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Characteristics of and Areas Contributing Recharge to Public-Supply Springs in Massachusetts

By Bruce P. Hansen and Kirk P. Smith

Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4266

ABSTRACT

The geohydrologic and physical characteristics were determined for 28 public-supply springs, 27 of which are in western Massachusetts. Discharge ranged from zero at various small intermittent springs to more than 240 gallons per minute at Waubeeka Springs in Williamstown, Massachusetts. To determine the annual variability of spring discharge, discharge from 12 springs was measured during different seasonal conditions from June 2001 to November 2002, and the discharge from Red Mill Spring in Clarksburg, Massachusetts was recorded continuously from April 2002 to November 2002. The area contributing recharge to each spring was delineated on the basis of the geohydrologic conditions determined from reconnaissance investigations; these areas ranged from 0.010 to 0.682 square mile. Ground-water recharge, estimated on the basis of average discharge and the areas contributing recharge, ranged from 0.5 to 24.4 inches per year. High ground-water recharge rates for some of the high-discharge springs indicate that the areas contributing recharge for these springs may be too small. Detailed water-table mapping in the vicinity of two low-discharge springs indicates that the area contributing recharge to some of the smaller springs may be smaller than the area indicated by reconnaissance investigation.
Monthly flow durations and low flow statistics were determined for the index streamflow-gaging stations for a 25-year period from 1976 to 2000. Annual hydrographs were prepared for each index station from median streamflows at the 50-percent monthly flow duration, normalized by drainage area. A median monthly flow of 1 ft3/s/mi2 was used to split hydrographs into a high-flow period (November–May), and a low-flow period (June–October). The hydrographs were used to classify index stations into groups with similar median monthly flow durations. Index stations were divided into four regional groups, roughly paralleling the coast, to characterize streamflows for November to May; and into two groups, on the basis of base-flow index and percentage of sand and gravel in the contributing area, for June to October.

CONTENTS

Abstract 1

Introduction 1

Methods of Investigation 2

Characteristics of and Areas Contributing Recharge to Public-Supply Springs 9

Becket Spring 9

New Belden Tavern Spring 9

Red Mill Spring 10

Fanny Rogers Spring 10

Keats Spring 11

Wells Spring 11

Harris and Stillwater Springs 11

Guilder Hills Spring 12

Whitcomb Summit Spring 12

Granville Center Spring 12

Mount Blue Spring 12

Berkshire Spring 13

Cold Spring 13

Mill River Road Springs 1 and 2 14

Peru Roadside Spring 14

Farm House, Red Rock, Barrel, and Smith Springs 14

Goulds Sugarhouse Spring 15

High Lawn Farm Spring 15

Waubeeka Springs 16

Worthington Fire District Springs 1–4 16

Description of Detailed Studies 17

Mount Blue Spring 17

Silver Brook Café Spring 17

Summary and Conclusions 17

References Cited 18

FIGURES

1, 2. Maps showing:

1. Public-supply springs and study sites in Massachusetts 23

2. Becket Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Becket 24

3. Photograph of Becket Spring with two discharge pipes, northwestward view, Becket 25

4. Map showing New Belden Tavern Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Becket 26

5. Photograph of New Belden Tavern Spring in Becket showing A, covered collection basin against boulder, northwestward view; and B, water flowing into collection basin from under boulder 27

6. Map showing Red Mill Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Clarksburg 28

7. Photograph of Red Mill Spring in Clarksburg showing A, two cisterns at upper center right, storage tank at left, and seepage melting snow at center, southeastward view; B, stage-discharge recording site on northwest side of Route 8, southeastward view; and C, close-up of weir installed in culvert with suspended 2-inch intake pipe for golf-course pump 29

8, 9. Graphs showing:

8. Record of continuous overflow discharge from Red Mill Spring, Clarksburg, June 7–11, 2002 30

9. Record of daily maximum overflow discharge from Red Mill Spring, Clarksburg, April 25 to November 13, 2002 31

10. Map showing Fanny Rogers Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Cummington 32

11. Photograph of Fanny Rogers Spring in Cummington showing A, three springs at top and collection cistern at center, northwestward view; B, three spring structures with stainless steel covers, southwestward view; and C, fracture that appears to be yielding water 33

12. Map showing Keats and Wells Springs, the areas contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Areas in Deerfield 34

13, 14. Photographs of:

13. Keats Spring in Deerfield showing A, exterior of spring with Pine Nook Road visible in the light areas at upper center, northeastward view; and B, interior of stone-lined spring cistern with overflow pipe near top, eastward view 35

14. Wells Spring with spring house and global-positioning-system equipment used for determining spring locations, eastward view, Deerfield 35

