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Williford Spring

Information

Status: Open

Read a news release about the Williford Spring restoration project here.

Overview

Williford Spring is a second magnitude spring that sends more than 16 million gallons of water per day into Econfina Creek, which feeds into Deer Point Lake and is the primary source of drinking water for Panama City and Bay County.

The spring is located off Highway 20 in Washington County, just 7.5 miles west of U.S. 231. It is part of the Econfina Creek Water Management Area and is maintained by the Northwest Florida Water Management District.

Williford Spring has long been a popular recreation spot for local residents and tourists alike. The cool, clear waters attract plenty of swimmers, paddlers and tubers of all ages and the site is an ideal spot for picnics, hiking and watching nature.

To help protect the spring and the surrounding area as well as enhance public access and recreational opportunities, the District began a restoration project at Williford Spring in 2014.

Unique Features

Williford Spring is a single, large vent at the head of its spring run and measures 57 feet in diameter. The vent sits under a limestone ledge in the center of the pool, and the maximum depth measured over the vent is 12 feet. There is a sizeable boil over the vent and the color of the water is light blue-green.

There is no aquatic vegetation in the pool and a thin layer of algae covers less than half of the limestone and sand substrates.

Several smaller vents contribute their discharge to the Williford Spring run before it flows south and enters Econfina Creek. The entire spring run measures 443 feet.

Restoration Overview

The District broke ground on its Williford Spring restoration project in the summer of 2014. Work was completed during the summer of 2015 and the spring re-opened to the public in July 2016.

The restoration project includes the addition of stone steps and handrails for easy entry into the spring, the installation of several boardwalks, the connection of an interpretive hiking trail with nearby Pitt and Sylvan springs, the construction of three open-air pavilions, the installation of composting toilets, and the construction of a canoe dock allowing easy access to the spring for paddlers along Econfina Creek.

A renovated parking area and the installation of stormwater treatment swales along the entry road into the spring are also part of the restoration project. The District also replanted native vegetation along the spring bank to help further protect the spring.

The District’s primary goal with this restoration project is to enhance public access and recreation while protecting the water resources of Econfina Creek and its springs.