Natural Spring

Mimi_Carol(35121 - AL)January 31, 2005

My husband thinks we may have some type of natural spring in our backyard. It's an area that stays somewhat mushy all year long (we've lived here about 4 1/2 years)whether it's dry or rainy. He says he actually saw water bubbling up one afternoon last week (before this last rain).

We live in Blount County sort of at the top of a mountain. Our lot is one of the lower, flatter lots in this development. Who would we check with to see if this a natural spring and what we should do about it? I can picture a semi-dry creek bed going through the back yard...

Thanks!

Mimi

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sleepywillow(z-8 alabama)

well,, i don't know about your's but our land here started that about ,,,,,well,,,,a long time ago.....was doing just like you described and a few years later,we had a spring that never quits! the road graters came thru cleaning up after the hurricane and busted yet another one open in the road out here 30 foot from the house,,,i have taken full advantage of it and have a nice little creek running for bog plants and my ducks love it! we put up my chicken coop and yard back in the spring ,and now i don't even have to water them! a small one has bubbled up in there!
i guess i can build a pond one day! lol....i don't know who u would call to check on it,,,but i do know they can be plugged up if you don't want it,,that is what the road creww did in the road here....good luck with your little creek.....sue

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 10:04PM
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tsmith2579(7B)

Many springs are boggy seeps, seeking an opening to bubble through. Go to where your husband saw the bubbling. Dig a hole, I would suggest 18 to 24 inches deep to see what happens. Does water now bubble upwards? If it seeps or trickles, from which side of the hole does it seep? Move over to that direction and dig another hole a couple of feet away. You just have to keep searching until you pass the source and then go back a few feet and really dig. We used to go to a spring outside Tarrant and clean it out. Dirt would cave in and it would seep unmtil cleaned and then run a good little stream of COLD water into a concrete box that was used to cool milk cans from a dairy. My uncle used to drill wells for a living and my dad helped him on weekends. They both tell the story of drilling an artesian well up on Pine Mountain near Remlap. What I'd give to have a spring on my property.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 11:43PM
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Mimi_Carol(35121 - AL)

Well, as it is pouring down today, everyone should have a creek in their backyard. I will get hubby to dig down in the mush and see what happens. Wouldn't it be exciting if this really were a spring!?!?

Thanks for all the info, GW friends!
Mimi

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 9:00AM
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Nigella(9a-steamy)

Yes it has been raining, for the past 3 days. I don't have a creek in my yard, I just call my garden "Thompson Dr. Lake" when it's like this. Sigh. I don't think it's possible to live at a lower elevation than I do. I like parts(it doesn't get quite as cold here as it does farther up "the hill") but there are parts that are a huge nuisance. I'm jealous, I want a spring, too.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 1:13PM
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tsmith2579(7B)

Mimi, let's just hope this isn't a leaking field line from the septic tank.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 11:34PM
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Josh(z8a)

Several winters ago my son and husband left the house one frosty morning and hurried back greatly excited. "There's a hot spring in the side yard...it's bubbling hot water!"

Didn't take but a minute more for us to realze we had a broken waterpipe. The previous residents had had their washer/dryer in a workshop attached to the garage and evidently the hotwater line had cracked in an overnight freeze.

Hope yours is a real spring..josh

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 11:49PM
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terramadre

Another possibility is that too much laundry water is introduced into the field line(s) in a short period of time. Depending on washer capacity, this can be 50-60 gallons for each wash/rinse cycle. You can determine if it involves the field line(s) by introducing dye into the system.
Hope it turns out to be a spring.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 7:30AM
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bama35640(Z7A AL)

That how I found I had a split septic system, the water from the washing machine and kitchen sink used to just get piped into the woods behind my house! Made for a great mosquito bog in the summer. I just used a bottle of red food coloring down the different sinks until I found this out. Now the grey water goes into 500 ft of leach line and no more mosquito haven.

Bob in North Alabama

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 11:16AM
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Mimi_Carol(35121 - AL)

I know it's not water from the house because we are on a special sewer system that is on the opposite side of the house. So no worries there. And we know it's not the line that funnels water from the drains on the house because we did something (French Drain?) with that water when we first moved in. Plus that, too, is in a very different location.

The weather hasn't cooperated the past few days for us to go digging for a spring and we have a full schedule this weekend so....

I'll keep you posted!
Mimi

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 2:13PM
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tsmith2579(7B)

Mimi, did you strike water or oil, yet?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 12:09PM
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Mimi_Carol(35121 - AL)

Would you believe we haven't had a chance to check!?!?! And we all the rain the past few days, I don't think we will be able to compare one wet spot with another for a while.

Keep your fingers crossed for me! I would absolutely love to discover some kind of spring in the backyard!
Mimi

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 4:16PM
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bama35640(Z7A AL)

Mimi before you go digging up the area make sure it is not designated as a wetland go to the link below and check.

Bob

Here is a link that might be useful: Wetlands

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 1:37PM
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debbido(z 7b/8a)

We have a spring that runs through our yard. Luckily it feeds out into a ditch on both sides of the road. I just plant the entire thing in bog plants. It is my favorite part of the yard now. For a lot of years it was a problem because it stayed so weedy, and you could not mow it because the ground was too soft. For about two years I just kept it EXTREMELY mulched to kill everything in it, and then I planted. I still have to keep it well mulched, but it is very maintenance free. It stays wet even when it is very dry. All kinds of elephant ears, daylilies, bananas, callas, cannas, etc. have done well here.

