Spring Tapping at Blackberry Blossom Farm & Campground
!!! Don't Distrub The Flow !!!!
The bathhouse for our new campground is nearing completion. To provide water for the bathhouse, I tapped a spring several hundred yards up the mountain which feeds our large pond. This first photo shows the bottom half of spring box I used. It is nothing more than a 12" X 18" concrete block with a depression leading to a shower drain. On the bottom of the shower drain I glued a PVC 90 and to that I glued half of a 2" PVC union. I used a very similar setup almost 30 years ago to tap the spring which provides water for our house. It has worked without fail for a long time, so I'm hopeful this one will last as long.
The main thing about tapping a spring is to not disturb the spring flow as you do it. This spring has a real steady flow out through a bed of gravel so I dug beneath to place the concrete box. After I placed the box, I filled behind it with soil so the water flows onto the concrete and down the drain.
In this picture I have carefully placed clean gravel from the creek bed below the spring behind the spring box to fill in this area. I have also placed a bed of fresh concrete around the edges of the spring box.
Next I placed the top half of the spring box and bed it in the fresh concrete. The top is just a concrete block I poured the same size as the bottom. I also used some excess concrete to seal around the spring box.
Here I have placed larger rocks over the gravel behind the spring box.
The water is still flowing good from the pipe, so I covered the area behind the spring box with a piece of 6 mil plastic to help prevent dirt from washing into the spring box during rains.
The last step is to cover the spring. Here is the completed spring tap with water flowing out of the pipe and a little water still seeping around the box.
This is the water tank we purchased for the bathhouse. It is a 550 gallon tank which only weights 97 lbs. empty. It was still a struggle for myself and two of our girls to get it up the mountain to the spring.
I used a 1 1/2" poly pipe to connect the spring box to the tank. In this picture, you can see the PVC pipe I used to connect the poly pipe to the tank and to make an overflow. I haven't connected the outflow pipe yet. The tank filled in about 2 1/2 hours which means the spring is flowing a little more than 3 1/2 gallons a minute. If the spring continues to flow at even half of that, we will have plenty of water for the bathhouse. As usual, I forgot a very important step when connecting the pipe to the tank. When the tank completely filled, it immediately started to empty through the overflow due to siphoning. To prevent this, I drilled a 1/4 inch hole in the uppermost PVC fitting. That is all it takes to break the siphon!
Here is view from above the spring box looking down towards the tank. It reminds me of pictures I've seen of whiskey stills in these mountains.
This last picture is of Tuck and me at the tank. It gives a sense of scale to the tank.