anatomy of a spring

 

Genuine Free-Flowing Spring

The geological definition of a spring is a place where water appears at the Earth’s surface on its own. Springs are caused by rain and snow¬† [A] seeping into the ground [B] and collecting in fractures and fissures in the bedrock, creating underground “holding tanks” called aquifers [C]. As the water passes through the fine particulate matter (sand, clay and other minerals) it is naturally filtered and purified. A spring occurs where a fissure in the bedrock breaks the surface at a point lower than the waterline of the highest point in the aquifer. The naturally higher water pressure forces the purified water up through the ground where it collects in pools or runs downhill.

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The Mystery of Summit Spring

One of the things that makes Summit Spring so unique is the fact that it’s located near the summit of the highest point in Cumberland County, Maine, nearly 350′ higher than the surrounding terrain; a high altitude source if you will. It allowed us to build our bottling plant below the source and gravity feed the water, straight into the bottle. Summit Spring is a true geologic phenomenon, and it defies an easy answer. The most logical explanation is that the water source originates somewhere higher, likely in the White Mountains some forty miles away. The fact that Summit Spring Water travels so far, deep beneath some of the most pristine forest in North America may explain why our water is so uncommonly pure, just as it bubbles from the ground. It would also help explain why in all of recorded history Summit Spring has never decreased in flow, even in the worst drought conditions. The White Mountains always have snow every year at this latitude, and are not dependent on weather systems for water. The lifting action of the terrain, combined with consistent westerly air flow, creates its own weather and dumps copious amounts of rain and snow during all seasons.

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What’s a Borehole and Why Should I Care?

A borehole is a drilled shaft [A] often three feet in diameter or more–through which water is pumped from underground aquifers. Several years ago, due to successful lobbying by large international bottled water conglomerates, the Food and Drug Administration broadened the legally accepted definition of “Spring Water” to include water that is pumped from boreholes, so long as the borehole is located “near” a place where water naturally flowed from the ground before the borehole was drilled. Prior to this definition change, boreholes were not allowed. (That was the definition of well water!) The negative impact of boreholes is caused by the immense suction created, which can draw sediment and contaminants from the surrounding ground [B] into the aquifer. In some cases the quality of entire aquifers has been irreversibly compromised. Boreholes bypass Mother Natures final and most important stage in the hydrologic cycle, allowing water to come up from depth unencumbered. This final stage, against gravity, where spring water normally percolates to the surface; is where the greatest filtration takes place and makes real spring water such an amazing product. Boreholes bypass this stage. Just about every bottled water company uses boreholes, because it increases flow and increases profits; but not us. We will never use boreholes. Never.