Friday, December 11, 2009

Impromptu artesian wells

The first month I was in Deerfield, we were hit with several rounds of heavy rains. On the first sunny day after the rains, I came down the driveway to find water spouting up from the ground about 6 inches high.

City-slicker that I was, I immediately surmised I had a busted water pipe. I run to the water cutoff at the road and turn everything off. I come back to find the water still shooting out of the ground.

It turns out I had an impromptu artesian well. Several years later when talking with the timber cutters who were working on our place, they explained what was happening.

It seems we have underground caves in the back of our property. They said they could tell by the way their heavy equipment would make the ground shake. They said when the caves filled to a certain level with rain water, the pressure had to be released and it usually occurred downhill from the caves.

This only occurs with a long slow rain. A quick downpour, even though it may be several inches, runs off before it can fill up the underground caves.

We had a long and heavy rain of more than four inches this week, and sure enough our artesian well popped up. You should be able to make it out in the photo. It was not a six-inch gusher like before, but it perked for more than 24 hours.

I’ll be doing some driveway patching this spring.

1 comment:

  1. My sister has what my family has always called "wet weather springs" on her property over near Seymour, TN. I planted cardinal lobelia about 20 inches downhill of one back in June and it was doing very well in August. I'm wondering how well it will survive if we go through drought conditions again.

    I'm still figuring out how to landscape this unpredictable area.