15. Map showing Harris and Stillwater Springs, the areas contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Areas in Deerfield 36

16. Photograph of Stillwater and Harris Springs in Deerfield showing A, two collection structures along the base of the scarp at Stillwater Spring, northwestward view; B, interior of a collection structure at Harris Spring; C, combined reservoir and pump house, northward view; and D, measuring combined discharge 37

17. Map showing Guilder Hills Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Egremont 38

18. Photograph of Guilder Hills Spring with combined collection structure, reservoir, and pump house, northward view, Egremont 39

19. Map showing Whitcomb Summit Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Florida 40

20. Photograph of Whitcomb Summit Spring in Florida, showing A, collection structure, southwestward view; and B, steel collection tanks and pump house, northward view 41

21. Map showing Granville Center Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Granville 42

22. Photograph of Granville Center Spring, northward view, Granville 43

23. Map showing Mount Blue Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Hingham 44

24. Photograph of Mount Blue Spring, westward view, Hingham 45

25. Map showing Berkshire Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Lanesboro 46

26. Photograph of Berkshire Spring in Lanesboro showing A, vault over spring, eastward view; B, transient users filling bottles with spring water; and C, high-angle fractures on outcrop just east of spring, southward view 47

27. Map showing Cold Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Lee 48

28. Photograph of collection trough at Cold Spring, eastward view, Lee 49

29. Map showing Mill River Road Springs 1 and 2, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Areas in New Marlborough 50

30. Photograph of Mill River Road Springs 1 and 2 in New Marlborough showing A, Spring 1 in foreground, Mill River Road and spring house covering Spring 2 in background, southwestward view; B, Spring 2 spring house to left and chlorination-equipment house to right, eastward view; and C, Spring 2 collection basin and reservoir inside spring house, southeastward view 51

31. Map showing Peru Roadside Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Peru 52

32. Photograph of Peru Roadside Spring, southward view, Peru 53

33. Map showing Farm House, Red Rock, Barrel, and Smith Springs, the areas contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Areas in Sheffield 54

34. Photographs of A, Farm House Spring, northwestward view; B, Red Rock Spring, northward view; C, interior of Red Rock Spring with discharge pipe; D, Barrel Spring; E, vault containing Farm House Spring reservoir and pump station in foreground and reservoir for Barrel and Red Rock Springs in background, northeastward view; F, Smith Spring House, northwestward view, G, Smith Spring overflow pipe, northward view; and H, Smith Spring overflow, northeastward view, all in Sheffield 55

35. Map showing Goulds Sugarhouse Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Shelburne 58

36. Photograph of Goulds Sugarhouse Spring, northward view, Shelburne 59

37. Map showing High Lawn Farm Spring, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Area in Stockbridge 60

38. Photograph of High Lawn Farm Spring in Stockbridge showing A, spring house, southward view; B, solution-enlarged fracture yielding water to spring, westward view; and C, pump house, southeastward view 61

39. Map showing Waubeeka Springs, the area contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Areas in Williamstown 62

40. Photograph of Waubeeka Springs in Williamstown showing A, spring collection structure, northward view; and B, overflow from reservoirs, eastward view, November 2001 63

41. Map showing Worthington Fire District Springs 1–4, the areas contributing recharge, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Areas in Worthington 64

42. Photograph of Worthington Fire District Spring 2, westward view, Worthington 65

43, 44. Maps showing:

43. Water-table altitude, ground-water-flow direction, and part of the area contributing recharge to Mount Blue Spring in Hingham 66

44. Silver Brook Café Spring in Sandisfield 68

45. Photograph of Silver Brook Café water source in Sandisfield showing A, collection structure at upper center and seepage melting snow at lower right, westward view; B, blue pump intake in collection structure; and C, measuring water level in small- diameter observation well 69

46. Map showing water-table altitude, ground-water-flow direction, and part of the area contributing recharge to Silver Brook Café Spring in Sandisfield 70

TABLES

1. Characteristics of public-supply springs in Massachusetts 3

2. Measured discharge of public-supply springs, June 2001 to November 2002 5

3. Physical properties and concentrations of major inorganic constituents and nutrients in spring water and in water from nearby streams, western Massachusetts, April 2002 7

4. Areas contributing recharge, estimated ground-water recharge rates, and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Zone 1 Protection Areas for public-supply springs 8


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The citation for this report, in USGS format:

Hansen, B.P., Smith, K.P., 2004, Characteristics of and Areas Contributing Recharge to Public-Supply Springs in Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4266, 76 p.


 For more information about USGS activities in Massachusetts-Rhode Island District, visit the USGS Massachusetts-Rhode Island Home Page.


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Last modified: Friday, September 16 2005, 04:23:25 PM
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