By the early 1930s, ground-water pumping along the west coast of Florida had lowered hydraulic heads in the fresh-water aquifers and caused upconing of saline water. Coastal municipalities began to abandon coastal ground-water
sources and develop inland sources.

The city of St. Petersburg began pumping ground water from well fields in a rural area north of Tampa. By 1978, four well fields had been established in parts of Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties, and were pumping an average of 69,900 acre-feet per year. Sinkholes occurred in conjunction with the development of each of the well fields: Cosme (1930), Eldridge-Wilde (1954), Section 21 (1963), and South Pasco (1973).

SECTION 21 WELL FIELD
The effects of pumping on sinkhole development near the Section 21 well field illustrate the general relation between aggressive pumping, ground-water declines, and sinkhole development.

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