I was surprised to discover
a warm mineral spring south of Sarasota …
And a very warm one at that – upwards of 80 degrees.
Confused, but not certain, I found myself asking:
“Aren’t Florida’s springs all north of Tampa?”
“I’m not sure that’s a natural spring,” he explained, adding that it could be “’well fed’ — most likely an artesian hole left behind by oil drillers.”
An attendant handed me a brochure on it:
A wildcatter had drilled a deep well in the 1940s in search of oil, but struck a pool of warm brackish water instead which, to his surprise, sprung to the surface six feet high …
And at a rate of 3 million gallons per day (and night, 24/7).
He turned his “watery bonanza” into a recreational water hole and therapeutic retreat – touting the medicinal properties of its warmth and high mineral content – for nearby Miami.
Decades later they plugged the well over concerns that its high sulfur content was polluting Miami’s “sole source” drinking water supply instead:
The Biscayne Aquifer.
Nearby that now-defunct well was a water fountain of similar appearance.
Pushing its button for a drink, it came up dry.
I couldn’t detect any sulfur,
But after one gulp the after taste hit: