Sinkholes are a natural and common geological occurrence in North-Central Florida.
They are formed when rain dissolves underground limestone or when surface materials collapse into underlying cavities in the rock.
Sinkholes form most frequently during periods of heavy rain, especially after a dry period.
In Alachua County, sinkholes are most prevalent in the western and central parts of the county.
If a Sinkhole Forms:
- Call 911 immediately if it is a life-threatening situation.
- Keep children away.
- Place a fence, rope or tape around it. Property owners usually are held liable if someone is hurt in a sinkhole.
- Do not throw any type of waste into a sinkhole, and do not use it as a drainage system.
Pesticides, oils, chemicals and other wastes seep easily through sinkhole sand into the aquifer where your drinking water comes from.
- Watch for signs of sinkhole enlargement, especially toward buildings, septic tanks, drain fields and wells.
Sinkholes follow the path of least resistance.