Merritt’s Mill Pond is a four-mile-long impounded spring run approximately four miles east of Marianna, Florida. Jackson Blue Spring, a first magnitude spring, forms the headwaters of the pond with seven additional named springs discharging into the pond. In turn, Merritt’s Mill Pond is the source for Spring Creek, a tributary of the Chipola River within the Apalachicola River watershed. The primary groundwater contribution area for Jackson Blue Spring and Merritt’s Mill Pond covers approximately 141 square miles in Jackson County, with agriculture and silviculture being the predominant land uses.
The Northwest Florida Water Management District and Jackson County (Grantee) have been working to REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF NITROGEN applied over the basin. ELIMINATING SEPTIC SYSTEMS PROXIMATE TO MERRITT’S MILL POND WILL HELP TO REDUCE THE NITRATE CONCENTRATIONS.
The Indian Springs subdivision consists of approximately 300 single family residences along the eastern bank of Merritt’s Mill Pond. Wastewater service within the subdivision is provided exclusively by onsite sewage treatment and disposal units (OSTDS), consisting of conventional septic tanks and drainfields, and are suspected to be contributing nutrients to the pond.
The County will install approximately 6.4 miles of sewer lines for the Blue Springs Recreational Area, as well as connections, including the laterals and grinder pumps, and abandonment of OSTDS, as necessary, for approximately 74 residences that are currently served by OSTDS. The proposed 6-inch sewer line will extend approximately four miles along Blue Springs Road beginning at the Blue Spring Recreational Area Park and extend to the nearest lift station near Marianna. Collection systems within the high-density residential areas will be served by a combination of gravity and low-pressure sewer lines and approximately four lift stations. Wastewater will be routed to the City of Marianna’s central wastewater collection system to be treated at the City’s wastewater treatment facility. This will result in a significant reduction in nutrient loading within the Jackson Blue Spring BMAP Area and Merritt’s Mill Pond contribution area.