When a spring is developed, is it damaged when it freezes?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Terri, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I need a source of water on my property, so that I can water my small plants when I get them in this spring. I have decided on asparagus and blackberries to start with.

    But, I will need to water until they are established.

    One possibility is using a small spring that is on my land. But, when the spring freezes in the winter, will it split apart any spring box that I may use? Is there a spring box that is more freeze-resistant than others?

    Also, the spring is close to a tiny creek that I have. It is just a trickle when it is dry out, but it becomes QUITE large after a large rain. I am concerned that it MIGHT wash out the spring box. The water would NOT go up that high after the USUAL storm, but after an unusally large on, it might.

    Any suggestions there?

    I really have no right to use the creek, but I don't think that the neighbors would object it I took a LITTLE out of it with a pump. 50 gallons or so would water a LOT of little plants.

    That is, they would not object unless it was dry out. The creek feeds a tiny pond on my neighbors land.

    So, to protect my plants, it would be best if I developed that spring. I suspect that the spring would be quite reliable: it kept an area of about 20' across muddy all last summer. If I needed MORE water than that, I could remove the large tree that currently just 6' from the spring head.
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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  3. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I've seen masonry spring boxes that where probably installed over thirty or fifty years ago. Freezing never hurt them. It's not like water freezing in a closed container. The top's open so the ice has plenty of room to expand. Likewise we have an old concrete watering trough that was probably put in sometime in the sixties by the Soil Conservation Service. It freezes every year. It still doesn't leak.

    I'd build a three or four foot wall around the spring once you identify the source. When you build the wall, add an outlet to connect your water. I'd add a valve in the line outside of the box and a vertical vent close by on the down stream side of the valve. Before it freezes in the winter, close the valve and open the vent to drain the line to your garden.

    You might want to add another outlet higher than your water outlet to direct overflow to the creek. Otherwise let it spill over the top.
     
  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Thanks.

    I have printed off the important bits, and I will do something about it this spring. ;)
     
  5. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    If its like my spring it should have steady temperature,and never freeze.

    big rockpile
     
  6. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    A lovely thought, but the spring froze just last week. It has been distinctly nippy this year so far: 2 weeks ago it was 0 degreees. It will probably be just as cold a couple of different times before spring hits.

    It helped me to find the source of the water: instead of feeling for mud UNDER the long grass, I was able to find where the ice went OVER the grass. I came back yesterday when it was MUCH warmer, and stuck a marker into the mud.

    This spring I shall dig a hole, and see how it fills. :yeeha:
     
  7. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    You probably already know this. The spring should be located near the highest uphill portion of the wet spot. The ice, if lower on the hill, may just mark the spot where the water was cooled enough by the air temperature to freeze.