Image courtesy of Rod Shaw, WEDC, Loughborough University, UK.
Enhancing a spring for use as a water supply for a farmstead or for livestock.
How it works
By installing a spring box, pipelines, and other components, it is possible to increase the flow of water from a natural spring. Required materials are usually readily available and may include culvert pipe, PVC pipe, concrete mix, local rock and gravel, and a small backhoe. An important consideration is the proper handling of and distance of potential contaminants from a well or other water source. For instance, mixing pesticides or washing or disposing containers near a well can easily contaminate drinking water.
How it helps
Can provide an excellent and plentiful source of clean water
Provides an inexpensive water source with readily available materials, minimal excavation, and inexpensive landscaping, as compared to wells or cisterns
Does not require pumps or electricity unless you have to pump uphill
May improve efficiency and reduce production costs
Protects water from contaminants
Do you understand the geological setting and area that supplies the spring?
Are erosion control and livestock exclusion necessary?
Have you inventoried operations near the spring?
Where is the spring in relation to feedlots and chemical handling facilities?
Assess contamination risks and make necessary changes.
Avoid activities that may contribute to contamination, both in and around the spring.
Apply pesticides on days with minimal wind to prevent chemical drift into the area.
Keep an emergency chemical spill kit handy.
Maintain filter strips and fencing that protect the spring area.
Maintain infrastructure, which may include a concrete spring box or headwall, fencing, pipelines, etc.