6 Simple Tips for Developing a Natural Spring

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6 Simple Tips - SpringOne of my favorite childhood memories was venturing into the woods with my late grandfather to fill up gallon jugs with water from a spring he found and tapped himself. I never thought much about it back then; walking a quarter mile or so into the wooded hills to obtain the family’s drinking water was just something that was routine.

Years later, when I moved down the road from my grandparents and experienced the rural fun of having to haul water in from town, I found comfort in knowing that the old spring was still resting in the hills should we ever need it.

A natural spring is an outlet of ground water and not a stream or run off simply pooling on the surface. A true natural spring will surface from naturally flowing groundwater. There are many methods of finding and tapping a natural spring. Below are some simple, low-cost suggestions for finding your own water source if the situation calls.

Finding and Tapping a Natural Spring

  1. Your efforts will yield the best results when you search in dry weather. A spell where the ground is dry can help determine if a wet area is simply run off or coming from another deeper source.
  2. Begin in middle elevation areas. Look in places where there are both higher and lower ground available such as the middle/side of a hill.
  3. ditchSearch for wet areas and obviously eroded areas that resemble a damp, naturally made ditch. Once this kind of environment is located, follow the path to higher elevations until the ground either becomes too steep to safely hike or you become too high on the hill to consider the location middle elevation. Another location indicator could be an increase in gravel, smooth rocks and moss in the surrounding areas and possible pooling water toward the lower elevated areas.
  4. Carefully dig into the hillside until you reach a steady flow of water. Be sure to dig deeply enough to get a clean avenue to place a channeling source.
  5. Place one end of a channeling source such as a plastic pipe as deep into the water source as possible. Placing rocks or gravel around and under the channeling source will help prevent sediment from getting through and help prevent the pipe from sinking.
  6. Cover the transport with rock and soil to hold it in place being sure to leave a good portion sticking out of the ground for easy access.

The disruption of the natural flow and excavation will result in muddy/cloudy water for a while but a true natural spring will clear up quickly once everything begins to settle. Some folks wish to tap into a spring and have it directly pumped into their homes for everyday water usage. Some springs may be plentiful enough to meet this type of supply but require more complicated excavation methods and tapping systems. Depending on the proximity of the spring to the home and the amount of gravitational flow, a pumping system may not be necessary.

I do not recommend drinking water from a natural spring without taking water purification measures or having a sample tested periodically to ensure the water is free of contaminants and is safe to drink.

Developing and maintaining a natural spring is a great back up water supply! Drink up!

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Brandi is passionate about her faith and family and enjoys the outdoors, reading, writing, and ministering to others.

7 thoughts on “6 Simple Tips for Developing a Natural Spring”

    1. I live on a side of a gently sloping valley, near the bottom an ancient brook runs along the base. Back in the 60s, there was an old pipe, just thirty feet above the brook, from which spring water flowed. Flood control demolition destroyed the spring along with its idyllic setting. Thru the years we’ve tried to locate the pipe to no avail. I’m thinking of tapping into the approx location with a copper pipe. Any ideas?

  1. On my property I have at least one good spring. It has not been improved in at least 60 years. In the last 25 years it has been in a cow pasture so it actually is in worse shape than when I was a child. Now I am thinking about fencing it in and cleaning it up and putting a pipe in it. There is a spring closer to my house than that one but it is on a neighbor’s land. This area of N.C. Is good for springs and seeps.

  2. I have a spring on my property in Tennessee that is over grown with bushes and logs would it be best just to get excavator and just clean it up and make the pond deeper

    1. In a water emergency if your main water source became tainted, what would be your water source? What other water sources do you have on your property? If you have a well and another source of water, then it’s not urgent that you clean out this spring.

  3. I’ve found two wet spots in my backyard following the removal of 28 trees. My late father always said there were springs there. Can I dig down a few feet and and make them into small pools? If so, what materials and method would be best?

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