ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) invites residents to promptly report newly formed sinkhole features. Early detection and repair of sinkholes and other solution features (including solution pipes, chimneys, and collapsed soils) is critical to ensure the safety of county residents as well as prevent potential contamination of our drinking water. With the extreme drought we have experienced in the past few years, there is increased risk of sinkhole formation as the rainy season approaches.
Residents can report observations of newly formed solution features by filling out the online form found on the ACEPD website (or here) or contact the ACEPD office at 352-264-6800, or firstname.lastname@example.org (include location, type of concern, and contact information)
ACEPD staff can direct residents to local resources (such as licensed professionals in the area who can oversee repairs as needed), or forward the complaint to the responsible entity if the feature is not located on private property.
Sinkholes are a natural and common geologic feature in areas underlain by limestone and other rocks that are dissolved by water, such as the majority of western Alachua County. While rapidly forming sinkholes rarely occur under natural conditions, human activities such as groundwater withdrawal, surface water diversion, and pond construction create conditions that make sinkhole formation more likely.
Please report only newly formed, active sinkhole features (including solution pipes, chimneys, and the like). Historic sinkholes that existed prior to development activities are protected from disturbance or filling and a natural vegetative buffer is required to prevent impacts to the feature and our groundwater.
Remember, sinkholes are a direct link to our drinking water and are not a place for trash, hazardous materials, or unwanted debris.
For more information on sinkholes and other solution features, contact Senior Environmental Specialist, Betty Rosenblatt at 352-264-6800.