Media Release

Dangerous Conditions on the Santa Fe River

Friday, June 29, 2012 11:05 AM

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL – Due to dangerous water conditions resulting from the recent tropical storm, the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department is advising people to temporarily avoid swimming, tubing, canoeing, or kayaking in the portion of the upper Santa Fe River bordering northwest Alachua County west of Interstate 75.

"I can't stress enough the need for people to be aware of the dangerous conditions”, said Chris Bird, Alachua County Environmental Protection Director. “The river poses hidden environmental hazards, including strong currents and submerged trees and other debris that can cause entrapment, serious injury, or drowning."

In addition, Bird warns that the river's high flow conditions, combined with low groundwater levels from the drought, are creating powerful, hidden siphons that can drown even a strong swimmer by pulling them through underwater cavities in the bottom of the river.

These unusually dangerous conditions in the upper Santa Fe River are expected to persist for 7-10 days until the river levels are projected to subside.  Flood and water level updates are available from the Suwannee River Water Management District website at 

For more information, contact Chris Bird at 352-264-6801.

If any accommodations are needed for persons with disabilities, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at (352) 374-5275 or (352) 374-5284 TDD.


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).