How do I locate a spring

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sancraft, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    I'm going out to walk the property on Thursday. Some of you suggested that I look for a spring. How do I locate one? Aren't they underground?
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Simpley follow the water up stream to find its source, there are articles on buildinga spring house in the archives under 'water' catagory.
     

  3. Phil - MO

    Phil - MO Active Member

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    If the spring is any size and runs year round, here in the Ozarks you will probably find water cress growng.

    If you find a spot in a smaller creek that doesn't freeze, you probably have spring water coming into the creek. (Spring water is usually the same temperature year round.)
     
  4. Emily Anne

    Emily Anne Active Member

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    We had a muddy, swampy place in front of our house, Daddy dug a large hole and it filled in so he made a 15+ ft deep pond that has 5 springs running into it.(brrrr) :)
     
  5. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Well-Known Member

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    I'm almost embarrassed to tell you to try it, but try witching.I never believed it-figured it was all hokey-until I tried it, and by golly,I can do it.I took two bronze welding rods, bent them into an ''L''shape and losely holding the shorter ends pointed the longer ends straight out, holding them parallel.When I walk over running water, the rods cross.Now, I always believed this was pure nonsense, but I have to admit it does work-for me anyway.I have tried walking across known springs or water lines with my eyes shut[so I don't know] and when I feel the rods cross, open them, and I'm inevitably standing over the waterline/spring.I've tried to disprove this, by walking over neighbours property where they know where the springs are, but I don't, and I've picked them up.Weird.I saw some guys digging up a paved parking lot rtrying to find a leaking waterline but didn't know where, and I offered to locate it for them, but they declined , said they din't belive in thatstuff, so I went back after hours and found the leak, and sure ennough when they had dug up the parking lot, the leak was where I figured it was. People look at you funny just like I used to looked at others doing it.Anyway, give it a try-it might work.
     
  6. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Walk the property looking for spots where the brush,grass,etc is lusher than other areas. Look for moving water (Even trickles) where you wouldn't expect it. We have one spring on our property where the water just shoots out of the ground about a foot....we have other springs where there isn't a lot of flow and if we want to take advantage of them we will need to dig them out. All told we have found 8 springs on our property (in various places).

    Mike
     
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes the witching rods do work, but it requires moving water. It also may be a long way down to the water, and would require a pump to bring it to the surface.
    Springs that come to the surface will have wet ground where the come out. A very active spring will have water running downhill away from the source. These streams are called spring branches. Most springs appear on places where there is higher ground above them. My brother used a spring for all his household water for several years. The spring came out from under a rock cliff near a creek. It only run a stream about the size of a farmers match but furnished enough water to run an automatic washer. He dug out a square hole around and below it. He poured a concrete wall around it, and put a wooden lid on top to keep out debrees. He ran a black plastic pipe from the house to it with a shallow well electric pump at the house.

    It is sometimes possible to get a flowing well when the pipe is driven into a vein of water that is near the surface and has enough pressure to force the water out the pipe above ground. These are very rare in most parts of the country, and don't get your hopes up for one of them.

    Mostly keep an eye out for anyplace that seems wetter than it has normal cause to be.
     
  8. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

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    There is a million dollar reward offered through a Florida college for any one who can prove in scientific experiments that they can witch water. To this date many have tried but the reward has not been collected. It is also offered to anyone who can prove any supernatural powers or magic ability.
     
  9. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member

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    Look for where the grass is longer. In dry weather, look for where the grass is greener. In damp weather, (Not wet!), look for where your foot tells you it is muddy. Here where the ground freezes, look for where the grass crunches when you step on it (Cause the water table is higher).

    Test your spring, of course. Not every spring has drinking-quality water.

    On my land, I have a spring next to the creek that keeps things muddy most of the time. When it is dry this summer, I will look for the green patch so that I can find the source of the spring. Then, I can dig a small hole and see how long it takes to fill. Perhaps it will give me a little water when it is dry out, more likely not. It is a very small spring. I just know it is there because there is a muddy patch when the restof the soil is slightly damp.
     
