheelers.
An impacted aquifer means the surface waters, the underground structure, and the community surrounding the wellfield are detrimentally impacted. Lake levels have not returned, and with Pasco the No. 1 sinkhole-prone county in Florida, this area received another devastating blow from the county with the May 7 approval of a limestone blasting mine. Vibrations and shockwaves from blasting can cause sinkholes and possibly contaminate the aquifer.
The rain is welcomed, but the man-made detrimental impacts are negatively impacting our lakes and public water supply, whether you live in Pasco County or not, and our bucolic lifestyle far beyond the capabilities of nature to restore itself.