Monday, August 15, 2011

Episode 75 (August 15, 2011): Springs

Click to listen to episode (2:23).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of August 15, 2011.

This week we feature another mystery sound.  Have a listen for about 30 seconds, and see if you can guess what kind of water resource connects this series of comments.  And here’s a clue: settlements around the world have SPRUNG up around this resource.

If you guessed springs, you’re right!  The names being read were just a few of the many Virginia towns named for nearby springs.  Some, such as Warm Springs and Hot Springs in Bath County, developed as attractions for recreational bathers and spa-goers.  But many other towns grew up near springs because they provided access to convenient, reliable water; in fact, dozens of Virginia public water systems still use springs as a water source.

But what, exactly, is a spring?  Simply put, it’s a place where groundwater becomes surface water.  Springs appear where groundwater moves from underground storage areas to the land surface, particularly in low-lying areas and along hillsides or slopes.  Springs are found throughout  Virginia, but most occur in the state’s mountainous west, where many ridges, valleys, and areas of limestone bedrock provide good conditions for springs.

Thanks to the patrons of downtown Blacksburg who volunteered their voices for this week’s sounds and to Quinn Hull for creating this week's episode.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES Acknowledgments: Quinn Hull recorded the sounds and developed the script for this episode.

Sources: “Bath County Past and Present,” Web site of Bath County, Virginia,; and J.A. Poff, A Homeowner’s Guide to the Development, Maintenance, and Protection of Springs as a Drinking Water Source (Blacksburg: Virginia Water Resources Research Center, 1999), available online at

Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and  Other Events, online at  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.