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What is this water called?  RSS feed

 
garden master
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I'm sure this is going to be a silly question. I'm from the desert, lived there all my life, traveled, but lived there. I moved to Missouri, and I'm still learning a LOT about this part of the world. I have water on my property that I don't know what it's classed as.



Water percolates down into the soil, hits the rock layer, and slowly, over the course of a week or more, oozes out at the bottom, where the rock isn't covered by much soil. (Like my tree?) (and no, my land is NOT that steep, it's a 30 second sketch.)  

What is water coming out like that called? I'd not call it a spring, might be a seep, it might not even be high enough flow to have a word. I see this along the highway too, where water oozes out where the rocks are cut and makes drips or ice.

Desert rat with no clue here :)  
Thanks!
 
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Pearl, as far as I know, the only difference between a spring and a seep is the amount of water.  I don't think there is a real clear delineation between the two.  I sort of mentally divide the two by whether I can see water movement.  Then again, I could be completely wrong about it.
 
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I'm not an expert either but I'd call it a seep until someone local corrected me.
 
gardener
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It's a spring.

I love them in the mountains. Makes long distance hiking & backpacking soooo much easier.

Accidentally creating a new one in the "yard" is a very real concern though. If memory serves Dr. Redhawk had major problems with that on his land. If that can happen to him imagine how bad us mere mortals can screw it up. Proceed cautiously.
 
Trace Oswald
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Mike Barkley wrote: It's a spring.

I love them in the mountains. Makes long distance hiking & backpacking soooo much easier.

Accidentally creating a new one in the "yard" is a very real concern though. If memory serves Dr. Redhawk had major problems with that on his land. If that can happen to him imagine how bad us mere mortals can screw it up. Proceed cautiously.



From the page you referenced:  "The term seep refers to springs with small flow rates in which the source water has filtered through permeable earth."
 
Pearl Sutton
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Thank you all!
Due to the very very low rate of flow, I'm gonna go with seep.

I appreciate that Permies lets me ask silly questions without saying "what an idiot, doesn't know what that is!" I know how to deal with it, how to use the water, how to make the water safely drinkable.... Just not what to call it if I have to discuss it with anyone. I appreciate it!! :D

The guys at the car parts store always hate it when I say things like "the thing that goes between the intake and the pump, before the filter, some kind of valve type thing, it's supposed to open, but it doesn't, I need a new one."  I try to learn the right words for things when I can :) And this water seep was one of the words I lack. :)

 
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Mine happens after a rain and can last from a week to a couple of months. I call it seepage in my case. I guess cause its temporary and the amount of time it flows is directly related to the amount of rain i recieved.
 
pollinator
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Hey Pearl, Mike posted the link to the spring definition but didn't link the seep definition. Here is seep https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seep_(hydrology) * after multiple attempts to fix the link, for some reason the linking cuts the last ) off. It worked fine in preview but after submitted cuts that ) off. You can still get there by using the link then clicking the Did you mean link. Sorry for the tech difficulties.

You also might like to check out this thread where I have been posting on where someone is looking for advice to develop his seep for for use as a water source.
https://permies.com/t/106239/develop-spring-property-water-clear

It is pretty common for folks to not know the difference between springs and seeps. Technically a seep is a type of spring, through there is a very important distinction between them. Seeps are ground water that is unable to sink into the aquifer and comes out where ground level meets groundwater level. Springs are aquifer water escaping out of fissures up to ground level. Since most people have never heard of a seep but have heard of springs it is rare for people to use the term seep. So don't beat yourself up for not knowing the name. As I posted on the other thread all my neighbors call the seeps in our area springs. No matter how often I explain to them the difference they just can't make the change over in terms.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Interesting. according to that link it's not a seep either.

A seep or flush[1] is a moist or wet place where water, usually groundwater, reaches the earth's surface from an underground aquifer.  