  10. TnTnTn

    TnTnTn Well-Known Member

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    A spring by definition is where the watertable intersects the surface of the ground. This results in water at the surface which flows away from the 'spring'. So the way to find a spring is to go looking for water coming out of the ground and flowing away from the spot where it emerges. Some are large and obvious others are small drips etc. We live in hilly terrain where a good aquifer is dissected with deep hollows. This makes ideal spring country. We have 8-10 good springs with probably many more little seeps that could be dug out and cleaned up to be called 'springs' also. None of them are really big; the flow ranges from about 1gal/30sec to 1gal per 2.5 minutes. However all of my springs are below the level of our house which is on the high ground. If the situation were reversed I would pipe spring water by gravity into the house. We have a well into the same aquifer that pumps the water up to us.

    My springs are not affected by rainfall at least in the short term. After a 2-3" rain they are running just the same. When it is dry and dusty on the ridges after a long dry spell my springs are running just the same. In other words they are true groundwater springs and not contaminated with surface runoff. I have often thought of bottling the water(tastes great) and selling it as 'Granny Hardin' spring water. Granny Hardin was the earliest known(to me)European inhabitant of my property. TnTnTn
     
  11. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Well-Known Member

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    that's the weird thing-I can't explain it, and never believed it either-but when I held two bent bronze welding rods in my hand, they cross when I walk across a waterline or a spring.Doesn't make sense, and I never would have believed it either until last summer when I did it.
     
  12. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    In rolling terrain look in the dips and look away from the creek. Try to find where one of the dips is more of a natural ditch and leads to the creek. The natural ditch will be connected more as a Y to the creek rather than a T. Often, at the head (beginning) of the ditch there will be a tree that is larger than surrounding area trees with the main spring near the base of that large tree. Having a 3/8 inch rod several feet long is beneficial to push into the ground to find soggy soil. Once you find soggy soil you can dig down a couple of feet and see how quickly the hole fills with water. It is not difficult or expensive to exploit such an area for water. Remember, all you need to find is a good trickle :)
     
  13. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone. I will be looking for a spring in the morning. Wish me luck. I'm heading to Lowe's tonight for 2 brass rods too.
     
  14. GrannieD

    GrannieD Well-Known Member

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    often thought of bottling the water(tastes great) and selling it as 'Granny Hardin' spring water. Granny Hardin was the earliest known(to me)European inhabitant of my property. TnTnTn[/QUOTE]

    I was fortunate enough to go to Tom Ally's(world known water expert)research cave at Protem,Mo. & to my amazment the springs coming out of the hillside had a "real " life inside the hill...We walked in the cave made by the stream through limestone..You must test anywater used from a spring..! Huge piles of bat guano had the stream running through them & lots of cave friends living in the water..If you wouldn't drink out of the farm pond don't do it from a spring with the complete trust in natural water...Some is safe, but I've got a good memory of my trip through that cave..GrannieD
     
  15. Mastiff

    Mastiff Well-Known Member

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    First off I would say it is not the best time of year to look for a good spring. What might be flowing now might not produce a thing later on.
    Some times looking for trees that like water like alders and willows can help... also reeds and ferns. In the heat of summer it certainly becomes more obvious where your water sources are.
    Developing a spring and building a spring box is a whole other chore..
    http://peacecorps.mtu.edu/Springbox/
     
  16. TnTnTn

    TnTnTn Well-Known Member

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    eeeeeeeyowwwwww sprang water percolated thru bat guano LOLOL

    That may be the case in big cave springs but not in my little springs coming out of the Ft. Payne chert which is a fairly insoluble, fractured cherty limestone with no large cave development. And as I pointed out above no contamination with surface water occurs during big rains. I agree that water should be tested and I have not tested the water of my springs 'in vitro' but it has had plenty of testing 'in vivo'. It comes out of the ground at about 56 degrees year round. If you are down this way Grannie stop by and we will have a drink!! TnTnTn
     
  17. Timber

    Timber Well-Known Member

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    If you have a snowpack look for melt spots in the snow. Tell tale sign of leaching water keeping the ground from freezing.

    Timber
     
  18. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

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    in your particular area if you have rhododendron, look there. it is verydark leaved plant and is 'green' this time of year. you should see it a quarter mile off.
    the big ones like to grow above a seeping watertable. usually this is a rock with thin soil that keeps the water near the surfance of the slope. but they will line the edge of a stream branch too or grow thickly around a place where the water comes up from the ground.look up or down or in the center of patches of this shrub.