As you walk down a forest trail, your eyes and feet will give you messages about the soil. On your next walk, try to sense those messages. Is the soil hard or does it feel spongy? Is it wet or dry? Look around you. What plants do you see? If the soil is spongy and the vegetation is dense you are likely walking in an area of hydric soils. Hydric soils are poorly and very poorly drained soils. This is one of three characteristics of wetlands with the other two being hydrophytic vegetation (water loving plants) and wetland hydrology [seasonal high water table (SHWT) near the soil surface]. All wet soils exhibit characteristic morphologies that result from repeated periods of saturation and/or inundation such as accumulation and removal of organic matter and/or the reduction, oxidation, translocation, and/or accumulation of iron and other reducible elements These processes result in characteristics morphologies called indicators that persist in the soil during both wet and dry periods making them very useful for identifying the depth to the SHWT and hydric soils. Hydric soils are used as an aid in establishing jurisdictional wetland boundaries. Depth to SHWT also affects the installation of septic tank absorption fields. Shallow SHWT's usually result with mounded drain fields.


Watts was the primary leader in establishing Myakka fine sand as Florida's Official State Soil."




“My name is Frank C. Watts and I am owner of AAA Soil Consultants. I specialize in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida soils with an emphasis on hydric soils and seasonal high water tables. You can learn a lot more about soils using my new book SOILS OF FLORIDA published by the Soil Science Society of America. Feel free to browse our website, and contact us if you have any questions, or require any additional assistance.”


What can you do to be sure you have a good soil

You can contact me before you buy that property, build that house, and install that septic tank absorption field. I can help you determine if the soils on the property are suited for your purpose, such as development, homes, buildings, crops, lawns, roads, dairy farms, etc. and help you locate the best place to build your home and locate the septic tank. I can determine the depth to seasonal high water table, identify the location of hydric soils and tell you if and where wetlands occur on your property.