Natural Spring

Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:44 pm

Found what appears to be a natural spring back on the farm. Appears that it runs underground several times and comes out different places. I found what looks to me like the source in the side of a bank. My grandfather said his father had dug it out years ago. The source appears dry where the dugout section of the bank is, but runs out of another hole in the ground a little farther down. When people put pipes in these to collect water do they just drive them back into the ground or do they dig back to rock or? I know I'd have to get this water tested but it's pretty interesting to me. We had massive rains today so I'm not sure if I should check now or wait till summer when it sort of dries up to see if it's really a natural spring.

Re: Natural Spring

Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:14 pm

If you plan to use it for your water supply, make sure it flows sufficiently, year round, before you do anything else. If it dries up, during your thirstiest season, you'll have to resort to another source, for that time. Double system could be expensive. Ed

Re: Natural Spring

Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:40 pm

Health risks from drinking water form springs is pretty high. It is so close to the surface that ground contamination including feces are frequently in it. Get it tested, then wait till the hottest driest part of summer then test it again. it will probably disappoint you. Old timers, including me used to drink form springs and creeks, but we were raised up that way and our bodies had developed immunities to the bacteria of the time, but the contaminants are worse now, plus your body is not used to it.

Re: Natural Spring

Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:34 pm

Keep an eye on the location(s) for a full year. A lot of springs dry up when the water table drops.

At what elevation is the spring located. If the spring is on a hill side, it can be plumbed to supply water to the garden or livestock. Neighbor has one like this.

Quite a few springs in this area of Missouri. I have one at the base of a small cliff that runs year around. I used a backhoe to dig a catch basin below the spring. Catch basin holds water for cattle. Water from the catch basin runs into a small shallow pond.

Edit: Fox Fire book series has quite a bit of information on plumbing springs. Probably availabe from your local library.

Re: Natural Spring

Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:49 am

We have alot of springs around here that are used for houses and farms. Through work we still do "spring developments" . We used to do alot more, but now they aren't any cheaper than putting in a well. Free water isn't free anymore. Your looking at around $5000 to do the spring development. You dig it up and put in pipe and rock to carry the water and usually an underground storage tank to capture it for a reserve. Call up your local NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) formerly the SCS office and talk to someone and say you are interested in doing a spring development on your farm. They can come out and look at it, survey it and give you all the technical assistance to do it for FREE. You just provide the actual stuff and equipment. Depending on what you would use it for ...we've put some in that just make 3 gallons a minute, but it's sufficient for that operation.

Re: Natural Spring

Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:44 am

I've done as Eugene said just for cattle. I dug in below the spring and made a 10 gallon stainless steel catch basin with catch wings out on each side. Drilled holes and poured gravel all around the side the water comes in and then from just below the top of the container I ran a 2 inch pipe about 50 feet down hill to a large watering tub. The pipe has run full year round for about 20 years now.
I placed an over flow line on the tub and finally put a gate valve on the inlet pipe to cut it back some.
I had a lid on the catch and cleaned it out several times a year.

This spring used to run my neighbors 2 houses before city water came through.