Deb

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 9:16PM
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Mimi_Carol(35121 - AL)

Deb, I still haven't had a chance to check on this "spring". For old folks, we seem to stay really busy!

Are your bog plants in full sun? I've just about convinced my hubby that as wet as this area stays (even if it isn't a spring) we ought to turn it into a dry creek bed. However, this area is in full sun almost all day. Would the Elephant ears grow in full sun? I know the daylilies would! They will grow almost anywhere!
Thanks!
Mimi

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 10:51AM
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bama35640(Z7A AL)

The E ears would love the full sun. I plant mine at the waters edge of my pond.

Bob

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 10:58AM
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debbido(z 7b/8a)

My area is in full sun. For the most part, EE like full sun as long as it is wet enough. I have Black Magic, Xanthasoma Saggitifolia, Chicago Harlequin, Ruffles, and Nancy's Revenge in mine. I also have Black Magic in partial shade, and the ones in the sun look so much better and healthier, and they do not start drooping mid summer from not enough water. I also have an umbrella palm that is just gorgeous all season long. I try to mulch mine with pine straw so that if I have to step into it, I can at least stay partially dry, and you can not see the water seeping as much. It just tidies up the area. I did not like the canas here. They spread too quickly and were extremely hard to dig because of the wet and because the dirt there is of a consistency like clay. They were very hard to get out.

Also, Louisiana iris, spiderwort, sun ferns, Brugmansia (depending on how wet), chameleon plant (be warned, very pretty but also invasive), horse tail reed, callas, crinum lilies, and hibiscus would all be good choices for these conditions.

Hope this helps,
Deb

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 1:41AM
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Mimi_Carol(35121 - AL)

What a wonderful list of plants! I have always thought that EE needed some shade but if the criteria is water - I've got that!

On another subject, sort of, my mother recently died and I dug up some bulbs that she always referred to as giant caladiums. The leaves are green and absolutely huge - as large or larger than ee. The "giant caladiums" are shaped somewhat differently than an ee. Mother swore they were not elephant ears; that my grandmother had them, etc., etc.

Do any of you know anything about something like this? The bulbs are more like tubers and sometimes the stems are probably 7-8 inches in diameter.

It is a lovely plant....
Mimi

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 12:19PM
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ironhead

I recently bought a house that has a large wet spot on the proberty, the neighbors tell me it is a natural spring, but it doesn't flow water just stay damp. Right now it has alot of cat tails growing in it. I want to clean it up and do something with it. What can i possibly plant in this area? Or any suggestions what else i can do with it.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 7:30PM
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queenamy(Zone Seven)

TSmith2579- regarding that spring outside of Tarrant, was it in Pawnee? My in-laws live there and have a creek on their property. I know that there was a spring there somewhere close by.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 11:30AM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

All i can say is i sure wish i could find a natural spring on my place right now.......

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 12:23AM
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tsmith2579(7B)

Amy, who are your in-laws? I know some of the Matthews, Baggetts, Zorns, Briggs, Hewitts, Gurleys, Mizes, Guthries, etc. in Pawnee. I lived a couple of miles down the road from them all. I believe I know which spring you are talking about. It was a fairly large springhouse sitting off Pawnee Road at the foot of a hill at the intersection of what I believe it is Tomahawk Dr. No, the spring I'm talking about is down the road. Go up to the hill on Pawnee Rd, round the curve at the water works reservoir to the intersection of Murphree Rd and Pawnee Road. Turn south (left) on Murphree Rd. Go a mile or so and just as you start down the last hill before the crazy intersection there is an old road on the right. It was almost overgrown the last time I was by there about 5 years ago. The driveway goes down a hill into a valley. There used to be a farm house down there. It was a dairy farm at one time. The concrete box was used by the dairy to hold cold water to put cans of milk in to cool them. If you go to the crazy intersection and take a hard right, just as you get to Oak Station church (on the left) there is a creek/branch which runs under the road. Follow that branch upstream and you can't help but run into the concrete box. Now, all of that is supposing that no one has destroyed it in the past 40 years. Even after all these years, I think I could walk to it without a problem.

Terry Smith

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 12:54PM
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patricianat

Having a spring on your property is not necessarily a good thing. (>:

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:18AM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

Oh i don't know Patricia - with my water bills - i would love to find another mechanism for watering!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:21PM
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leenbean

Anybody know of a public spring anywhere near Selma?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 1:03AM
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g-Bone

Hello...I don't mean to "dredge-up" an old thread unnecessarily, but this subject is of great interest to me.

I would like to offer this link for the last poster to the thread, which I believe to be an updated link from which "Bama35640" (Bob) posted here, back on 28MAR05 ---> https://www.fws.gov/wetlands/index.html

( www.fws.gov/wetlands/index.html )

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 10:32AM
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g-Bone

Perhaps this is a better (?) link --> http://107.20.228.18/Wetlands/WetlandsMapper.html#

Here is a link that might be useful: National Wetlands Inventory Mapper

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 10:35AM
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