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Hi. I have a spring that we developed over a year ago. The water is dammed up under ground and then fed into a spring box where the silt can fall out. From here it is filtered through small holes in the outlet pipe and runs into a cistern. I discovered recently that some salamanders had taken up residence in the spring box. I thought I had taken the precautions necessary to keep them out but I guess they are smarter than they look. In any case I am adding some stainless screening to the overflow which is where I suspect they got in. I am also putting in a post to keep the overflow line off the ground.


Wondering if anyone has done battle with these slippery critters?

I was thinking of doing a chlorine treatment to clean everything out. 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon. Not planning on doing cistern just spring and spring box.

We have an in house chlorinator and charcoal filter so we can drink the water. Should I be concerned about an occasional salamander?

Thanks for any insights you may have

Darryl
 

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I wouldn't worry about the salamanders. Just have a filter on the pipe so they don't go into your house plumbing. Not a big deal.
 

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Oh gosh no. We have the same thing and I've seen salamanders in the spring box. The mesh keeps them out, no chlorine needed really.
 

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While you may want to add more screen to keep them from swimming too much in your drinking fountain, lol, there's a good reason to keep a few around if you can.
They are your canary in the coal mine.
When we first drilled our well and came back months later to work on the house, we found a few salamanders living in the downstairs toilet, to which the plumber remarked, "Y'all must have some pretty good water for them to be living in your toilet!"
See if you can relocate them a little upstream. They're extremely sensitive to the smallest amount of pollutants, ph change, algae, etc.
As long as they like the water, you will too!.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ah. Well you guys are putting my mind at ease. Thanks. Still don't like the slippery buggars though. Good to have someplace to get advise. Not many springs developed in out area for drinking water. So nobody around to glean this information from. Thanks again.
 

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I was thinking of doing a chlorine treatment to clean everything out. 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon. Not planning on doing cistern just spring and spring box.

We have an in house chlorinator and charcoal filter so we can drink the water. Should I be concerned about an occasional salamander?

Thanks for any insights you may have

Darryl
According to the Centers for Disease Control, salamanders are known to carry Salmonella which is harmful to humans.

I realize that for ages, some folks never worried about the occasional critter in the springbox...but then maybe they never connected the dots to the occasional really bad "stomach bug" either.

http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellafrogturtle/

With that thought in mind, your idea of disinfection seems to be the prudent thing to do.

.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Salmonella sickness wouldn't be good. I do have a chlorinator in our house built into our system though so I think we should be covered there. Charcoal filter after that takes chlorine back out so water tastes nice.

One of my concerns with treating the spring with chlorine is that if there are any salamanders that have made it past the spring box and up the pipe to the spring which is underground then adding chlorine to the system could kill them and then I would have dead salamanders in the spring which may be worse (not sure).

Not sure they would have the desire to go any further than the spring box since it is always full of water and dark. Seems they would have thought they reached heaven and not ventured any further.

Any thoughts?

Darryl
 

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"According to the Centers for Disease Control, salamanders are known to carry Salmonella which is harmful to humans."

meh. And fleas are known to carry plague. We need to all run around in 8' safety circles in a padded room with walls of non-toxic, non-combustable foam, scream and panic.

I would be worried if I was inviting a salamander to live on my dinner plate. There is a concept loosely considered "tipping point." When you use the john, there is a certain amount of fecal matter that becomes an aerosol (ever wonder what that wonderful smell is?). That matter can contain e-coli and other bacteria that aren't all that good for you. The point is that the LEVEL of it is far less than what the body can (and must) deal with successfully. The same goes for salmonella and most other dangerous microorganisms. If it didn't work this way, we would be dead within weeks of being born, along with our mothers and every other living creature.
 

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Well, around here I'd be careful with salamanders in my water.

"Red-bellied newts have a brownish-black topside to avoid being noticed. When that fails, and they are seen and disturbed, they pull their heads and tails back to reveal their bright-red undersides. This serves as a warning to potential predators, as red-bellied newts have enough of a neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin, in their skin to easily kill an adult human, or 7,500 mice. Like other newts, red-bellied newts have the ability to regenerate several body parts, including their limbs, eyes, hearts, intestines, and upper and lower jaws, and damaged spinal cords."

I've heard of people who accidentally consumed water with the red-bellied salamander in it (scooped up with the coffee water, put on the camp fire) and died, but it may be a myth.

I used to play with them when I was a kid, buy my grandkids are thoroughly discouraged from handling them.
Kit
 

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there was a doctor on a radio show here asked about eggnog and using un-cooked eggs , to which his answer was, if you are known Immune deficient do not drink eggnog with real eggs , but for healthy normal people the worst you get is loose stools for a few days.

I have drunken directly from plenty of lakes in the boundy waters national refuge where a lot more than a salamander poops in the water and been fine

but there are a lot of immune deficient people in this country , if all electricity was off for 30 days and everyone off meds for 30 days , the die off would be in the millions
 

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I think the biggest fear one would have from salamanders in the spring box would be if the EPA discovers them and decides to make your property a reserve. Look up red legged frogs and see what they are doing with properties in the California Sierras because of them.
 

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Somethings gotta kill us all at some point. I don't see a need to be so worried about dyin that I forget about livin.
salamanders? eh. be glad you have a spring and enjoy the water.

On a side note, I've been fencing over the last few weeks, and have come across 2 different types of salamanders in the leaf mould. They are welcome round here.
 

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Personally I'm not a big fan of poop in my water.
 

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....... Wondering if anyone has done battle with these slippery critters?

I was thinking of doing a chlorine treatment to clean everything out. 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon. Not planning on doing cistern just spring and spring box.

We have an in house chlorinator and charcoal filter so we can drink the water. Should I be concerned about an occasional salamander?

Thanks for any insights you may have

Darryl
I think you should only clean the water that you're going to be drinking, but not the spring box. As you mentioned, if you chlorinate that you take the risk of killing the salamanders and having dead salamanders contaminating the water, but the salamanders are not the only things that would be killed and contaminating the water.

Salamanders have to eat too so if they're living in the spring box it's because whatever they're eating is also living in the spring box. It means the water is clean and healthy if it's inhabited by salamanders and other critters and even if you were able to catch the salamanders and relocate them there would still be their food prey left behind living in there.

Chlorinate the spring box and you poison everything and contaminate the water with dead critters, but if you leave it alone and only clean your drinking water then everyone in the spring box and in your house is healthy and happy.
 
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