It never gets to aquifer water level, it hits rock, and goes down, until the rock layer is exposed. The rock level here is 10 foot at deepest, surface level where the water is coming out. Average of 3 to 6 feet deep. The aquifers and ground water level are below the surface rock, to drill well there they have to get through the limestone and flint layer on top of it. That layer is what is stopping this surface water from going down, just hits rock, and follows it, I see it when the rock is exposed, on my property or the road cuts.

I asked this when I was checking to see if I was going to have legality issues with the small dams and ponds I'm building here. I have good clay to seal the dam and they will hold water, but I didn't want fallout from "you are affecting the groundwater" which if I was hitting a spring, I might. No clue if I would, trying to cover my ass ahead of time. If I know the words for it, I can use the right ones when i need to.

Looking at this picture (random off the net) my land would be on above of that, and where it's coming out the crack, would be just coming out on the ground rock level, not falling anywhere.
Does that change the word?
Thank you for help!
:D
Pearl

 
Devin Lavign
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I think that definition is a bit confusing. Since it says ground water and aquifer as if they are the same. You and I know an aquifer is not ground water, they seem to not know.

What you got would be considered a seep, it is ground water that has hit an impenetrable layer and runs under ground until it either comes out of the ground, finds its way into a stream/river, or finally finds a way to sink down into the aquifer.
 
Pearl Sutton
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That makes sense!!
And this is why I don't use Wikipedia much :)
I know what an aquifer is, and it's below the rock level here :D
THANK YOU
:D
 
Devin Lavign
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Pearl Sutton wrote:And this is why I don't use Wikipedia much



Yes I actually prefer the old encyclopedias, like back from the 40's if possible. Since they started changing definitions and removing information to fit political agendas in later editions. It is amazing the wealth of info those older encyclopedias contain compared to the more modern ones. Once I get my house build I plan to track down a good older set to put up on a bookcase to reference.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Devin Lavign wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:And this is why I don't use Wikipedia much



Yes I actually prefer the old encyclopedias, like back from the 40's if possible. Since they started changing definitions and removing information to fit political agendas in later editions. It is amazing the wealth of info those older encyclopedias contain compared to the more modern ones. Once I get my house build I plan to track down a good older set to put up on a bookcase to reference.


Yes :D Books are the best!!  I have (still packed down) a full set of encyclopedias I moved, forget how old, somewhere in the 1956- 1970 range.  I also a Werner's Universal Educator from 1898, I think it was; pre-1900, I am certain. The sheer difference in the word choices is interesting. It was made to home school your kids if you lived out in the boonies. These days the average high school student wouldn't have the vocabulary to understand it. Lots of interesting information in it! Link to a different version
Werner's Universal Educator

Wikipedia is a random reward sport, sometimes it's great, sometimes it's wrong, not always which.
 
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If I understand your description right, a geologist would probably classify this as a (intermittent) spring horizon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_horizon

Actually a pretty common thing, that helps a lot with mapping geological features in the field. It can be developed as distinct springs in a line or as a seeping horizon that is often also accompanied by swamps (probably not in your desert setting though). That depends on the flow rate of the groundwater and the relief of the non-permeable layer (in your case apparently bedrock).

Cheers,

Afghani
 
Pearl Sutton
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Afghani Nurmat: YES!! There we go! Perfect!! That is exactly what I'm seeing!
Thank you SO MUCH!!!
:D
 
pollinator
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Pearl, What you call it depends on the amount of flow, and whether it is seasonal or year round.  Low flow and/or seasonal I'd call it a seep and it would most likely be ground water.  Year round could be either a seep or a spring depending on flow amount.  Not all "seeps" are ground water.  It could be a small fissure in the underlying bedrock allowing water to seep up from the aquifer.  Where I grew up in NE GA a neighbor had some property that in just one (as we called them) holler with four springs in it.  If it is year round you could develop it and utilize it for your needs.  Clean up around it, clean it out, box it in and pipe it to a catch tank then on to wherever you need it.  
 
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