Mineral Water Springs Supply.

Mineral Water Springs Supply.

The pollution of so many water supplies has ingendered a suspicion of the purity of all other than filtered water, and caused people to patronise bottled and mineral waters to a very large extent—over 55,000,000 gal. of the former and more than 52,000,000 of the latter, from domestic springs, being consumed yearly in the United States. Strangely enough, too, in some cities, such, for instance, as Washington, D. C., where a complete filtration system exists, the sale of mineral waters has increased.

Of the mineral water supply of the country one-half is derived from four States, in the following order: Minnesota, with almost 10,000,000 gal.; New York, with 7,000,000 gal.; Wisconsin, with a little under 7,000,000 gal.; Massachusetts, with 4,500,000. Of the other States Virginia ccmes first, with something over 2,000,000 gal.; followed by Indiana, which, however, gets the highest price—ninety cents per gallon for its product to Virginia’s fifty-nine cents and an average of fifteen cents in other States—only four averaging more than thirty cents per gallon.

There seems no limit to the product. On any farm a hillside spring that has been looked upon only as useful for watering stock, may turn out to be rich in mineral, and medicinal or tabic properties, and a source of rich and clear profit to the owner. Within a quarter of a century such springs have increased in number from 189 to close upon 600, and their value, likewise, has increased over sevenfold. It is further estimated that, in the United States there are at least 10,000 springs whose waters may yet be proved to have a commercial value.

So far as regards the supply from these springs, it is practically inexhaustible, and will remain so while the evaporation from the sea continues—an evaporation which, according to Halley, of cometfame, is sufficient to supply all the springs and streams, so long as the process goes on. There is no doubt, however, that persistent deforestation will tend to the exhaustion of individual springs, whether mineral or not, and, as such springs are a source of wealth and a benefit to the country, the danger of the failure of even a few through stripping the land of its woods and forests is manifest.

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